We were really luck the last few days to get a dump of snow. So this morning before work we headed out for a little snowshoeing. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a work out too. You can really feel it in your hips and glutes. The valley looked so peaceful covered with snow as we stomped along. We cut a trail along the river. The river isn’t frozen over now, too many above freezing days, so the ducks were still there, I can’t figure out why their feet don’t freeze in the water but that’s for another post.
I’ve been snowshoeing off and on for a long time. I still have the first pair of snowshoes I bought when I was a kid on the farm from the local feed store. They are the older wooden kind with a tail and the cat-gut webbing. I bought them so I could check on the fence around the field my horses were in. Working snowshoes.
Now we have the light-weight aluminum and nylon snowshoes. They have comfortable bindings and are light enough that we can run in them (although they aren’t made for running). No more special snowshoe shoes, we just use our trail runners and gaiters.
Snowshoes go back a long way. Historians don’t know the exact age of snowshoes but they believe they were invented 4000 to 6000 years ago. They say that North America wouldn’t have been populated without the snowshoe. Wikipedia had a pretty good write up about the history of the snowshoe. Did you know that snowshoes are a Canadian Icon ? If it weren’t for snowshoes the fur trade might not have happened back when the Hudson Bay Company was in that business.
There are lots of different types of snowshoes depending on the terrain you are in and what exactly you want to do with them like running or back country hiking. Choosing a snowshoe can be as easy as going to your local sports store, farm store or Costco but a little knowledge goes a long way, check out Backcountry’s website.
Snowshoes are getting more technical too, Fimbulvetr, a Norwegian company has some pretty cool technical snowshoes. They made the Outside (online) 2016 Winter Buyer’s Guide.Have fun snowshoeing!