Snowshoeing is a fun winter sport that provides plenty of exercise in the great outdoors. It is a good sport for anyone to take up but it is especially good for people who trying to get into shape or are older and don’t want to ice skate or ski. Snowshoeing can be done anywhere that there is snow at least three inches deep.
Snowshoes come in a variety of styles. You can get some that are historically accurate made of wood and sinew or you can get some of the new light weight kind that are made of metal and are very durable. It is important to get a pair that are in your weight range. Basically smaller snowshoes are for lighter weights then larger ones. It depends on the type of snowshoe for your weight.
Bindings hold the snowshoe onto your boot. You need a binding to fit your boot so fit the boot you will be wearing for snowshoeing to the bindings. You can also use poles like ski poles when you snowshoe but if you have good balance and you are not on rough terrain you can go without poles.
To start snowshoeing pick out a relatively flat treeless area so you can get the feel of the snowshoes. Take large steps with your legs apart so that you do not step on your own snowshoe. You will begin to feel how your steps should be. Use ski poles until you are good enough to walk in your snowshoes without falling down.
At first walk a straight line. Once you have that figured out you can try to take a curve. To make a tight right turn take your right snowshoe and place it at a right angle far enough out to the side so that it does not overlap your left snowshoe. Then pick up the left foot and place it along the right. For a left turn use the left snowshoe.
Walking backward in snowshoes is not recommended. It is better to turn yourself around and go forward.
When you get comfortable walking on flat ground you can start to go up and down hills. You may need ski poles depending on how vertical the hills are. Take small steps down and make sure your foot is stable before you take a step with the other foot. You may need to proceed up and down hills on an angle like on a winding mountain road if it is too steep.
As you practice snowshoeing you will get better at it and gain balance and coordination. Take your time and get the feel of the snowshoes.