Tips & Techniques - Breaking Trail
Unless you spend all your time snowshoeing on a groomed trail network, you'll eventually find yourself "breaking trail" - blazing a new path through fresh snow. While snowshoes keep you from sinking really deep in the snow, breaking trail does require a little more effort than walking on an already-packed down trail.
For efficient travel when breaking trail, pick up your foot until the nose of the snowshoe clears the snow, and move it forward with your next step. You'll expend extra energy pulling the entire snowshoe out of the snow or not lifting higher than the new snow.
The easiest way to break trail in deep snow is to break up the task with a group. Walk in a single line, with the leader breaking trail. Take turns out front, and remember to set a courteous track. When setting a new snowshoe track, be sure to take consistent even steps that are easy for others to follow. A trail breaker with long legs taking big steps would be hard to follow for someone with a shorter stride.