Snowshoeing is a wonderful way to explore winter and stay active during the snowy months of the year. For all ages and ability levels, snowshoeing can be a great form of exercise and a fun way to experience your surroundings buried under a blanket of snow. Whether you choose to stroll around the local parks or snow-covered golf courses, or venture deep into the mountains, here are some safety basics for you to consider before you go:
- Hypothermia tends to hinder good judgment. Stay warm by using outdoor-appropriate clothing and keeping extremities like your head, hands, and feet well protected. Our What to Wear article covers layering and clothing in greater detail.
- Stay well hydrated. You may not feel as thirsty in winter but dehydration is one of the quickest routes to hypothermia. A good rule of thumb is to drink 16-20oz per hour of snowshoeing, more if you are really exerting yourself or if it's a warmer spring day.
- Check the weather forecast and be prepared for abrupt weather changes with extra clothing. If you're unfamiliar with weather resources for your area, take a look at the National Weather Service website.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you are coming back. This is especially important if you are venturing into less populated areas, but equally important close to home.
- It may go without saying, but there are much fewer daylight hours in the winter months. Make sure you know what time the sun goes down and leave yourself plenty of time to make it home before it gets dark (and cold).
- Familiarize yourself with a trail map; deep snow may hide familiar landmarks that were easy to follow in the summer.
- Check all your equipment in advance and use our essential accessories list to ensure you don't forget anything.