Things to consider before hiking in deep snow

Hiking through deep snow, especially in remote locations where trails haven’t been packed down, is a great workout, but it can be frustrating.

Let’s start with the obvious. You’re going to sink down into the snow. There’s no avoiding that. But if you wear snowshoes, you won’t sink down quite as far as you would if you were just wearing boots.

Snowshoes come in all shapes and sizes. There are snowshoes with traction spikes — also known as crampons — which help gain purchase when climbing hills. When selecting snowshoes, keep in mind that different sizes of shoes are made to handle people of different weights. Heavier people will want bigger snowshoes. Also, if you’re dealing with deep snow, you’ll generally want bigger snowshoes because the increased surface area helps you stay afloat.

Why walk on two legs when you can essentially have four? In deep snow, it’s much easier to snowshoe if you use trekking poles, which will help you maintain balance and gain traction uphill.

In addition, it’s important to put snow baskets on your trekking poles. Snow baskets are little round devices that fasten to the ends of trekking poles and prevent them from tunneling all the way down to the frozen ground.

Here are a few more things to consider before hitting the trails after heavy snowfall…

 

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