Snow Much Fun!
Recreation trends are showing that snow sports are increasing in popularity. Curling is on the rise and was seen as one of the fastest growing winter sport ahead of PyeongChang 2018. Ski fever has hit the nordic world, and the rise of accessible and affordable snowshoeing gives us plenty of options to enjoy (yes, enjoy) our prairie winters. Not surprisingly, what is old is new again, and snowshoe sales have surpassed retail expectations. https://www.therecord.com/news-story/2572220-waterloo-firm-makes-big-strides-with-snowshoe-sales/.
Nature's Edge Tourism offers snowshoe tours because of the many benefits that it offers:
- Snowshoeing is accessible. If you can walk - you can snowshoe. Anyone of any age can snowshoe.
- Snowshoeing is affordable. Snowshoes can be found at many major retail stores ranging in price from $85 to $150 a pair. Specialty shops with more advanced technical gear can have snowshoes prices in the range of $200 to $350. Kids can often get a few years of wear out of one pair of snowshoes.
- Snowshoeing is logistically simple and does not require hours of prep - all you need is warm layered winter clothing, snow pants, gaiters (if your pants are short), good boots, snowshoes and poles.
- Snowshoeing is a great workout! Snowshoeing burns up to 750 calories an hour. That’s about the same as an hour of jumping rope, and more than twice as much as walking.
It is so easy to hibernate inside and binge watch Netflix during the winter. Sometimes that is the best option, but planning a last minute snowshoe hike is an easy way to get your body moving and enjoying some fresh frosty air. Snowshoeing is also a low-impact activity, so our muscles and joints are stressed in different ways so you don’t get the overuse injuries that you might get running or playing tennis.
For gear junkies like me, it is cool to see the evolution of snowshoes. The gear has become more modernized with today's products being more slender and light as they are made with more technical materials such as high-tech aluminum plastic or carbon fibre frames, and adjustable bindings. There are more size options which is great for us women who have a shorter gait and narrower foot. And when conditions become icy, modern pairs have metal crampons that basically “teeth” on the underside of the shoe’provide traction and stability. That being said, nothing beats the thrill of finding a vintage pair of Ojibwe (slender - pointed tipped), Huron (tennis racket style) or Bear Paw (wider oval shaped) snowshoes at a garage sale or online market - especially if they are in good shape.
A snowshoe eight inches [20 cm] wide and 25 inches [64 cm] long will support a person between 120 and 180 pound. A great guide that provides a list of considerations if you are planning on buying your own snowshoes can be found here: https://www.alpenwild.com/Alpshiking/types-of-snowshoes/.
Nature's Edge Tourism offers snowshoes clinics and tours (with snowshoe rentals in various sizes or bring your own) in different locations around our beautiful Province. Snowshoeing a trail with family, friends, or co workers with hot chocolate and fresh treats is one of the accessible and affordable ways to access your own winter adventure.