If you are new to snowshoeing you probably don’t know what to expect. But don’t worry. Thanks to our years of snowshoeing experience we have tons of snowshoeing advice we can share with you.
If you’re booked onto one of our snowshoeing holidays we’ll have already recommended that you digest our ultimate snowshoeing kitlist so you will be well prepared for your outing.
But here are some additional essential snowshoeing tips which will ensue you have the best snowshoeing experience.
We recommend you use the same sock/sturdy walking boot combo as you do when hill walking so you’ll already know that your boots fit comfortably.
But our first and most important bit of snowshoeing advice is to make sure your feet are comfortable once you have attached the snowshoes to your boots.
If you have even the slightest hint of rubbing, discomfort or a pressure point once you start moving in your snowshoes, stop and sort it out.
If you don’t, you could end up with bruised or blistered feet which will take all the enjoyment out of your snowshoeing outing. Think of it as a stitch in time saves nine.
Pole length and hand position
On a guided snowshoeing holiday, your guide will provide snowshoes and poles.
The poles will be adjustable so play around with the length until you find a setting that is comfortable for you.
Also, experiment with your hand position on your poles. Some people prefer to hold the poles on top, others around the handle.
You may require different positions when snowshoeing uphill to downhill. Everybody is different. Find what works for you.
The heel riser bar
The snowshoes that are designed for snowshoeing in the mountains are very different to those that are you can buy for day to day use in snowy conditions.
They come with all kinds of handy features that will make your snowshoeing outing in the mountains a pleasurable one.
Our top snowshoeing advice here is to make full use of the heel riser bar.
This is an absolute godsend when the gradient kicks up and you start to feel pressure on your ankles.
Click the heel riser bar up into position and suddenly the angle of your ankle is eased which reduces the effort needed to go uphill.
This will then reduce any fatigue and mean you can keep going for longer. Winner!
Use a water bottle rather than bladder
With temperatures normally around freezing, our hot snowshoeing advice, borne out of learning the hard way, is not to rely on a bladder arrangement for your water supply.
Many a time have I gone to take a long draw of water from my bladder water pipe to find that it has frozen solid and my thirst has gone un-quenched.
Instead, fill a water bottle with warm water before you leave and stow it inside your pack.
Stop and listen
One of your reasons for choosing to spend your precious holiday time snowshoeing in the Pyrenees may well be to de-stress, to get away from the pressures of a busy life and to have a complete switch off.
My last bit of snowshoeing advice therefore is probably the most useful piece of advice I can give you but also the simplest.
Stop and listen. Hear that? Yes, that’s the sound of nature in winter. Peaceful, isn’t it.
You’ll maybe hear the sound of snow falling from the trees, but little else. Absorb it. Store it up. Times like this are rare in the modern world so make the most of them!
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