When you take a walk in the woods you may find yourself in a meditative state, breathing in fresh air, listening to the sounds that surround you, and observing where you are at this moment. But when you begin snowshoeing you can experience the zen of walking on top of fresh snow as well as the invigoration of having an intense workout.
Snowshoeing assisted Asia to North America migration 6,000 years ago.
What started 6,000 years ago as a mode of transportation has evolved into a popular activity for all those lucky enough to experience snow during the winter. According to The United States Snowshoe Association, an organization dedicated to promoting outdoor winter safety in conjunction with recreational snowshoeing:
Snowshoeing is known to have been practiced in present-day central Asia about 6,000 years ago. It is believed that as these ancestors to the Inuits and Native Americans, migrated from Asia to North America, they brought the snowshoes with them, which were modified slabs of wood. It was not too long before this evolved into the white ash framed snowshoes with the raw hide lacing that we associate with snowshoeing today.
Snowshoeing is fun!
According to experts from www.rei.com, snowshoeing is a popular winter activity for recreation and fitness for many reasons. Here’s what they write:
- It’s fun: Snowshoeing extends your hiking or running season into winter. It lets you enjoy winter solitude and can be a social activity. All ages and ability levels can enjoy the sport together.
- It’s easy: As the saying goes, “If you can walk, you can snowshoe.” The learning curve is much shorter than that of skiing or snowboarding. A few techniques worth practicing: widening your stance (to avoid stepping on snowshoe frames), going up and down hills, traversing slopes and pole usage.
- It’s inexpensive: Required gear includes snowshoes, appropriate footwear and clothing, and (maybe) a pair of poles. That’s it! No lift ticket is required.
- It’s a good workout: Snowshoeing offers low-impact, aerobic exercise that helps you stay in shape during the winter.
- It’s versatile: You can go easy or go hard. Plus, you can snowshoe many trails that you can’t ski due to trees or low-snow conditions.
If you’re looking for a different kind of workout this winter, give snowshoeing a try. To feel the thrill of standing on top of an untracked peak, or just walking in the snow and experiencing the peaceful solitude of nature in winter, snowshoeing offers something for everyone.
But before you venture out, read what the experts say about different types of snowshoes, recommended clothing, hydration and safety.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear the mountains calling.
See you out there!