|Snowshoeing Tips Of The Trail
* Ascending and Step Kicking: Walking on flat or rolling ground is fairly straightforward if you can walk, you can snowshoe. However, as you start to take on more demanding terrain you will need to start to use your toe or instep crampons for traction uphill. To ascend a steep slope, kick the front toe of your boot into the slope and press down to make a full contact step. Your snowshoes will be on the angle of the slope, with the tails hanging downhill behind you and the front tips above your boots. This allows you to plant the crampons firmly into the snow directly under the calls of your feet for secure and stable footing. Poles can also add support and leverage when ascending slopes and trekking through the wilderness.
* Descending: While your instinct may be to lean back on your snowshoes, only models which feature angled rear crampons built into the heels are designed to dig into the hills in this manner. If you are wearing snowshoes without rear heel crampons you will want to keep your weight balanced over your entire foot so that your front toe crampons will be planted firmly into the snow. Snowshoe poles are also useful when descending slopes as they can offer a great deal of balance for a more controlled descent.
* Traversing or Edging: Traversing or edging is the act of crossing steep or hilly terrain sideways. The most important thing to keep in mind when edging is balance. You will want to kick the side of your foot into the hill to engage the crampons with the snow. Also, swing you heel hard towards the uphill slope and tread heavily to secure the snowshoes into the snow. You should be creating a sort of shelf with your snowshoes in the snow as you traverse your way across the hill. Collapsible poles are also useful on this difficult terrain as you can shorten the uphill pole while lengthening the lower pole for increased stability and balance.
* Breaking Trail: When breaking trail in powder snow it is beneficial to take a marching approach to your stride. This ensures consistent and even steps that won't drag or pick up snow that could possibly bog you down. When snowshoeing in a group, walking in a single line behind the leader. Take turns breaking trail in order to decrease the fatigue of the group. When following behind, try to maintain the gait and spacing of the leader's stride in order to further pack down the snow and create the best trail.
* Deep Snow: Try to lift your knees high and shorten your stride in order to tread through deeper powder with greater ease. Remember, no snowshoe is designed for complete flotation, but if you are going to be traveling through more drifts and softer snow you may want to buy snowshoes a size up from the recommended weight and size range for increased buoyancy. As always though, for the best traveling, it is important to tread lightly and pace yourself.
Benefits Of Snowshoe Poles:
* Poles stabilize your upper body.
* Improve balance and stability on difficult terrain.
* Reduce stress on knees, ankles, and feet.
* Increase cardiovascular output by including upper-body movement.
* Collapsible poles are compact for easy carrying and you can adjust the length for different uses.
How To Use Adjustable Two Or Three-Piece Snowshoeing Poles:
* General: Adjust the height so that the pole handles touch the ground when you grip under the basket with your hand and your arm is at a right angle.
* Climbing: Adjust the poles shorter.
* Descending: Adjust the poles longer.
* Traversing: Adjust the downhill pole longer, and the uphill pole shorter so that your arms remain even and balanced.