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Snowshoeing Tips & Information

In the beginning, snowshoes were used for transportation and were large and cumbersome. Today, snowshoes are lighter weight and engineered with modern materials like aluminum, nylon, polyethylene and other specialized plastics which provide a higher level of performance. Snowshoeing has become one of the fastest growing winter sports and it attracts a wide range of consumers who are looking for an inexpensive way to embrace winter and stay active outside.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SNOWSHOES:
When choosing between the many varieties and styles of snowshoes on the market today, the challenge is finding out which model fits your lifestyle and intended use. Snowshoes are generally designed for three different uses: Trail Walking, Day Hiking and Back Country.

TRAIL WALKING SNOWSHOES:
This category appeals to the widest range of users and they are designed for varied terrain, groomed or broken trails and light exercise. These are symmetrically shaped with lightweight aluminum frames, easy to adjust bindings, and good traction. These snowshoes are perfect for beginners, as well as walkers and hikers spending most of their time on trails, parks and golf courses.

DAY HIKING SNOWSHOES:
This type of snowshoe is designed for the person who wants to explore a wider range of terrain and take extended hikes in the winter. These models have a wider platform for greater floatation and a more aggressive crampon for better traction.

BACK COUNTRY SNOWSHOES:
This category appeals to a more hard-core enthusiast and they are designed for long distance, off-trail use in deep snow. These are made of wider aluminum frames with a more rigid binding system and heavier crampons for better traction. These snowshoes are great for winter camping, ice fishing treks, and large users who want to break their own trails.

HOW TO PURCHASE THE CORRECT SIZE:
When choosing the correct size snowshoe, you need to consider your body weight as well as the type of terrain or snow you will be walking on. Each Summit model has a weight range noted under the size information. Each size has a wide weight range that will be influenced by the snow conditions. If you are traveling across packed down snow or groomed trails, a shorter length snowshoe will be more maneuverable and easier to use. If you are breaking your own trail or walking in deep snow, you should buy a slightly larger size for better floatation.

HOW TO DRESS FOR SNOWSHOEING:
When you participate in highly active outdoor activities during the winter, wearing light weight clothing in layers is the best way to stay warm and dry. This gives you the ability to add or remove layers and adjust to changing conditions or body temperature. For most people, snowshoeing is a highly aerobic activity and perspiration will become a bigger factor than you expect. Therefore moisture management is very important in trying to remain warm and comfortable. A three-layer system is best, consisting of wool or synthetic base layer, a lightweight fleece middle layer and a windproof, but breathable outer shell. You should also choose jackets and pants with articulated shapes or stretch panels which allow more freedom of movement.

WHAT TYPE OF FOOTWEAR IS BEST FOR SNOWSHOEING?
Most snowshoe bindings will accept a wide range of footwear ranging from lightweight hiking boots to heavy insulated boots. The ideal type of footwear will depend on the activity such as walking or running verses camping or climbing. For general recreational hiking, we recommend a pair of waterproof hiking boots, which are stable and comfortable. If you are going into deep snow, a pair of waterproof gaiters can be attached to your lower leg around the top of your boots for added protection and warmth. 

DO I NEED POLES?
A specialized snowshoe or trekking pole is highly recommended for most snowshoe adventures. They improve your balance and provide added stability on uneven terrain. We recommend a light-weight pole with a three section shaft, which is adjustable in length. Most of the good poles come with several baskets which can be changed for different snow conditions. All Summit poles came with different pole tips and contour grips making them ideal for summer hiking and exercise walking on hard surfaces.

CARE FOR SNOWSHOES:
Today’s modern snowshoes, with aluminum frames and synthetic decks require very little care and maintenance. It’s best to dry them off after each use and keep them in a protective storage bag to prevent their sharp crampons from damaging other possessions. All adult Summit snowshoes come with a deluxe vented storage bag at no additional charge.


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