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Snowshoeing: Simple, easy and fun

Snowshoeing is a wintertime activity all can enjoy. While skiing may take a little more athletic prowess and training, snowshoeing provides exercise for all ages.

Many people may think of snowshoes as glorified tennis rackets attached to the bottom of shoes. But snowshoe apparel technology has evolved over the years. Many of today's snowshoes are made from lightweight aluminum and offer secure bindings and straps that keep the foot in place. Crampons may appear in the front and rear of the shoes for added traction. Some snowshoes may also have hinges that enable the foot to lift from the snow easily and offer added lateral support.

Unlike skiing or snowboarding, which requires designated slopes and courses, snowshoeing can occur just about anywhere there is an accumulation of at least 5 inches of snow. That means individuals can take to state parks or even their own neighborhoods to try snowshoeing. Also, while some sports may induce a little anxiety the first time around, the simplicity of snowshoeing can make the sport immediately enjoyable. All one really needs to know is how to walk and how to properly align their feet into the shoes.

Elaborate gear is not needed to when snowshoeing. Apart from the shoes, warm clothing and footwear from a person's own closet is all that's needed. Waterproof fabrics and wicking socks to keep out moisture are recommended, while dressing in layers enables a person to remain comfortable regardless of temperature. A backpack stocked with a snack and some beverages makes it easy to take a break on the trail and replenish. Walking poles can help snowshoers keep their balance and provide ease when hiking steep terrain.

Consider snowshoeing as an alternative to skiing or snowboarding when a lower-impact sport is desired. With a little gear, it's easy to get started.




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