Script/Outline: How to Snowshoe

How to Snowshoe

BIO: My name is Sheryl McGlochlin and I am a Hiking/Snowshoeing Tour Guide in Utah. Visit my website, CrazySheryl.com, to learn more about all the wild and crazy outdoor adventures we do.

 Benefits of snowshoeing – look great, feel better, no winter blues, less sickness, no depression, feel happy and rejuvenated just to name a few! Getting outdoors in the winter months will make you healthier – mentally, emotionally, physically and socially just to name a few. It’s a great workout without feeling like it. You get so caught up in the beauty of winter that you forget you are evening exercising. Snowshoeing burns a LOT of calories since it’s a great aerobic exercise.

 Warming up before you go -

 What kind of clothes to wear -

 Who should snowshoe? How old or young can you be and is it easier for men or women to snowshoe, how long should you snowshoe if it’s your first time out. If you can walk, you can snowshoe.

 Where do you go to snowshoe? You can snowshoe in a park, on a school playground, on a hill, in the mountains, etc. Stay w/ places you are familiar with. I hike these same trails in the summer, when there is no snow, so I know what is underneath me. We see people occasionally who are hiking in what they think is a big open meadow, when really it is a big lake – which may not be safe to be walking on.

 Types of snow to walk on: The difference between walking on hard-packed older snow and deeper soft powder snow.

 What kind of snowshoes to look for. – I love my MSR’s……

 What about weight? Does weight make a difference? Go to a store like REI or any outdoor recreation online store. They will show you what size you need that is appropriate for an adult or even a child.

 Most common mistakes: People wear TOO LONG of snowshoes for what they really need which makes it much harder to walk in and is completely unnecessary. They won’t stay with the sport that long since it’s not very easy or fun.

 Should you buy or rent snowshoes when you first start out, renting may be right for you. If you are not sure you will like the sport, then rent. Give yourself time to learn how to do it. Some people like to buy right away since that commits them into using their snowshoes. I rented for a while to see what kind of snowshoes I liked before buying them but we can help you solve that problem so you don’t have to rent for that reason. You can rent snowshoes for around $8 - $10 per day here in Utah.

 How do you put on snowshoes…..

 What kind of shoes do you wear with your snowshoes…

 How to condition your body before snowshoeing. Just walk! Walk up hills, downhills, level areas and try to walk outside to get acclimated to the weather. Stretch before and after.

 Why are poles an important part of snowshoeing. Think of yourself like a dog. You are more stable with 4 legs than 2. Poles help you balance better and avoid twisting or spraining your ankle on lumpy trails. Many times the snow is flat and you can’t see where there are lumps and bumps.

 Where to get poles without spending much money. I use the same poles for downhill skiing, snowshoeing and for hiking. Go to places like Play it Again Sports, Thrift Stores, and of course Outdoor Sports Retail shops, etc. Keep your eyes open at yard sales and garage sales during the year. I haven’t spent more than $10 for a pair of poles and they last a long time.

 What to look for when buying poles. The basket needs to be smaller and no open areas in the basket to get caught in bushes or tree branches. Bend you arm at a 45% angle and make sure they are long enough. There should be a finger mold on the handle so it’s easy to grip the handle.

 Simple snowshoeing skills you can practice close to home – before heading far from home practice using your snowshoes. Go to a local park or school or even in your own back yard. 1) Walk in snowshoes 2) Getting up when you fall down 3) Walk backwards 4) Sidestep 5) Running in snowshoes 6) Using your poles effectively.

 How to run with snowshoes on – Depending on how deep the snow is will depend on how easy it is to run in snowshoes – the deeper the snow, the harder it is to run. It’s a great workout though.

 How to walk in deep powder – Your poles will help you the most with balance when you are walking through deep powder snow. Utah has the best snow on earth! It’s light and powdery. You have to pick up your legs and keep your balance.

 How to walk on snow pack trails – When you are first starting out, practice on a snow packed area - NOT deeper snow.

 How to “break trail”. What does that mean? When you are in “virgin snow”, which is snow that is untouched and you are the first to walk through it, you are “breaking the trail” and can be HARD depending on how deep the snow is! The “trail breaker” must be a strong person with stamina since it can be tiring. If you are the second person in line - right behind the “trail breaker”, it is easier and even easier to walk if you are, for example, the 5th or 10th person in line walking behind the person breaking the trail. Take turns breaking trail and don’t make one person suffer through it all the time. Give them a rest and take turns.

 Snowshoeing on a single track trail. – This is a more narrow area and can be a little more difficult than walking in a wide area.

 What types of places in the mountains are safe to snowshoe? Snowshoe on easy hills or flat open areas away from steeper slopes or deep gulches packed with snow.

 Is it safe to snowshoe by yourself? Not a good idea. It’s best if you have at least one other person to go with you UNLESS you are close to home and in a populated, safe area.

 Dangerous places to snowshoe – Avalanche territory and what that means….

 My favorite places to snowshoe in Utah – Spruces, Jordan Pines, Millcreek Canyon, East Canyon and Kimball Junction and other places in nearby Park City IF you get a chance, you really need to come to Utah and experience the amazing snow! It’s generally a soft, dry snow. Not really wet, heavy or mushy.

 Things to bring with you when you are snowshoeing – Stop often and drink WATER and eat a healthy snack like trail mix. Bring sunglasses, camera, lip balm, lotion since Utah is dry, cell phone, and if you want a walkie talkie if you ever get separated from your group. We always carry a backpack with these items in it.

 How to care for snowshoes when you are not using them and how to store them. You can get a stuff sack and store your snowshoes. Don’t leave them laying around on the floor to be kicked around or for someone to step on them. They do have LOTS of spikes that would hurt someone who stepped on them. I hang them on a hook on my wall.

 AFTER snowshoeing: 1) Always clean your snowshoes off so the snow doesn’t melt and leave a big mess in your car. 2) Always stretch out AFTER you snowshoe to avoid sore muscles 3) Drink lots of water even after you snowshoe 4) We love to jump in a hot tub after snowshoeing or just a warm shower or bath to relax the muscles.

 How to carry your snowshoes – There are times on a hike when you won’t need to wear your snowshoes yet but you will need them. There are a few ways to carry them: on the end of your pole, on a bungie cord or in your backpack.

 Finding people to join you is critical if you want to be successful at it! How to find people to snowshoe with you. Start with your family, your extended family, any relatives, your neighborhood and your community. Put flyers out in the area stating: You are invited to Snowshoe with us! Contact:………….. Say “us” even though at first it may be just YOU. Everyone is looking for someone to do things with.

 How to find people to snowshoe with… Age doesn’t matter. Look for people who want to be more active, who have a love for the outdoors, who are generally happy people who are willing to try new things. AVOID people who moan, groan, complain, gripe, whine and are generally negative! Leave all those types of people home! To be successful you need to be around POSITIVE Thinking People.

 My favorite places to find snowshoes – For good used snowshoes: go to ksl.com, craigslist.org, snowlist.com OR for new shoes: rei.com, sierratradingpost.com, just to name a few

Have fun, be safe and get out there. To learn more, go to Crazysheryl.com!