Snowshoeing

Do you want the simplest, easiest way to get outside and enjoy the winter? Do you cringe at having to squeeze your feet into tight plastic boots and then clamp those onto slippery long sticks? Does going fast terrify you? Well if that is the case, snowshoeing might be your answer to getting outside and enjoying winter.

When you think of snowshoeing I bet you envision a large, bearded fellow, all covered with furs tromping through the forest with a musket slung over his shoulder. You see his long, wooden snowshoes, strung with catgut, stamping out large diamond shaped patterns in the snow as he trudges along looking for critters on his trapline. It is an iconic look; a very Canadian look, that stirs the adventurous spirit in us to explore beyond our own boundaries and limitations. To search for something we didnÂ’t know was there before.

Snowshoeing has changed little since the days of our musket carrying forefathers. You can still buy wooden snowshoes that are almost the same as the ones they wore, right down to the catgut (which I donÂ’t think actually comes from cats but from sheep and cattle) at your local hardware store. They will get soft and stink when wet and the bindings will get loose and sloppy but for a few bucks you can be trudging along just like they did.

Or, you can invest in the new aluminium or plastic snowshoes that are so popular nowadays. These upgrades on the classic design are lighter, stronger and have solid binding systems that will stay firmly attached to your feet for as long as you want them to. They come in many shapes and sizes and as many price points depending on how much you want to spend or what your intended use is. Throw in a pair of poles for added stability and you are ready to tackle the great outdoors.

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