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Author: Mathew Brost
Snowshoeing has evolved from a necessary form of transportation in some areas of the world into a popular sport for many snow-loving outdoor adventurers. As it has gained popularity, the sport’s evolution has involved dramatic changes in technology. Investing in a pair of snowshoes can be overwhelming. Choosing the proper style for your needs can be difficult, and the terminology confusing.
Choosing the proper snowshoes
A general rule is the larger the wearer, the larger the snowshoes need to be. The environment you hike in may require a slightly different style as well. Longer, wider snowshoes are ideal for backpacking, while hikes in forests and on narrow trails require shorter, compact models.
Poles are not essential for snowshoeing, however, they do add stability when travelling in steep or uneven terrain. Aluminum poles are lightweight and rigid. Adjustable-length poles provide maximum comfort. Powder baskets are available with most poles for keeping them from sinking into soft snow. Some snowshoe kits include poles.
Although all you really need are snowshoes and bindings, snow gaiters are useful for keeping your legs dry. Standard hiking boots are suitable for wearing with snowshoes as well, although waterproof boots are ideal.