General Travel

Snowshoe Gear Guide for Adventure Travelers

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If you follow my blog closely, you probably know that one of my biggest travel passions is exploring beautiful wilderness locations. Often times, that involves long hikes or climbs, but when I visit snowy cold weather locations, my favorite way of exploring is by snowshoeing. While hiking does require some equipment, such as adequate hiking boots or shoes to stay safe, snowshoeing requires quite a bit more equipment. Beyond the obvious need for snowshoes themselves, in order to be safe and comfortable while snowshoeing, one needs to make sure they have a myriad of other equipment with them. That is why I decided to create this snowshoe gear guide to assist eager explorers such as yourself.

Snowshoe Gear Guide

The purpose of this snowshoe gear guide is to outline the equipment that I would recommend having with you when you embark on your next snowshoeing adventure. Anyone can strap on a pair of snowshoes and hit the trail, but without the right equipment, the experience can be tiresome and uncomfortable. The wrong equipment can lead to exhausted legs, cold extremities, and even dangerous trail situations. So before you start to plan your next adventure in the snow, make sure you review my guidelines and recommendations below so that you can choose the gear that is right for you.

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Finding the Right Snowshoes

Snowshoe Gear Guide

One of the most important pieces of guidance that I will be providing to you in this snowshoe gear guide is how to choose the proper snowshoes that are right for you. Believe it or not, much more goes into choosing the right snowshoes than just finding a pair that fit your feet. In fact, there are factors involved in addition to size that can really make or break your experience on the trail. In order to give you a good understanding of how snowshoes are designed and which features you should look for when you make your next purchase, I have outlined some general guidelines below that you should keep in mind as you look for your next pair.

Think About Where You Plan to Snowshoe

Snowshoe Gear Guide

An important factor that you will need to consider when picking out the best snowshoes for you is what type of terrain you are planning on using them in. The type of terrain you plan on snowshoeing in will largely dictate what type of features you will need to look for in a snowshoe. To give you a better idea of how the terrain will impact the type of snowshoe you choose, I have summarized some of the aspects in which the terrain can determine which snowshoe features are useful in my snowshoe gear guide below.

Flat Terrain

If you plan to do a majority of your snowshoeing on flat terrain, then you will have less need for traction features that are more usefully when you are traversing steep inclines and declines. That doesn’t mean you won’t need any traction, but traction features will be less of a factor in your decision making when picking the best snowshoe your you. Instead, you will want to place more emphasis on features such as the binding type and size of the snowshoe, which will impact comfort and the ability to float on deeper snow.

Hilly Terrain

For those of you who plan on snowshoeing in a hilly terrain, the traction features of your snowshoes will become more of a factor. You are going to want to have more than the minimal amount of traction so that you are able to traverse large inclines and declines safely without slipping. In addition, you might want to consider looking at snowshoes that have features like heel lifts, which are designed to make climbing hills easier on your legs. You may also want to consider looking for snowshoes that are lighter and easier to lift with your legs as it will be difficult to lift heavier snowshoes as you climb hills on longer excursions.

Mountain Terrain

When choosing a pair of snowshoes that will be used in alpine terrain, the primary emphasis in your decision making should be on traction features. After all, without the proper traction, snowshoeing in the mountains can be very dangerous. There are specific snowshoe models that are designed for mountain use, and I would suggest you limit your search to within that subset of models. These snowshoes not only have crampons on the bottom, but also include additional traction features such as side rails and breaking bars for additional traction. While proper traction is the most critical feature to look for, as long as the snowshoes you choose have these features, you may also want to consider the weight of the snowshoes to reduce the amount of work required to lift them on steep accents as well.

Factor In How Much You and Your Gear Weigh

Snowshoe Gear Guide

Another factor that you will want to consider when deciding which snowshoes to purchase is how much you weigh, with all of your equipment that you will be bringing with you. Your total weight will dictate how long the snowshoes you purchase will need to be in order to keep you afloat on top of snow. For instance, if you only weight 120lbs, you won’t need snowshoes that are nearly as long as someone who weighs 250lbs. Every snowshoe manufacturer has slightly different suggestions as to what the weight-to-size ratio should be for snowshoe sizing, but I favor MSR’s snowshoe sizing recommendations above others because they are my favorite snowshoe manufacturer and I have found their suggestions to be the most accurate.

MSR Snowshoe Sizing Chart (linked above)

When choosing a new pair of snowshoes, it is important to choose a size that fits you so that the snowshoes can support your weight on the snow. Please use the following chart to determine which size is right for you in different snow conditions.
Your Total WeightPacked SnowShallow SnowDeep Snow
90-125lbs. / 41-57kg22 in / 56 cm22 in / 56 cm25 in / 64 cm or
22 in / 56 cm + Tails
125-175lbs. / 57-79kg22 in / 56 cm25 in / 64 cm or
22 in / 56 cm
25 in / 64 cm or
22 in / 56 cm + Tails
175-225lbs. / 79-120kg22 in / 56 cm25 in / 64 cm or
22 in / 56 cm + Tails
30 in / 76 cm + Tails or
22 in / 56 cm + Tails or
25 in / 64 cm + Tails
225lbs.+ / 102kg+22 in / 56 cm or
25 in / 64 cm
22 in / 56 cm + Tails or
25 in / 64 cm + Tails or
30 in / 76 cm + Tails
30 in / 76 cm + Tails or
25 in / 64 cm + Tails

Consider What Type of Snow You’ll Be Traversing

Snowshoe Gear Guide

The final factor that you will want to consider when choosing a pair of snowshoes that are right for you is the type of snow that you will be snowshoeing in most regularly. In fact, this may be the most important factor of them all. The type of snow that you snowshoe in will largely influence what type of snowshoe you will need and what size you will want to purchase. For instance, if you are planning on only snowshoeing on groomed trails with tightly packed snow, you are going to have much less need for flotation then if you are planning on consistently snowshoeing thru deep snow in the backcountry. For more information on how the type of snow can impact your snowshoe choice, please refer to the information I provide in my snowshoe gear guide below.

Packed or Groomed Trails

If you are planning on doing most of your snowshoeing on groomed trails, then you aren’t going need to worry about needing as much floatation on the snow. This means that you can afford to purchase shorter snowshoes that will be easier on your legs to lift. Believe me, this can be a huge benefit if you are planning lengthy snowshoe excursions. If you are worried about the rare occasion where you head into the back-country and need more floatation on deeper snow, many snowshoe manufacturers offer snowshoe tails that you can attach to your shorter snowshoes to provide extra flotation when needed. If you are interested, I discuss snowshoe tails in more detail later in my snowshoe gear guide.

Deep Snow

For those of you who plan to do a majority of their snowshoeing in deep snow in the back-country or on ungroomed trails, then you might want to consider investing in longer snowshoes that will provide you with more floatation. Because you are getting longer snowshoes, you might also want to consider looking for snowshoes that are made out of a lighter composite material instead of regular aluminum frames. If you are interested in learning more, I cover the different materials that snowshoes are typically made of later in my snowshoe gear guide. As for the length, you could get away with using shorter snowshoes with attached tails, but if a majority of your excursions are in deep snow, you will likely wear out the tails after a while, so it is more practical to invest in a longer pair.

Icy Trails

Not only can icy snowshoe trails be difficult to negotiate, sometimes they can be downright dangerous. This is especially true if you are hiking on steep terrain. One misstep could lead to serious injury. That is why it is critically important to make sure that your snowshoes have the proper traction features if you are planning on spending a good deal of your time snowshoeing on icy trails. If you are interested in learning more about traction control for snowshoes, I cover several important traction control features that you can look for in a snowshoe later in my snowshoe gear guide. In addition to traction control features, I would also suggest you look at slightly shorter snowshoes that are easier to control. The added control of a shorter snowshoe will be far more valuable on ice than the extra floatation provided by longer ones.

Which Components to Look For

Snowshoe Gear Guide

Now that I have covered some of the basic questions you should ask yourself before deciding which snowshoes are right for you, it is a good time to start to talk about the features that differentiate snowshoes so that you will be able to decide what you would like to look for in your next pair. Among other things, this includes the type of material that the snowshoes are made of, the type of binding on the snowshoe, and which traction and climbing features the snowshoes include.

Choosing the Right Material

One of the easiest ways to differentiate between one pair of snowshoes and another is by the material the snowshoes are made of. The type of material that your snowshoes are made of will not only play a big factor in how durable the snowshoes are on the trail, but will also largely decide how heavy the snowshoes are as well. To give you an better understanding of the types of materials you will likely have to choose from when deciding on a pair of snowshoes to purchase, I have outlined some of the pros and cons of these materials in my snowshoe gear guide below.

Aluminum Frame

Snowshoe Gear Guide

The most common type of snowshoe frame that you will find on the market is aluminum framing. Fairly lightweight and very durable, these snowshoes can take a beating on the trail and still function. They typically include a decking material made out of hard plastic, rubber, coated nylon, or urethane to provide floatation. They aren’t quite as light as some of the snowshoes with composite frames that you will find, but they make up for that in durability.

Composite Material

Snowshoe Gear Guide

If you are looking for an ultra-lightweight snowshoe to use on the trail, then a composite snowshoe may be the way you want to go. These snowshoes are made up of a hardened composite material with the frame and the deck forming one piece. While they are typically much lighter than aluminum frame snowshoes, composite snowshoes are typically not as durable and are often noisier on the trail.

Foam Material

Snowshoe Gear Guide

The most recent innovation in snowshoe material is an EVA foam solution. Snowshoes made out of EVA foam are ultra lightweight and very quiet on the trail. For those who like to walk with pets, they are also very pet friendly, as accidentally stepping on a tail or a paw with these snowshoes is much less painful for the pet. The downside of EVA foam snowshoes is that they typically have far less effective traction features than you will find on aluminum frame and composite snowshoes. So if you are planning on doing any snowshoeing in hilly our mountainous terrain, they might not be the right option for you.

Deciding on the Proper Binding

In addition to deciding which type of material to look for in a pair of snowshoes, another very important factor that you will need to consider is the type of binding provided. The snowshoe’s binding is what secures the snowshoe to your boot and it play a large factor in how you will be able to walk with your snowshoes on. While some types of binding might be practical for shorter adventures on groomed trails, they will be less efficient on longer excursions in alpine terrain. To give you an better understanding of the types of bindings you will likely have to choose from when deciding on a pair of snowshoes to purchase, I have outlined some of the pros and cons of these bindings in my snowshoe gear guide below.

Fixed Bindings

Snowshoe Gear Guide

One of the most common types of snowshoe bindings that you will find is what is referred to as the fixed binding. Fixed bindings attach the full length of your boot to the snowshoe deck and typically allow only a small amount of flex when walking in the snowshoes. This type of binding allows you to maintain the most natural walking motion when in snowshoes, which makes them perfect for shorter excursions on flat, groomed trails. However, the inability of your foot to pivot in these bindings does make it much more difficult to ascend large hills or mountainous terrain because your foot is unable to pivot and push off on your toes.

Rotating or Pivoting Bindings

Snowshoe Gear Guide

If you are going to be doing a significant amount of your snowshoeing in hilly our mountainous terrain, then I would strongly suggest that you invest in a pair of snowshoes that allows your foot to pivot much more than fixed bindings allow. Depending on the brand of snowshoes you are looking at, there are a number of different terms that you may encounter for bindings that allow your foot to pivot. These brand-specific terms are based largely on the pivoting technology that the manufacturer has developed and may include such terms as pivoting, floating, or rotating bindings. Despite the different names, the purpose of these bindings are to allow your foot to pivot when you walk to make it much easier on your legs when ascending and descending steep hills.

Looking for the Proper Traction or Climbing Features

For those of you who are eager to get out and explore the mountains with your snowshoes, some of the most important features that you will need to consider when deciding which snowshoes are best for you are the traction and climbing features that the snowshoes have. After all, nothing can be more dangerous when snowshoeing than not having enough traction in steep and dangerous terrain. To give you an better understanding of the types of traction and climbing features you will likely have to choose from when deciding on a pair of snowshoes to purchase, I have outlined some of the traction and climbing features you will find in snowshoes in my snowshoe gear guide below.

Toe Crampons

Snowshoe Gear Guide

The most common traction feature that you will find on snowshoes are toe crampons. These spike-like features are typically made out of metal and are the primary source of traction for most snowshoes. They enable you to dig into the snow when climbing hills so that your snowshoes don’t slip. Like their name suggests, the toe crampons are typically located directly underneath your toes when your boot is connected to the snowshoe bindings. If you are planning on doing a lot of snowshoeing in hilly or mountain terrain, I would would not even consider purchasing any snowshoes that don’t have toe crampons included.

Heel Crampons

Snowshoe Gear Guide

Some models of snowshoes provide additional traction for hill climbing by placing an additional set of crampons underneath your heel position on the bottom of the snowshoe. Like toe crampons, heel crampons are designed to give your foot traction while navigating hills and mountain terrain. Unlike toe crampons, which are designed to dig into the snow while you your feet are pivoted forward during an ascent of a hill, heel crampons are designed to give your snowshoes traction while your feet are planted in the snow. This provides you with lateral stability as you navigate tricky terrain.

Side Rails

Snowshoe Gear Guide

A popular traction feature that you will find on many models of alpine snowshoes are the side rails. These rails are designed to give your feet a lot of lateral stability when ascending and descending steep hills and tricky terrain in alpine regions. In my opinion, side rails are much more efficient in providing lateral stability for your snowshoes than heel crampons are, so if you are deciding between a model with side rails and a model with heel crampons and are concerned about lateral stability and traction, I would suggest going with the pair that have side rails.

Breaking Bars

Snowshoe Gear Guide

Another common traction feature that is often found on composite snowshoes and aluminum frame snowshoes that have a hard composite or plastic deck are what we refer to as breaking bars. Breaking bars are forms that are built into the deck that are designed to help you gain traction in the snow. They are typically raised, horizontal bars that are built into the deck material and assist with traction by making it more difficult for the snowshoes to slide in the snow. Breaking bars can be especially beneficial when descending hills by preventing your snowshoes from acting like skis and preventing you from sliding downhill. If you plan on doing snowshoeing on steep hills, I would definitely recommend looking for snowshoes that have breaking bars incorporated.

Heel Lifts

Snowshoe Gear Guide

The final traction and climbing feature that I am going to cover in this guide happens to be my favorite feature out of all the features that I have seen in snowshoes that are on the market. When you are in very hilly or mountainous terrain, it is very easy to wear out your legs climbing hills in snowshoes. To help alleviate the stress on your calves and other leg muscles during long excursions with a lot of hill ascents, many snowshoes have a feature that you can use called Heel Lifts. Also referred to as Climbing Bars or Televators, these flip-up bars allow you to rest your heel with your foot in a climbing position to reduce the stress on your calves and other leg muscles during steep incline sections. Believe me, this feature is an absolute must have if you are going to be snowshoeing in the mountains or anywhere with a lot of elevation gain.

Choosing the Right Winter Boots

Snowshoe Gear Guide

While people tend to place most of their attention on choosing the right pair of snowshoes when they are picking out equipment, an equally important piece of equipment that often gets overlooked is the boots that they use. I have explained how choosing the correct snowshoes for your snowshoeing excursion can make a big difference in how enjoyable the experience is for you. The same can be said for choosing the correct boots to wear. If you choose the wrong boots, your snowshoeing adventure may be uncomfortable at best or miserable at worst. Before you pick out a pair of boots to use when you go snowshoeing, I would recommend reading the advice I provide below to ensure that you choose the right boots for you.

Warm and Weather Resistant

The most important factors that you will want to consider when choosing the right boot to use when snowshoeing is whether the boots are both warm and weather resistant. Believe me, there is nothing worse that being on a long snowshoeing excursion and having cold, wet feet. While having boots that look good is important for many people, and I do understand that, you don’t want to go out on the trail with a fashionable pair of boots that will end up soaking wet and give you wet feet. The boots you choose should be warm winter boots with a waterproof rubber sole that will keep you feet dry. You also want to have boots that go up above your ankle so that you don’t have a gap between your snow pants and your boot. This will allow you to cover the top of the boot with the gaiter of your snow pants and prevent snow from getting inside your boot and melting.

The Correct Fit

While the warmth and weather resistance of the boots you choose is critically important in making sure that you are comfortable out on the trail, those aren’t the only factors that you need to consider to make sure you are comfortable. You will also want to make sure the boots you choose are the right fit. For instance, if you choose a boot that is too small for your toes to move, your toes will likely get cold on a long excursion. Being able to move your toes inside your boot is important because that helps to make sure your feet stay warm. On the other hand, if you choose a boot that is too big for you, it will be difficult to fit your boot inside your snowshoes and it will be awkward walking with snowshoes while you are out on the trail. When choosing the right boot, you really want to make sure you find the goldilocks version of a boot. Not too big to be too cumbersome, but also not too small to restrict the movement of your foot within the boot.

Light Weight

Speaking of the right fit of boot, another factor that you will want to consider when choosing the ideal boot for you to use while snowshoeing is the weight of the boot. This is especially important if you are planning on going on long snowshoeing excursions. The heavier the boot, the more work that is required to lift your feet. Your feet already need to lift your snowshoes, which can be a lot of work when walking thru snow. If you wear a heavy boot, this can add work to an already strenuous exercise and tire you out quite quickly. When choosing a boot, I wouldn’t sacrifice warmth and weather proofing in favor of weight completely, but I would suggest keeping weight in mind when choosing between two similarly warm and waterproof options.

View Boot Recommendations on Amazon.com

Wearing the Proper Base Layer

Snowshoe Gear Guide

Believe it or not, the winter jacket and snow pants that you choose for your snowshoe excursion may not be the most important pieces of clothing you wear to keep you warm. Even with the warmest jacket and snow pants in the world, you can still get miserably cold out on the trail if you aren’t wearing the right base layer underneath. Before you even begin to decide on which jacket and snow pants to put on, you will want to review the advice on base layers in my snowshoe gear guide below to make sure you are protected.

Base Layer Bottom

It may be cold outside, but when you get onto the trail and start snowshoeing, your body will quickly warm up. If you start to sweat and you aren’t wearing the proper base layer, this could be dangerous when you stop hiking and your body cools down. Fabrics such as cotton will retain the moisture instead of wicking it away from your body, and a wet pair of pants up against your skin could lead to you becoming very cold and uncomfortable, if not hypothermic, when you stop moving. For that reason, I strongly recommend that you invest in a base layer made of moisture-wicking fabric. Depending on how cold it is outside, this can be a heavy (thicker) pair of base-layer bottoms or a light (thinner) pair if you easily get hot when exercising or the temperatures aren’t that cold. If you are looking for a good pair of base layer bottoms for your next adventure, I have linked to some of my favorites for you to review in my snowshoe gear guide below.
View Recommendations on Amazon.com

Base Layer Top

Just like with your base layer bottom, you are going to want to make sure your base layer top is made of the right fabric so that you don’t subject yourself to being wet and dangerously cold when you cool down after a long snowshoe excursion. You will want to make sure you pick a base layer top that is made of moisture-wicking material so that you won’t freeze on the trail or after your excursion. If the temperatures are colder, you might want to choose a heavier (thicker) base layer top to wear, while a lighter (thinner) base layer top may be appropriate if you get hot easy when exercising or the temperatures are warmer. If you are looking for a good base layer top for your next adventure, I have linked to some of my favorites for you to review.
View Recommendations on Amazon.com

Wool Hiking Socks

One of the most important articles of clothing that you will need to choose when preparing for your snowshoeing expedition or excursion is which pair of socks you will wear. If you choose the wrong pair, your feet could get miserably cold and make your trip a very uncomfortable one. Like with your base layer, you are going to want to avoid fabrics such as cotton that maintain moisture and could lead to cold feet if they get wet. Traditionally, it has been recommended to wear wool socks because wool tends to naturally wick away moisture and keep you warm even when the fabric is wet. However, as you may know, 100% wool socks can be warm, but also tend to be rather itchy and uncomfortable. Thankfully, there have been some amazing advancements in fabric design in recent decades and some of the partial wool, partial synthetic fiber socks that you can find on the market do a wonderful job of keeping you warm, even when wet, but aren’t annoyingly itchy and uncomfortable. I have tried quite a few brands of wool socks and have found a brand that I absolutely love, which I have linked to below if you are interested in investing in some for yourself.
View Recommendation on Amazon.com

Choosing the Right Winter Gear

Snowshoe Gear Guide

Once you have the right base layer picked out, you are ready to start thinking about the other cold weather gear you will need while out on the trail. This includes obvious gear such as a warm jacket, snow pants, a hat, and gloves. However, it also includes some gear that you might not have considered. If you want to learn more about my cold weather clothing recommendations for snowshoeing, I have included a list of the gear I suggest in my snowshoe gear guide below for you to review.

Winter Jacket

One of the most important pieces of gear that you will need to consider when adventuring out into the cold for any reason is a solid winter jacket that will keep you warm. This is especially true when you will be venturing out into the wilderness to perform an physical activity such as snowshoeing. You will want your jacket to not only be warm, but you will want it to be fairly light weight and weather resistant. After all, nothing will make you more miserable while you snow shoe than being wet and cold. If you are looking for a warm, durable, and weather-resistant jacket for your next adventure, I have included a link to some of my recommendations for you to review below.
View Recommendations on Amazon.com

Snow Pants

In addition to a warm winter jacket, you will also want to have a set of pants that will keep you legs warm and dry while you snowshoe. Not only will you want these pants to be weather resistant, but I would also recommend investing in a pair of pants that are also insulated to keep you warm. This is important because some outdoor pants are good at keeping your dry, but don’t have the insulation that will keep you warm, and vice versa. In addition, I would strongly recommend looking for a pair that have gaiters at the bottom of the legs to help keep snow out of your boots. Believe me, this feature is important when you are snowshoeing in deep snow as snow in your boots can easily leave you with wet and cold feet. If you are looking for a pair of good winter snow pants to invest in for your next big snowshoe adventure, I have linked to some of my recommendations in my snowshoe gear guide below.
View Recommendations on Amazon.com

Light Gloves

When it is really cold outside, the last thing you are going to want to have to do is spend a considerable amount of time with bare hands trying to put your snowshoes and other gear on. However, doing this with thick winter gloves can be challenging. For that reason, I like to bring a pair of light (thinner) winter gloves with me when I snowshoe so that I can use them when I need to perform dexterous tasks such as fastening my snowshoes and adjusting the height of my snowshoe poles. If you are interested in getting a pair of lightweight winter gloves for your next adventure, I have linked to some of my recommendations for you to review.
View Recommendations on Amazon.com

Winter Gloves

Light gloves are great for putting on and adjusting your equipment, getting camp setup at night if you are on a multi-day expedition, and doing other dexterous tasks, but they won’t keep you warm if you are planning on snowshoeing in very cold temperatures. For that, you are going to want to have a set of warm gloves or mittens to use during your miles on the trail. Not only do you want these gloves or mittens to be warm, but you will also want them to be weather resistant. After all, wet gloves lead to cold fingers, and that can quickly ruin any fun adventure. If you are looking for a set of warm gloves or mittens for your next snowshoeing trip, I have linked to some of my recommendations here for you to review.
View Recommendations on Amazon.com

Winter Hat

Another piece of essential winter gear that you will want to have with you when you embark on any snowshoe expedition is a warm winter hat. The body loses a large amount of heat thru the head, so having a hat to keep your head and ears warm while you are out on the trail in cold temperatures is important. There are a variety of different winter hats to choose from, so pick one that you are comfortable wearing for long periods that you like. If you would like to review some of the winter hats that I like and recommend, I have linked to some options for you to peruse in my snowshoe gear guide below.
View Recommendations on Amazon.com

Neck Gaiter

If it is extremely cold or windy when you go on your snowshoe excursion, you are going to want to make sure that you protect your neck from cold winds and blowing snow. Believe me, even with a warm winter jacket and a hat, you can get quite cold if it is windy and your neck isn’t protected. One option for protecting your neck is a scarf, but I prefer to use a neck gaiter instead. Unlike a scarf, a neck gaiter doesn’t have loose ends that can blow around in the wind, get stuck on your equipment, and require you to make sure it doesn’t become unwrapped and expose your neck to the elements. If you would like to invest in a neck gaiter for your next big adventure, I have linked to some of my recommended options below.
View Recommendations on Amazon.com

Winter Balaclava

While a neck gaiter will protect your neck and part of your face from the cold wind and blowing snow, it won’t protect your entire face. If you are planning on going snowshoeing in very cold temperatures, you may want to invest in a little extra protection for your face. One of the best ways to protect your entire face from the extreme cold is to use a winter balaclava. With a balaclava, you can be sure that your face won’t get wind burned or frost bitten in sub-zero temperatures while out on the trail. I will typically keep one in my bag when I go out on snowshoeing excursions in case the weather takes a turn for the worse or I end up staying out later than expected. If you would like to look at purchasing a winter balaclava for your next adventure, I linked to some of my recommendations in my snowshoe gear guide below.
View Recommendations on Amazon.com

Snow Shoe Gear I Recommend

Snowshoe Gear Guide

In addition to finding the right snowshoes for your next big snowshoe excursion, you are also going to want to make sure you have the other necessary gear with you to make your adventure a success. This includes support equipment such as snowshoe poles, snowshoe tails for deep snow, a snowshoe bag or backpack to keep your gear organized, and a water bladder or container to hydrate yourself on the trail. Before you start packing for your excursion, make sure you read the recommendations in my snowshoe gear guide below to ensure that you have all the support equipment you need to make your trip a success.

Snowshoe Poles

One of the most important pieces of support equipment that you can bring with you when you snowshoe are a set of good snowshoe poles. Not only will poles help you keep your balance while on the trail, but they will also allow help you get up steep hills by planting them in the ground and pushing off. Most of the snowshoe poles you will find on the market are height-adjustable and compact or fold into an easy-to-transport size. When adjusting your snowshoe poles, you should adjust them to extend up to your armpits when planted in the ground. If you are planning on snowshoeing in deep snow, many snowshoes will have attachable baskets that you can attach to the end of your poles. These baskets help ensure that your poles don’t sink too far into the snow and allow you to get more push when climbing hills or using your poles for balance.
View Recommendations on Amazon.com

Snowshoe Tails

If you are opting to buy a shorter pair of snowshoes to provide yourself with more maneuverability when snowshoeing on groomed trails, but want to be able to adjust your snowshoes to a longer length when in deeper snow, then you are going to want to invest in a pair of snowshoe tails. These tails attach to the back of your snowshoes and provide you with added floatation when snowshoeing in the back-country or on deeper snow. Please keep in mind that most tails are designed for certain snowshoes, so make sure you verify that the snowshoe tails you are looking at are compatible with your snowshoes before purchasing. If you would like to invest in a pair of snowshoe tails for your snowshoes, I have linked to some of my recommendations in my snowshoe gear guide below.
View Recommendations on Amazon.com

Snowshoe Bag

With all of the gear that you will need to go on long snowshoeing expeditions, it is helpful to have a way to keep all of your gear organized. Any large duffle bag will do, but there are certain bags that are designed for keeping snowshoe gear organized that you might want to consider purchasing if you snowshoe often. Many of these bags include straps to carry the bag on your back in case you need to put your snowshoe tails on mid-trek or take out your poles when you need them. If you would like to view some of my recommended snowshoe bags, I have linked to my suggestions in my Amazon Store for you to review below.
View Recommendations on Amazon.com

Hydration Pack or Water Bottle

One of the most important pieces of support equipment you will need to bring with you when you snowshoe is a hydration pack or water bottle. Some people incorrectly assume that you won’t need as much water when exercising in a cold environment, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Fact is, in many places it is typically drier in the winter than it is in the summer, so your body actually dehydrates faster. When I go out on a snowshoe excursion, even when they are short ones, I always bring a hydration backpack or water bottle with me. If you would like to review some of my recommended water hydration backpacks and water bottles, I have linked to my suggestions for you to review below.
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