Snowshoe Into a Blissful Winter Wonderland

Lets face it. Some people just don’t “Do” winter.  These guys need to try a day of snowshoe fun!

These city folk just don’t love a winter wonderland the way that I do. You may find yourself stuck in a chilly mountain cabin for those cold and dreary months of January and February just aching for the sun to come out in April and for warm days and sunshine and Vitamin D to return to your life. You may miss being tan. You may miss the beach. You may miss Vitamin D but did you know you can still get a little Vitamin D in January?

Yes the sun does still shine in January! And this is one of my favorite times of year to get outside! I love the blustery winter days and they are some of the best days to snowshoe and go trail running (If you can find your favorite trails in the snow)

I live in a ski town and I adore the rain, the snow, the blizzards and the cold. To me I see those kind of days as snuggling down next to the fireplace, ironwood crackling away in our wood burning stove, a good book in my lap and a warm latté in my face.

I simply adore winter.

Although Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing, I am never SAD when it snows for days at a time. In fact days and days of snow make me super excited because it means early winter mornings on the trails of Big Bear Lake with the crispy snow crunching under my snowshoes. How does one not adore snowshoeing through a fresh snowy winter wonderland? I mean in what other kind of exercise can you burn over a thousand calories in an hour and be outside enjoying the great outdoors and breathing in crisp mountain air?

There are a lot of fantastic outdoor snowy winter activities but to me snowshoeing is the best because it’s super easy, anyone can do it and even if you don’t own your snowshoes, they are super cheap to rent in ski towns! Plus going back to that a thousand calories burned thing; Kind of helps out when ski towns tend to have the best pizza places! (Check out the Pepperoni Rolls at John’s Pizza in Mammoth Mountain if you don’t believe me)

When you snowshoe safety first!

The most important part of going for a snowshoe hike is safety, of course. Always, always use GPS mapping when you go snowshoeing in a new area. I use Strava or Mapmyhike. I prefer Strava as even if your phone is in airplane mode, Strava is still mapping. There have been many times I have been snowshoeing during a light snow and had my tracks covered by wind and fresh snow fall. Strava mapping is literally a lifesaver sometimes leading me back to my car in the snowy winter wilderness. Even if you think you know the area you are snow shoeing in it is easy to lose your trail in snow.

snowshoeAre you snowshoeing in an area with absolutely no cell reception what so ever? I don’t know about you, but my dog is definitely not Lassie and she’s not going to go find the sheriff if I break a leg snow shoeing.You can actually buy GPS devices now that allow you to text on your phone with absolutely no cell service! I always carry one of these in the backcountry with me just in case. If you get hurt badly and need to call Search and Rescue this could literally be a life saver. My dog is definitely not Lassie and she’s not going to go find the sheriff if I break a leg snow shoeing.

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Bring your pup!

My dog just loves the snow. I love winter and snowy days because the asshole rattlesnakes are finally hibernating and quite so bite-y! Our Carly-Dog seriously likes nothing more than to run through a snowy winter wonderland field and then try to bury herself (We like to say she is making snow angels) in the fresh snow. Taking your dog with you on a snow shoe hike is a fantastic idea and a great way to get some exercise for the pup too!

Be very careful when taking older dogs for a day of snowshoe fun. If a dog is older and the snow is deep they may have issues climbing through it and it is hard on their hips. (We found this out the hard way) Older dogs also can not hike as many miles without snow booties on their feet. It’s very possible that older dogs can get frostbite easily if they hike a lot of miles in the cold snow as their feet don’t have the circulation of younger dogs.

Be prepared with the correct snow equipment

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Snowshoeing; Be prepared, even if that means carrying your dog

If you are serious about being out in the snowy wilderness you may want to buy these useful avalanche beacons. Avalanches are not just in Switzerland, they can happen when you snowshoe also. They can happen in any snowy area where the snow starts to melt fast. If you plan to spend a lot of time outside in winter having correct cold winter equipment is so important. I usually try to buy my winter equipment when REI has their big Memorial Day sale. Being prepared with correct winter equipment like GPS, water proof boots and extra supplies is vital for having fun in the great (And snowy!) outdoors and having a fun day out and most importantly making it back to your car or camp safely.

How to be Safe While Snow Shoeing

Be smart when setting out for a day of snowshoe or just hiking fun in the snow. If weather is predicted go on a short hike or don’t go at all! It is really gorgeous to snowshoe in a snow storm but if you do not know the area it is just safer to stay at the lodge and have a coffee with Kailua!

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