What’s too Little Snow to Snowshoe?

I got out on the snow this week (which was fantastic!) and thought with the two-to-three inches of snow on the ground that it was not worth strapping on the snowshoes.  Walking was the only effort required, right!?  Well, I was wrong.

Walking in the lighter snow on the yard and the trails seemed like my boots were all that was necessary.  Moving through it was easy enough, but it was a bit wet and lumpy so it had the texture of clumpy sand at the beach under my feet.  My heel sunk and toes dug in deeper to push off.  It was not exactly an ordinary walk in the park.

Until now, I thought snowshoes were strictly for deeper snow (say six-plus inches, depending on your height and weight).  Snowshoes are meant to give the winter hiker the ability to float higher in the snow.  They prevent post holing in the snow and exerting more energy from high stepping it through the deep white stuff.

Now I think that even a bit of moderate depths, hiked over a longer distance as I have in the last couple of days, it is easier (requiring less effort) to do so in my slabs.  It might look a bit silly, but it is actually pretty efficient.  I sunk less and pushing off was less straining in the calve and ankle.

Anyway, those are just some thoughts for the snowshoers.  Have a Happy New Year and remember you can follow the Suburban Mountaineer on Facebook and Twitter.

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