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3 Reasons Why You Should Snowshoe This Winter

snowshoeing

Summer isn’t the only time you should enjoy the great outdoors. By snowshoeing this winter, you can enjoy nature like you’ve never seen it before!

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It can be easy to stay inside during the winter and become stagnant and bored. But don’t let the cold weather stop you from getting outdoors. Get out and enjoy Mother Nature this winter by going snowshoeing!

What is Snowshoeing?

Snowshoeing is a winter activity where you walk or hike in the snow while wearing snowshoes. Many people also use ski poles while they snowshoe to help keep their balance.

Snowshoes are a form of footwear that allow you to easily walk, hike, and even run through deeper snow. Snowshoes have a wide surface area to distribute your weight so you don’t sink into the snow as much as you would wearing regular snow boots or hiking boots.

The Benefits of Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is a sport that is both physically and mentally rewarding. It allows you to hike almost anywhere regardless of all the snowfall, so you can take in your winter wonderland. It’s also a healthy hobby that can help you stay active in winter and socialize with fellow nature lovers.

Here are some other reasons why you should snowshoe this winter:

  • It’s a creative way to exercise.
  • You can snowshoe with friends.
  • It’s free!
  • You’ll become more familiar with your local scenery.
  • It allows you to get into a fun and healthy new hobby.
How to Snowshoe

There are some techniques to snowshoeing you need to be aware of so you can stay safe and not get stuck in the snow. Ultimately, keep a wider stance so the insides of your snowshoes don’t step on each other and use your ski poles for balance.

How to Snowshoe on Flat Terrain

There are different ways to walk on different types of terrain. On flat terrain it’s fairly simple. You just have to make sure you don’t trip on your larger feet.

How to Snowshoe Uphill

Going uphill can be trickier. Try using the kick-step technique. This is a great way to walk on deep powder snow as well as getting yourself uphill.

Kick upward into the snow before you step down to make room for your next step. This also pushes aside the powdery snow so you can step down on firmer snow.

There is also a heel lift on snowshoes that you can lift up when you’re going uphill. This will help the base of your foot stay level as you walk upward so you don’t get tired as fast.

How to Snowshoe Downhill

Snowshoeing downhill is mostly about staying balanced and not sliding down. Keep your poles in front of you and extend them a little for support. Then bend your knees and lean the rest of your body backwards a little. As you walk, plant your heel down first.

Snowshoeing Safety

Like any outdoor activity there are dangers if you don’t take responsible safety measures.

Check all your gear before you head out so you know everything is ready. It’s also important you learn about navigation, how to use a GPS, read topographic maps, and use a compass. You’ll also want to stay hydrated and dress in layers.

Be aware of the dangers specific to snowshoeing like falling into creeks, snow covered hazards, holes, dips, branches, and roots, sudden changes in the weather, and avalanches.

If you’ve never gone snowshoeing before, you can take a guide with you or go on a snowshoeing tour near you. You can also find a group of experienced snowshoers to go with you the first couple times as you learn the ropes. Then you can form your own adventure club and make new friends!

For even more tips about snowshoeing check out this website.

The Equipment

You don’t need a lot to snowshoe and once you have your equipment this activity is free! It can be really worthwhile to buy your own snowshoeing equipment so you can easily go whenever you want and save on rental costs in the long term. But if you need help paying for your equipment up front, you can just take out a Check City Installment Loan.

But if you don’t want to buy your own equipment, you can easily rent ski poles and snowshoes from an outdoor retail provider near you.

Buying Equipment

It is important to be properly fitted to your equipment. This will make it easier and safer for you. If you are looking to find snowshoes for sale, make sure to read snowshoe reviews, so you can get quality equipment.

You also want to make sure the snowshoes you get are correct for your weight and the kind of conditions and terrain you want to snowshoe in. Don’t forget that you aren’t just calculating your own body weight when picking snowshoes. Take into consideration that you’ll be wearing heavy winter boots, clothes, backpacks, and other gear. Beginners most often like to start with flat terrain snowshoes since they are the most traditional snowshoes.

Shop for Snowshoe Equipment on Amazon.

You can also visit local outdoor gear stores and talk with a professional to find the proper gear and to help teach you how to snowshoe properly and safely.

What You Need to Snowshoe
  • Snowshoes
  • Warm, waterproof snow boots
  • Adjustable ski poles
  • Snow baskets
  • Map, compass, or GPS device
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Protective winter clothing, coats, hats, gloves, and goggles
  • First aid kit

The Workout

One of the greatest perks of snowshoeing is that it’s a fantastic and creative way to work out in winter. It’s not just walking in the snow. Snowshoeing uses lost of muscles. Your stance while walking is wider than normal, working the muscles in your core and legs. By using poles to help you walk and keep your balance, you’ll work your shoulders and arm muscles as well.

The added weight from the shoes, your winter gear, and the snow also adds to the overall workout. Snowshoeing isn’t just a great way to see the countryside, it also burns a ton of calories.

The Scenery

Along with the workout, snowshoeing is a great way to take in some beautiful winter scenery. Capture the fun and comradery amongst your friends in the great outdoors or go for a romantic hike with your special someone.

Remember, safety comes first! Always contact a professional before you go snowshoeing for some tips to avoid harm and to teach you how to snowshoe.

Whether you are a seasoned pro or are completely new to the sport, snowshoeing is a great seasonal adventure that should not be missed. Give it a try. You might be surprised by how much you like it!


Make Your Own Adventure Club and Get Outside!

outdoor-club-adventure

As a kid you were probably forced outdoors at some point during the day to play outside and get your energy out. You probably noticed as you got older that now, if you want to get outside time you have to provide it for yourself. And if you live in an apartment or the city you may not be able to get quality outdoors time just by going into your backyard. If you live in the city you might have to plan your outdoor time even more as you coordinate trips to local outdoor hot spots. Getting yourself out in nature might be easier if you form a like-minded group to get you going. With the steps and tips below you can make your own Adventure Club and explore nature with your friends!

Why Going Outside is Good for You

Get vitamin D. You can actually get vitamin D from sun exposure. Vitamin D is very important to our health and it doesn’t always come in abundance in the foods we eat. One of the best ways to get your daily dose of Vitamin D is through being outside in the sunshine. It can help you have strong bones and protect you from certain diseases and ailments. Improves your immune system.
Opportunity to exercise. Unless you’re sitting in a chair it’s hard not to exercise at least a little whenever you go outside. And every ounce of exercise contributes to your overall health! Even a short stroll outside can do wonders for your physical health.
Elevate your mood. A lot of things about being outside can give your mood a healthy boost. The light, the sun, the fresh air, or the flowers and trees can help you feel a little better about the world if you give them the chance. But there are also studies to support this idea. The National Institute of Health (NIH) found in a study of theirs that just walking outside for a bit each day boosts creativity by 81%. Who knows what creative potential you might unleash just by getting yourself outside a little each day!
Good for children. Studies show that being outdoors helps kids focus better. Spending at least an hour outside every day can increase their focus, overall wellbeing, and help them get better grades.
It can be easy to let kids go run around outside and get all the exercise and vitamin D they need, but as we get older it can become harder to find time to get outside. One way to make getting outside easier is to give your outdoor time some kind of purpose.

  • Exercise outside.
  • Go for a daily stroll at the same time.
  • Get outdoor furniture. Once you have some place to set up camp outside, it can be easier to take things you normally do indoors, outdoors while you soak up some sunshine.
  • Make your outside time a group activity by creating your own outdoors club!

outside-nature

What Kind of Outdoor Club Do You Want to Do?

There are many things to do outside and everyone has different interests. Some people really like swimming, or hiking, or kayaking. What outdoor activities most interest you? These are the things you’ll want to incorporate in the purpose of your outdoors club. Having a clear purpose for your club will help a lot once you start bringing other people into the group and involving them in planning.
You can focus on one thing. You can make it a club all about just one thing you know you like to do:

  • Skiing
  • Hiking
  • A sport
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Backpacking
  • Running
  • Kayaking
  • Biking

Or you can involve many outdoor activities. Instead of making a hiking group, you can decide to make an adventure club! That way you can plan activities around all things adventuresome.

Whatever the purpose of your outdoor club, you’ll also want to keep in mind who you want to invite to the group and the level of difficulty everyone will be ok with. For instance, hikes and trails are often ranked by difficulty. They can be considered easy, moderate, or hard. So while you are deciding your club’s purpose remember to also consider the level of experience and difficulty you want to involve, and remember to disclose these things to those you invite to the group.

Who Do You Want in the Group?

Outdoor groups can be for all groups of people! You can make no restrictions about who can join the club, or you can decide to make your group exclusive in some way. For example, if you’re a dad looking to bond with your kids through fishing, you might make a fishing club specifically for dads and their kids. You can also restrict the group to certain age groups, like if you’re interested in getting to know more people your age.

Logistics

The last thing you’ll want to figure out before publishing your new group is all the logistics. Below are a couple questions to consider and make decisions about before going live with your new club idea.

  • How are people going to get places?
  • How are you going to get equipment?
  • How will your group stay in contact?

Maybe you’ll expect everyone to use their own cars and equipment to get places, or maybe you’ll want to talk to local rental places for any equipment your group might need. You can also keep in contact with your group in many ways. If you all know each other you can simply create a group text message. Or you can make a Facebook group, or use other messaging apps like Slack, or GroupMe. There are almost infinite options nowadays for where to keep your group’s base of operations.
flyer-outdoors-club

Now that you have your group all set up you can start reaching out for people to start joining. One great way to get members is to create a public Facebook group online. You can also try inviting some people you know and ask them to bring a member or two of their own.

You can also make flyers to hang up around town to meet new people! A flyer doesn’t have to be complicated, just make sure it has all the information they’ll need.

Fun Ideas

There are endless ways you can really have fun with getting more involved in your community and getting to know new people through starting a club like this.

  • Bring snacks.
  • Have a group potluck event.
  • Be educational. You can make a presentation about outdoor etiquette, safety, or hire a trial guide to teach your group about different plants you come across during your hike.
  • Do volunteer work every other month. You can volunteer to clean up a place you visit.
  • Make a website, a blog, or social media accounts for your group and post about the trips and activities you do!

Other Good Ideas

  • Have regular meetings.
  • Assign responsibilities to different people. You can nominate different group members to be the President, Vice President, Trip Coordinator, Treasurer, or Social Media Manager.
  • Fundraise for your trips. You can have a group yard sale or bake off to save up money for your bigger trips or activities. Sometimes your outdoor adventures are going to require fast funds while you’re in between paychecks. If your Adventure group finds itself short on cash, you can always get a payday loan or a personal loan from Check City and pay it back when you return from your trip.

Getting yourself outside is important. The great outdoors are meant to be appreciated and can shower you with mental and physical benefits. You don’t have to go through the trouble of making an outdoor club to get outside, but it can help motivate you to make going outside more of a habit, and who knows! You might just make some great new friends along the way.


READ MORE
Read all about vitamin D and it’s health benefits.
 
Check out another Check City Blog article, “Getting Outside This Spring” to learn some other great ways to get outdoors more often!
 
FEATURE IMAGE BY PETER CONLAN
OTHER IMAGES BY BLAKE LISK

Hiking Tips for the Active

If you are planning on doing any hiking now that it is warm, it is important that you be as safe and as practical as possible with the experience. Hiking is a fun and engaging activity that offers physical challenge and great views. It is a great way to stay in shape as well.

As long as you take the time to be prepared and you employ good technique, your hiking experience should be a safe and enjoyable one.

To begin with, it is critical to always bring water. Even if you are planning on doing a relatively short distance and the temperature is cool and inviting, water is a must. Your body will lose fluids even if you do not notice any sweating or incredible thirst. Staying hydrated and being careful with it is always worth it.

Next, always be ready for the hiking trail. Wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather and temperature and expected foliage. This may be tricky to understand, but it is essential that you never bring anything you are not ready to lose! If you must bring your wallet and keys and phone, then secure them to you or in a special pocket, so that they will remain with you no matter what.

Wearing sunscreen and covering your head is recommended. If the sun is up, it can burn your skin no matter how hot it feels outside, and protecting your head will allow you to go for a longer period of time.

Last of all, always go with someone else! Not only is the buddy system safer because it allows people to watch out for each other, but it also helps to motivate every person there to go for longer periods of time. All in all, taking a buddy along is always worth it, both for the company and the safety it brings.

Tips for Hiking in the Spring

Now that spring is here, those of us who like to go hiking can finally get out and enjoy the outdoors! That being said, there are some considerations to take into account when you are hiking in the spring. Observing some of these tips can make your experience as safe and secure as possible.

First of all, you should always dress in layers and bring plenty of water when you are going hiking. It is often tempting for those who are hiking in the spring to simply go in light clothing and a water bottle. However, the temperature can change rapidly when you are outdoors, and you will feel it more if you are in the middle of it. Dressing in layers is going to make it so that you can take off or add clothing based on what you need at the moment.

Staying hydrated is always key. Springtime hiking can be a bit deceptive because of the cool temperatures which will be experienced. If it is cool outside then you may not feel as thirsty, but the sun gleaming down and you working up a sweat makes it is that you will absolutely need water in order to remain in good condition.

You should also always watch your footing when you are hiking in the spring. Even if the snow has gone and the ground looks like it will be fine, there is an entire winters worth of soak which will take a long time to dry up. Be careful around areas near the edges of a trail, or near the sides of inclines. There may be enough weight on a softened area to make thing move around enough for you to lose your footing.

Lastly, always hike with someone else. The buddy system will keep you safe and will provide encouragement and motivation. Follow these tips, and have fun hiking!

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