There are 3 main reasons why snow hikers and skiers wear snowshoes:-
Floatation is the most obvious reason why winter hikers wear snow shoes, it stops us from sinking into the snow. If the snow is harder and we walk carefully, it is possible to float across the snow without sinking with every step. But every so often you will reach a softer spot and suddenly fall down below the knee. Standing back up every time this happens can be exhausting, particularly if you have to snow hike 10-20km that day 😉
Top quality snow shoes have small spikes underneath and also a crampon under the toe. The MSR snow shoes have excellent traction for climbing up steeper icy slopes in the Alps. We have often come across areas of mountain slope that would not have been safe to climb without our MSR Lighting shoes on. The heel raiser feature is also extremely helpful while climbing these steep icy hills!
3. Keeps your feet warmer
With snow shoes on your feet will stay warmer. Without snow shoes the weight of your body compresses your feet down into the snow, many mountaineers and skiers have lost their toes and feet to frost bite. With snowshoes on, your feet are raised slightly above the ice and snow, this helps to keep you warmer.
For most men we highly recommend the 25inch MSR Lighting Ascent. But if you weigh over 90kg we recommend you consider the larger 30inch snow shoes, but be aware the 30inch snow shoes are quite large and may be awkward if you are manoeuvring around trees and other obstacles. If you purchase the 25inch shoes and they prove to be too small, there is the option of the 5inch tail extension (sold separately). For ladies we recommend the 22inch snow shoes. The tail extension fits all of the Lightning Ascent sizes.
• Snowshoeing with a trekking pole helps with balance
• Always remove your snowshoes before walking on rocks
• Snowshoes can also be used as anchors to hold your tent down (instead of tent pegs)
• Never leave you snowshoes laying flat on the snow when you go to sleep for the night, they could be buried if there’s snowfall overnight. Instead stand them up vertically by jamming the bottom 4-5 inches into the snow.
At Bush Channel we only recommend gear that we believe is exceptional, MSR’s Lighting Ascent snowshoes are exactly that!! We are happy to provide the following Amazon links for you to purchase a pair. Bush Channel will make a small commission from the sale and you will be helping us to make more videos! See our Snow Camping video playlist for more tips 🙂