Snow shoeing is a great Scouting activity. Giving you the ability to go where you can’t wearing a pair of boots. Snow shoes open up trails and adventures that make memories.
But there is a lot of confusion when picking the right pair.
Let me see if I can help a little with that. First of all know that there are many styles, types, and sizes of snow shoes out there. I am going to talk in general terms here, because by and large the sizes, shapes and types are pretty much universal between snow show manufactures.
First of all lets talk about types. The type is basically the type of snow shoe for the type of conditions you will find yourself along with the type of activities you will be engaged in. For example; powdery snow and trail running.
Essentially you have a five categories when selecting the snow shoe right for you; Trail Walking, Mountain Hiking, Back country, Speed, and Youth.
Having picked the activity type, its now time to look at the size and style.
If you are trail running or snow shoe running, you are pretty much looking at getting the lightest shoe you can. The typical length of a snow shoe running snow show is 22″ this length on a durable light weight platform provide a great snow shoe to meet you speed needs.
If you are trekking through the back country, and I mean breaking trail through bush.. you will want a snow shoe that is robust and able to take a beating. Typical lengths of a Back country snow shoe is 24″.
Now for Mountain Hiking and Trail walking the biggest differences are going to be in the frame and platform durability. The Mountain Hiking series’s may offer a better crampon style for better traction but by and large these two styles bare similar features. The actual biggest difference is in what you will end up spending.
So when it comes to picking the shoe for you consider this: What am I doing it with it, how much do I weigh, what kind of load am I carrying, and what is the average combined weight?
Your weight is a huge consideration as it will determine the length of the snow shoe.
The average Scout will wear a 25″ snow shoe.
A 25″ snow shoe will carry a load between 120 and 200 pounds. A 30″ snow shoe will host between 150 and 250 pounds. It is important to factor your pack weight in to get the right shoe.
Here is what I know for sure. If you want a good all around snow shoe get a Trail walking/hiking snow shoe. I am 189 lbs and have an average pack weight of about 30 lbs. I own a pair of Tubbs snow shoes they are an 8 25. That means a trail walking 25″ snow shoe. I have worn them in varied conditions and with and with out a pack. They have never let me down.
When we rent snow shoes for our Troop, we always rent 25″ shoes for everyone except the really small guys.. we will go with a 22″ shoe for them (good up to 120 lbs).
The weights are guidelines and obviously not a number that you can not swing one way another… but I would stay in the ball park for the best results.
Snow Shoeing is a great way to keep your Troop active in the winter months. It is a fun and easy way to head out on your favorite trail no matter what the conditions.
Get out there and snow shoe! Here is a cool web site that you should check out for your next winter adventure. http://www.snowshoes.com/
Have a Great Scouting Day!