I absolutely love the cold. As a die-hard snowboarder I try to get outside in the winter as much as possible. On top of snowboarding, I ice skate, I skied as a kid for a few years and I’ve even tried XC skiing a few times. For some reason though, I’d never been snowshoeing. So this weekend as I headed up to our snowy cabin I decided to grab a pair and see what I thought.

My conclusion? It’s fun, easy and there are actually lots of reasons to give it a shot. Here are a few:

1. Anyone can do it

Snowshoeing in Northern Michigan

Okay, so maybe not everyone but if you can walk you can snowshoe. I expected them to feel clumsy or cumbersome and that I would be tripping over my own feet since they’re so much wider, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, I barely noticed them at all. They don’t make you walk funny, and you don’t have to take giant steps. You simply walk like normal but with much better stability and float on deep snow.

2. They’re more efficient in deep snow

Alright, this one is obvious but get into a couple feet of fresh snow and that’s when you’ll really appreciate them. Simply put, having a larger surface area helps you stay on top of the snow rather than sinking all the way in. This of course allows you to continue your stride, and therefore takes much less effort. Winter walks can become fun and not so tiresome.

3. They give you traction in low snow

Even when there’s only a little snow snowshoes can be useful as they can provide traction on chunky icy tracked out terrain. The first day I went out we had gotten some snow but then it had warmed, softened and refrozen again. My path had been hit by snowmobiles and in normal boots was an ankle rolling nightmare waiting to happen. With my snowshoes however not only was I not sliding down the ridges and ruts but I now had a stable platform every step I took, even if I was on an angle. Most even have a feature to help with inclines. Terrain that winter had made treacherous just became accessible again.

4. They’re great with the dog

Snowshoeing in Northern Michigan

Speaking of treacherous, let’s talk about walking my husky/malamute in the snow. Needless to say, she loves the trails but just wants to pull. The fact that it’s cold out and for once she isn’t 100 degrees puts an added kick in her step. This makes it tough to control her and keep myself from getting hurt in the process. With my snowshoes however, I had all the control I needed. I could keep our normal pace, but also could hold her back if needed.

5. It’s a good winter workout

If your normal workout routine includes walking or hiking then winter might be putting it on hold. Strap on some snowshoes, get some moisture-wicking base layers along with some insulated mid layers and get right back out there. Your normal trails will have a different look but will still provide an excellent workout. If running is more your thing, there’s ever running snowshoes that are narrower and have more of a quicker rebound.

So if you haven’t given it a shot, try a pair this winter. A good quality set will be lightweight and easy to put on and take off without removing your gloves. They also come in kits with collapsible poles for use when even more stability is needed. It’s a great way to enjoy winter and stay active when its cold out. Grab a pair today!