Getting Started Snowshoeing (part 2)

In part 1 we went over what basic types of snowshoes there are and how to choose the right one for you. Also we covered the need for good footwear to keep your feet warm. Now we are going to go over the importance of clothing.

As with any type of outdoor excursion, layering is of utmost importance.The purpose to layering is to keep your body warm and dry. The fundamentals to layering is to wick perspiration away from the body, insulate the body from the cold and to keep the body dry from rain or snow penetrating the outer layer.

There are three main layers to worry about when snowshoeing. First layer should be next to your skin and is usually called your base layer. The base layer is your long underwear. Long underwear has come a long ways from the long underwear of the olden days. A good base layer is made of wicking material that draws perspiration away from the skin. Most manufacturers make a lightweight, mid-weight and heavy weight.

The second layer or mid-layer is usually the insulating layer. This layer has the function of continuing the moisture transfer away from the body, as well as to keep the body warm. Synthetic polyester fleece is one of the most popular choices for a mid-layer.

The third layer or outer layer, is usually some sort of waterproof, breathable shell. This allows the perspiration to vent away form the body, but it blocks moisture from entering. Gore-Tex was one of the first to make waterproof, breathable material, but now there are many other manufacturers.

By using a combination of these layers, your outing will be more enjoyable.

Again I cannot repeat this last piece of advice too much. Please learn about avalanche safety and awareness. Check you local avalanche center for current conditions in your area before heading into the backcountry. Avalanche.org has links to some of the countries local avalanche centers, as well as have an avalanche safety online tutorial.