hey guys welcome back to hike Oregon and thank you so much for watching the part three of the hiking in winter series today we are going to talk all about snowshoes [Applause] you doing some research on snowshoes I found that there are many different types and sizes and certain things to think about when snowshoe shopping you can't just really go to a store and just pick up a pair of snowshoes it probably won't work well for you and snowshoes are very expensive so you should definitely do your research and figure out what type of snowshoes would work best for you there are three main types of snowshoes snowshoes for flat terrain snowshoes for rolling mid-range terrain and then snowshoes that are mainly used for mountaineering and that kind of thing the flat terrain snowshoes are like in the name flat terrain not much elevation gain you're just kind of trudging through the snow taking in the scenery that kind of thing rolling terrain is probably what most hikers would want to go for that's gonna be your you know 500 feet elevation gain for a small like 6 mile hike just where you're going up and down but you're not like scaling a hill or an icy mountain of course the mountain terrain snowshoes would be for anything with significant elevation gain also icy terrain you're gonna want those mountaineering snowshoes next thing you want to think about is sizing there are two main types aluminum frame snowshoes and composite snowshoes so the aluminum frame snowshoes are the more popular ones the ones that you see in stores you know Costco sells snowshoes that are very popular because they're pretty good price those are going to be the aluminum frame snowshoes and I wrote it down here they do come in multiple sizes generally 8 by 25 inches 9 by 30 inches and 10 by 36 inches the composite snowshoes typically only come in one size and that's 8 by 22 inches the thing with the composite snowshoes are you can do add-ons that add on the tail so it does make them longer in the end when you have those add-ons the composites notions are more used for like the soft snow and the tail kind of helps you stay afloat when you're trying to find the size snowshoe that you think would work best for you there's some certain things to keep in mind you could just size by the load this would be your easiest way to size the snowshoe you basically just think about how heavy you are and how heavy your pack is so let's say just going for a day hike snowshoe trip you know you're gonna have 15 pounds or less and then your weight so the way to get your size your recommended size would be to just go to the MSR website or the REI website or whatever brand of snowshoe that you're thinking of buying and then look at the specs so if you're interested in a certain type of snowshoe let's say you flat terrain aluminum frame you've got that figured out and then you just look at the specs and the specs will tell you what load the snowshoe can carry it'll save maximum load that would be a really easy way to just get a simple pair of snowshoes if you want to get a little more technical with it you definitely can and that means sizing by snow conditions so for example if you live in Bend Oregon and you know you have very dry powder very fluffy snow you're definitely going to want a wider and bigger snowshoe that will keep you afloat on the fluffy snow if you're hiking in more wet icy conditions where the snow is not so lofty then you're gonna go with a smaller more narrow snowshoe with a more aggressive tread and I'll talk about the tread here in a second again keep in mind these specs whenever you're buying the snowshoe make sure that it can hold your weight as well as the weight of whatever pack you're carrying that's really important next we'll talk about the snowshoe frame and the decking so if you don't know what I'm talking about here I have a right here so the frame is obviously this part the decking is this colorful part the blue and the red so mine is made out of this part the red parts plastic the blue part feels like some sort of rubber material so that's what I'm talking about here so most snow shoes like I said before are an aluminum frame and it will have some sort of synthetic decking the decking is usually made out of some sort of nylon or hypalon material and that keeps the snowshoe really lightweight so it can float on top of the snow so the composite snowshoe that I was talking about earlier that is not an aluminum frame it's the composite frame and those generally have some sort of integrated hard decking and those aren't as lightweight but then again you can add that tail to the end which helps with floatation snowshoe bindings that's also something to think about and will vary again depending on the type of terrain that you're going in – so there's rotating or floating bindings and then there's fixed bindings so the rotating bindings have like a pivot point it's like under the balls of the feet so I'll show you right here so it'll pivot so mine are actually not floating mine are fixed bindings so the fixed binding you can see is just attached by the decking and it doesn't actually rotate that much so this is a fixed binding the floating binding or the rotating binding is more like a pivot point there's more movement and it allows you to climb more naturally up hills that's one of the good things about the rotating binding having the rotating binding it allows the snowshoe to kind of pivot more as you pick up your feet and it allows the snow to fall off the end more easily than on a fixed finding like this which makes the snowshoe lighter because the snow doesn't collect on your snow and can reduce fatigue in your legs and stuff when going so that's something to think about I think I would definitely go with a rotating binding rather than a fixed binding again so fixed binding is connected by a heavy-duty rubber or neoprene which like I said is this the pro with something like this is that it doesn't allow the snowshoe to fall as much when you pick up your foot like it kind of just stops there and this makes it easier to maneuver over down logs or stuff you might have to step over on the trail because you don't have you know this going all the way down so that's something to think about if you're going on trails that aren't grooved you may want a fixed finding next we'll talk about the various traction devices that go on the bottom of the snowshoe so all snowshoes come with some sort of teeth at the bottom you'll see that here so I have teeth on the pivot point and then two sets of teeth here towards the end toe or instep crampons is on the underside of the binding which that's this right here and it allows you to dig in and really climb if that's what you need so if you're getting a mountaineering snowshoe obviously these are going to be way more aggressive so they'll be longer more teeth longer teeth that kind of thing so the heel crampons those are these generally shaped in a v-shaped form they're nice to have especially when you're going downhill so that you don't slip especially in icy conditions this is generally the setup you'll see on most snowshoes unless you're going really specific then you'll see stuff like side rails which relies lateral stability so if you're crossing really steep slopes on like a side slope you you'll want those but again unless you're mountaineering or doing really backcountry stuff you're not going to need that same with the braking bars those would be somewhere right here and it's like if you're going down really steep again if you're mountaineering you'll you would want those so that you don't slide and then the heel lifts also known as climbing bars they kind of make the underside or the backside of the snowshoe higher so that when you're climbing you're not putting so much strain on your calf again those three things are really just Ferb if you're mountaineering and if you're mountaineering and you know nothing about snowshoes you probably should take a step back and just go for a simple three-mile snowshoe trip see if you still like it and last but not least just wanted to quickly talk about Footwear I know that was in the first hiking in winter video again if you are snowshoeing you want certain Footwear you're gonna want a waterproof boot preferably insulated you're gonna want really warm socks and the boot should have a pretty aggressive rubber sole so that it fits well into the snowshoe binding and it's not too flimsy that kind of thing those are really the fundamentals of the snowshoes things you want to look out for again I think it's really important to know what kind of terrain you're going to be snowshoeing in and then again just keep in mind the weight specs for the snowshoe I think those are if anything the two most important things to look at the rest I think is just I mean if you want to get really specific into snowshoeing so I just wanted to quickly show you mine mine are Tubbs snowshoes so they're made in the USA so I'll just show you these up close here so they have these bindings I'm not too crazy about these bindings because they don't have Clips so you kind of got a maneuver this by hand and tighten it by hand which can be annoying if your hand is frozen also these straps get frozen if they get covered in snow sometimes these can be really frozen cuz these are just like a nylon material so yeah keep that in mind if you see something with maybe a plastic strap that might be better and then here is the back so again this is not a very aggressive snowshoe I will say that but I haven't really ever been in a situation where I've slipped or anything like that I generally am doing the rolling terrain type of snowshoeing so not going up steep icy slopes otherwise this would not be aggressive enough another thing with something like this as you can see it kind of forms a box and what I found is that snow gets clumped in here and when snow and ice gets clumped in here it's really hard to get that out so if you find a snowshoe that maybe has more points and more teeth that will keep the snow from clumping into one place and again these little points it's not a lot but it's something yeah basically that's what these look like another thing I'd like to mention if you are going snowshoeing is snow parks so here in Oregon we have tons and tons of snow parks now the cool thing about snow parks rather than just going on a hiking trail and using your snowshoes is that the snow parks have designated trails for snow meaning that all of the trail markers are located really high up on the tree so that even when there's 610 feet of snow you can still see the trail and the trail markers so all of the maps are really high up all of the Blue Diamond blazes they're all high on the tree so the trails are really well marked if you are just going on a hiking trail keep in mind that you will probably not see trail markers and likely the signs for trail junctions and stuff will be covered with snow as well if you want to be safe and you're pretty new to snowshoeing I would stick to snow parks where you can see the trail another cool thing is that at a lot of snow parks especially the ones near ski resorts they are maintained so all of the tracks and stuff are maintained which makes snowshoeing so much easier if you don't have to blaze your own Trail if you're blazing your own trail it takes like triple the amount of energy and you'll go three miles and be tired so it is so helpful to have a nice trail already blazed in front of you and you can just enjoy the hike another awesome thing about snow parks is that they plow the parking lot so again if you're just going to a random hiking trail that you would like to snowshoe you'll run into that the parking lot is also full of snow so unless you have a car that is fine for going into you know three four feet of snow like a jeep or something and you probably won't even make it to the trailhead so that is another awesome thing about snow parks is that you can just drive right in to the trailhead and get geared up and go although if you are going to a snow park keep in mind that you do have to pay your Northwest forest 'passed does not cover snow parks it says on the back so you can buy an annual snow park pass and a snow park pass is required at snow parks from November 1st through April 30th and an annual pass costs $25 so if you're you know going multiple times during the winter and spring that is definitely something to invest in if not you can buy a day snow park pass for just $5 and you can get that at your local ranger station and at REI thank you so much for watching this hiking in winter series I hope you enjoyed if there are any other questions you have about hiking or recreative in the winter let me know and I could possibly do a part for if there is interest so let me know in the comments below if not I hope you have a very happy holiday and I will catch you on the next adventure

Hiking in Winter | Part 3 | Snowshoeing & Sno-parks in Oregon

13 thoughts on “Hiking in Winter | Part 3 | Snowshoeing & Sno-parks in Oregon

  • July 30, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    I hate heavy snowshoes I have an old pair of (Sherpa claws )they are so light!

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  • July 30, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    Get some at Costco they are great priceπŸ‘

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  • July 30, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    Thanks for the very informative video. I honestly haven't been snowshoeing since the late 1970s but still have my 25"x8" Sherpa aluminum snowshoes with a hypalon deck rotating bindings and crampons that were state of the art back then, and worked pretty well in West Side Cascade Concrete snow. I didn't use them very long because I switched to backcountry XC skis to learn, then metal edged Telemark and Randonee skis with climbing skins that took me anywhere snowshoes could, only much faster. A couple of things about snowshoes I learned though. I applied a thin coat of paraffin and sprayed silicone lubricant to the bottom of the crampons that helped reduce snow clumping up underneath. Also, at the Sno Parks, try to stay to the side of ski tracks because snowshoe tracks ruin both the traction and glide of ski trail tracks.
    Cheers!

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  • July 30, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    thanks for the information about the snow shoes…

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  • July 30, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    good video, a couple of items that I have learned over the years. One is to make sure your boot and binding combination is good. It takes a lot of fun out of the trip if you step out of snowshoe or snowshoes do not stay parallel. The second item is that ski poles make snowshoeing much more enjoyable, In good conditions ski poles helps to set rhythm of your walk, and in uneven conditions can help prevent some falls. Snowshoeing is one of our favorite winter activists.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    very interesting. i like your set-up, the tree and fireplace.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    I’m rewatching this with a notepad in hand. VERY helpful! Merry Christmas πŸŽ„

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  • July 30, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    Since you asked, I'd like to see your take on Altai HOK skis such as used by Susanne Williams compared to Siberian hunter skis as seen in Survival Russia and what would be most appropriate for the States in backcountry skis. Also Mors Kochansky has a bang up bushcraft solution for diy snow shoe/skis for emergencies. I would like to know what the US equivalent might be up in Oregon. And while we are at it what is the difference between pulks and pull sleds and what do we have available here. Happy Holidays.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    When I got my snowshoes for Christmas last year, we went to a local outfitter and they were very helpful in picking out the right ones for me.

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  • July 30, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    πŸŽ€πŸ‘’πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ’€πŸ’€β›„β„πŸŽ…πŸ’ͺ the wishes of a merry merry merry merry Christmas to you and your family happy of New Year's James KCMO good blog

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  • July 30, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    Aweome!!! I just bought my wife and I snow shoes for Christmas!!! Can't wait!!!!

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  • July 30, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    Thumbs up from me.

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