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Enjoying the Snowy Outdoors: How to Safely Snowshoe the Winter Wilderness

Posted on January 10th, 2024

by Sal

Guest Article written by Sal from Nature of Sal


Love snow? Can’t wait for it to hit? Well, buckle up for a guide on keeping it cool and safe while having a blast in the snowy wonder!

Let’s kick off with some not-so-well-known stuff you should know if you’re up for hiking in the snow (or planning a snowshoeing escapade):


Mandatory Winter Tires:

    • In many spots, especially on highways and closer to the mountains, you gotta roll with winter tires, AllSeason rubber, or keep a set of snow chains in the trunk.


ARVA Kit – Your Winter Guardian:

Starting January 1, 2022, it’s mandatory to carry an ARVA Kit in Italy. This kit includes a transceiver, probe, and shovel. The law is a bit like abstract art – open to interpretation. Mostly, it’s a must where there’s a hint of an avalanche, real or theoretical. Skip it, and you might end up with a hefty 100€ to 150€ fine.

Check out this ARVA-Kit:


Checklist for Snowshoeing:

1. Clothing:
Embrace a practical layering strategy for snowy conditions – initiate with a moisture-wicking base, layer on insulating mid-layers, and conclude with a waterproof outer shell. Additionally, don gaiters to shield the space between your boots and pants, keeping snow out. Ensure your socks are warm and well-fitting, opt for wool or synthetic materials, and carry an extra pair for potential wetness. Equip yourself with waterproof and insulated gloves or mittens; consider adding liners for supplementary warmth and protection. Complete your attire with a hat covering your ears and a neck gaiter or balaclava for facial coverage. These essentials aid in heat retention and prevent frostbite.

2. Accessories:
Enhance your experience by bringing along some accessories for added enjoyment and safety. Here are some examples:

– Sunglasses or goggles that shield your eyes from the sun and snow glare. You can also apply sunscreen and lip balm to prevent sunburn and chapping.

– Opt for a backpack that can accommodate all your gear and supplies. Select a comfortable and durable pack with enough space and compartments tailored to your needs. Alternatively, you can use a sled to transport your gear if you prefer.

3. Winter-Ready Footwear:
Step into winter with snug, waterproof boots. Aim for a balance of chic and practicality, ensuring your winter adventures are both comfortable and stylish.

4. Snowshoes – Your Practical Companions:
Select your snowshoes thoughtfully. They’re your reliable companions for navigating diverse terrains. Avoid unexpected tumbles in the snow by making a sensible choice.

5. Poles:
Poles help you balance, steer, and propel yourself on the snow. They also reduce the stress on your knees and ankles. You can use ski poles or trekking poles with snow baskets, which are wider than regular baskets and prevent the poles from sinking in the snow.

6. Tech-Savvy Navigation:
Equip yourself for snowy landscapes with technology. Whether it’s a map, compass, or GPS, these tools are your allies in navigating the winter wilderness efficiently.

7. Hydration and Nutrition – Winter Essentials:
Combat the cold with warm drinks from a reliable thermos. Pack high-energy snacks to conquer snowy peaks with enthusiasm, focusing on practicality rather than extravagant fuel.

8. Emergency Preparedness:
Your emergency kit is your winter safety net. Include first aid essentials, a multi-tool, and a flashlight – all neatly packed to handle any unexpected turns in your winter adventure.

9. Weather Awareness:
Stay informed about the weather conditions. Regularly check forecasts, stay flexible with plans, and embrace the enchantment of winter in the most favorable conditions.

You can also find a full, interactive checklist for your winter hike here.

For a safe and comfortable experience in the snow, it’s essential to equip yourself with the right gear, knowledge, and attitude. Whether you’re into hiking or snowshoeing, this guide will ensure you’re well-prepared with everything you need.


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