Everything you need to know about Backcountry Snowshoeing

Backcountry snowshoeing is just about the most useful and versatile means of travel in the winter backcountry of snowy climates. While they aren’t as fast as cross-country skis, snowshoes allow you to get through almost any environment, whether a thick forest with underbrush or a rocky mountainside. Where a winter hiker would sink into postholes and struggle in deep, soft powder, snowshoers would allow you to float along.

Excellent gear for winter backcountry exploration can be found in our Crescent Moon snowshoes and accessories. Here are some fundamental pointers for engaging in this type of snowshoeing responsibly and securely. A snow shovel and knowledge of how to use it to construct a snow shelter are also essential. Snowshoers heading into mountainous areas should also pack.

Everything you need to know about Backcountry Snowshoeing

The winter season is a great time to learn about new places and gain insight into those you’ve already explored. You shouldn’t let the weather stop you! We can go on and off the beaten path when we go snowshoeing. However, some distinct difficulties can arise when snowshoeing in the backcountry. Seven rookie blunders are listed below, along with some backcountry snowshoeing advice to help you avoid them. You have a few essentials when planning a day trip into the backcountry for snowshoeing.

Not Starting Small:

Many first-time backcountry adventurers on snowshoes opt for a long journey into the wilderness. However, this is a common rookie error in the wilderness. Instead, take it slow and easy, as backcountry winters can be unpredictable and challenging. Backcountry travel in deep snow, a common occurrence there, is more physically demanding. You must get ready! Start with a shorter, more manageable hike of 1-2 miles to gauge your fitness and preparedness before taking a ten-mile journey. If you’ve never been snowshoeing before, it’s best to ease into it.

Snowshoeing on a well-traveled path makes it easier to locate the trail. However, a compass and map are necessities for safe snowshoeing in the backcountry. Having them isn’t enough; you must also know how to use them. Bringing a GPS device into the backcountry on snowshoes is another alternative you might want to look into. Snow can obscure a trail visible in the summer, making snowshoeing more of a winter sport. A snowstorm can also obscure any landmarks you might be used for orientation.

Naturally, winter is chillier than summer. If you’ve only ever participated in outdoor activities during the warmer months, you might want to consider purchasing some winter gear to stay warm and dry (see mistake 5). Snowshoes with a superior traction system, such as the MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes, are highly recommended for use in the backcountry. Theel and side traction are all possible components of a high-tech traction system. A heel bar on many snowshoes can be used to gain traction on steep inclines.

Beginner’s Guide To Backcountry Snowshoeing:

People are drawn to the wilderness by the promise of adventure and the allure of isolation from civilization. While exploring the backcountry, away from the safety of the resorts, can be an exhilarating experience, it must be undertaken with caution. Here are a few pointers for novice backcountry explorers. Many things can go wrong when you’re out in the backcountry, and there won’t be anyone around to help you except the people you came with. It is crucial to be aware of the terrain you will be in.

Understanding The Risks:

There is no lodging, bar, or waiting in line for the lifts when you’re out in the backcountry. You’re skiing outside a ski area’s boundaries or in an undeveloped area. (Are you uncertain of where exactly these limits are? Before your trip, ensure you’re familiar with any land-use regulations that may apply in the area. No ski patrol is present, either. In the wilderness, you and your friends are alone with the elements to see how well you can handle yourself.


Snowshoeing is a great activity to do on its own in the backcountry, and it works particularly well on undulating terrain. When someone in charge blazes a path, it’s much simpler for everyone to follow. You can use snowshoes as part of a 2-stage strategy for exploring the backcountry. In this case, you would load your backpack with a board and snowshoes before beginning your ascent. Some models of snowshoes have heel lifters to aid in ascending inclines. Changing your equipment at the peak will allow you.

Snowboards And Splitboards:

To get to the top of the mountain and ride down again, traditional snowboards can be used in conjunction with snowshoes, as was mentioned earlier. Splitboards are another option that is gaining in popularity. These split-boards, essentially modified snowboards, allow riders to bypass the lifts and head straight into the backcountry. Their ascent resemblance to skis is enhanced by adding skins (discussed further below) to the underside of the board. Put the board together and ride the power back home when you get there.

One of the most important aspects of backcountry snowshoeing is being prepared to navigate the unfamiliar terrain of the snowy wilderness. The snowpack can make it difficult to stay on a designated backcountry trail, even if you’re trying to follow it, so it’s important to know how to keep on course and find your way back to the map if you wander off. Before venturing out on longer or more remote routes, ensure you’re comfortable using your topographic map and compass (taking bearings, understanding contour lines, etc.).

Bring Along Wilderness Emergency Essentials:

Snowshoeing in the front country can be done in a day if you have the right gear, but even if you’re going for a short distance, you should still bring a pack with the necessities of winter wilderness travel. You must be prepared to stay warm and safe outdoors if you get lost for a while, nightfall sets in or a winter storm suddenly break out. There should be a first aid kit, additional food and water, and spare insulation layers.

6 Beginner Tips For Backcountry Snowshoeing:

During the colder months, you can enjoy the outdoors and the snow by going backcountry snowshoeing. Aerobic exercise in the open air is another benefit. Furthermore, you probably expend more energy than you realize because you raise your legs higher than normal walking or running. Similarly enjoyable and manageable is snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is similar to walking, albeit with larger footwear, once you get the hang of putting them on your feet. The sensation of snowshoeing can take some getting used to because you are walking wider.

Know The Terrain And Snow Conditions:

Before heading out on your snowshoes, it’s important to assess the terrain, snow type, and snow depths. To find “powder” or newly fallen snow, you should look for it. For snowshoeing in the wilderness, that’s the ideal snow. Snowshoeing is best done in at least 10 to 12 inches of snow (when you start to sink in the snow). Your chances of success improve with adequate snow depth and quality. Snowshoeing doesn’t require special equipment or trail passes as skiing does, and it’s free if you’re doing it.


If you’ve never been snowshoeing before, it’s best to ease into it with shorter, easier excursions in shallow snow. You can get used to the colder weather by engaging in some winter hiking practice. Once you’ve gotten the hang of winter hiking and are confident completing shorter treks, the pressure of backcountry snowshoeing in challenging conditions will lessen. The more prepared you are for backcountry snowshoeing, the more fun you will have and the less.


What are backcountry snowshoes?

These snowshoes are designed for more strenuous off-trail adventures since they are the most technically advanced snowshoes on the market.

Is backcountry snowshoeing good exercise?

Snowshoeing offers significant health benefits, despite lacking the adrenaline rush of snowboarding or skiing. Excellent cardiovascular exercise.

Is snowshoeing better than walking?

Calories burned while snowshoeing can be up to 45% higher than while walking or running at the same pace. Among other things, this is because of work.