Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ten Tips for Snowshoeing With Kids

Every year we go snowshoeing with our kids. We own our own snowshoes and hike in the Provincial Park so it is free. This year, we experienced the most beautiful snow we have seen up there – it was gorgeous!  About ten minutes into our snowshoe, I asked Koen how much energy he had and he said 88% left. Thirty seconds later he gave me an update: 23%. Snowshoeing is always an adventure for our family and that is mostly in regards to our kids' attitudes as it's cold, they are in different clothing, and it takes a few minutes to get used to walking in snowshoes. 

Before heading out into the wilderness always be sure to tell someone else your plan (route and return time) and have a map and emergency supplies with you. Emergency supplies include an emergency blanket, food, water, flashlight and matches. 

My tips for snowshoeing with kids:

1. Arrive early for a good parking spot so you don't have to spend too long getting the trail head. 

We usually aim to arrive at 9 am.

2.  Give the older kids their own backpacks and hydration packs if you have them.

Then you won't be opening your backpack every five minutes to get them water.

3. Pack snacks.

It takes a lot of energy to snowshoe so make sure to have snack breaks! 

4. Wear layers. 

You never know what the conditions will be like; toques and gloves are a must.  Snow pants aren't necessary (temperature dependent) and rain pants work just fine over a warm base layer. 

5. Have a giant bin for all of your clothes in the trunk .

Once you are done you can toss all of the wet stuff in there. Be sure to pack some extra dry socks in case someone's boots aren't completely waterproof and it always feels good to put on different shoes afterwards.

6. Be flexible and choose a simple route.

You might envision getting to the peak but making it just halfway to the lake is okay too.  Let them slide down the hills or write their names in the snow. It's more about the journey which I remind myself of frequently.

7. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate!

We have ours once we're done – it's the perfect way to warm up and celebrate!

8.  Take a carrier for kids four and under.

They can get out and run around in their boots on the trail but I do find it is difficult for younger kids to "get" snowshoeing. 

9.  Bring a hiking pole.  

Our six-year-old found that it helped him up hills and when he didn't use it, Gary used it as a selfie stick for his GoPro.

10.  Make sure to wear comfortable waterproof boots.  

One year we made the mistake of putting Koen in boots he hadn't worn before and when the blisters came, the snowshoeing was no longer fun.

{"Snow is my favourite season" said Nya}

I hope that no matter where you are that you have the chance to enjoy some snowy goodness! Have you gone snowshoeing before?


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Would you like to go snowshoeing with your kids? It's an affordable winter activity that is good for all ages! Here are ten tips to make it go smoothly.