How to start snowshoeing?

In ancient times, snowshoeing was the only way people travelled in winter. Today it is one of the most popular snow sports.

Have you ever tried snowshoeing?

If you haven’t gotten to know snowshoeing yet, you’re probably wondering why to go with snow shoes. Here are some reasons:

  • Snowshoeing is a great winter activity: If you’re looking for a way to stay in shape even when the snow falls, snowshoeing is a great low-impact aerobic exercise. Snowshoeing will extend your hiking season, especially if there is a bit more snow falls. In winter conditions, you can walk through the landscape, which is heavily overgrown and more difficulty to access in the summer months.
  • Snowshoeing is an excellent social sport: the whole family can enjoy this sport together. It is suitable for all age groups and more and less demanding athletes.
  • Affordable: if the prices of ski equipment and ski lifts are considered very high, snow-shoeing is affordable. Necessary snowshoeing equipment includes snow-shoes, warm hiking clothing and waterproof footwear; trekking poles are also recommended piece of equipment, but not required. You can also rent snowshoes from one of the agencies that offer guided snowshoe tours in the Slovenian mountains.
  • Snowshoeing requires only a few basic techniques: Few outdoor activities are as beginner-friendly as snowshoeing. If you intend to leave easy trails, you will need to learn how to climb and descend hills, cross slopes, use trekking poles, how to get up when you fall into deep snow, how to avoid and to prepare for avalanches. With a well-trained guide, you will acquire some basic techniques and skills.

What do you need for snowshoeing?

Here is some “basic” equipment for your first snowshoeing:

  • Snow shoes suitable for your weight, terrain and snow conditions;
  • Appropriate warm and waterproof hiking footwear,
  • Dress in layers. Wear clothing suitable for cold and wet winter conditions.
  • Adjustable hiking poles suitable for snow (there should be winter shoes for hiking poles on the tips).

In ancient times, snowshoeing was the only way people could travelled in winter.

Where is the suitable terrain for snowshoeing?

Here are some ideas about where the ground is suitable for walking with snowshoes. If you’re starting, consider the following:

  • Go on your first snowshoeing tour accompanied by an experienced guide;
  • Enroll in a snowshoeing course (courses are available for learning snowshoeing techniques and avalanche safety);
  • A well-maintained cross-country ski track is a very suitable ground for beginners. Check if snowshoeing is allowed on the cross-country ski track. For the use of cross-country skiing trails you have to bay ticket.
  • Nature and city parks. Some parks have organized and marked hiking trails. Maybe start by going to the park and taking your first steps with snowshoes;
  • Forests and forest clearings: In winter, forests have a particularly magical appearance. There are many well-maintained hiking trails in forest, which are perfectly suitable for beginners.

Read also: Basic techniques of walking with snow-shoes.


Explore Slovenia, Julian Alps, Hiker in Vršič