So, you’ve decided to take on snowshoeing as your new outdoor activity. Good for you! Snowshoeing is an exciting way to explore the backcountry, that’s fun, easy, and (most of time), rewarding. It’s great for all ages and abilities. Though, we can guarantee no matter your age or ability, your first-time snowshoeing probably went, or will go, something like this:
1. “Well, I look ridiculous.”
The first time you strap on snowshoes just looks crazy ridiculous. When you’re at the store looking at yourself in the mirror before you make your purchase, you’re really hoping your ex doesn’t walk into the store at the same time.
2. “Okay, the others look ridiculous, too, so I’m good.”
Well, once you get out on the trail, snowshoes strapped on and ready to go, it won’t be long until you look around you and feel like you “belong.” If you go with a group snowshoeing, you won’t be the only one standing there, looking strange in your snowshoes. You’ll start to feel a little bit better.
3. “Umm…well this is a little awkward. Yup, still ridiculous.”
Then, you start walking. Hopefully, you’ve practiced a few times, and it’s not ALL completely unfamiliar. But, once you get moving, you may have a little trouble getting your balance or maneuvering your feet. Just as you’ve gotten over that awkwardness, it kicks in again. Darn!
4. “I feel like a badass explorer right now!”
Alright, now you’re moving. You’ve gotten the hang of it, and you’re trotting along the trail like an expert. Suddenly, you have visions of the Native Americans in front of you, who designed these snowshoes (only then, they looked more like tennis rackets). You feel like nothing you can touch you, and you’re on your way to discover uncharted land.
5. “Am I doing this right?”
Back to reality. You’re not a badass explorer now. You’re just an ordinary snowshoe-er trying to make it through this trek. You still think you got the feel of what you’re doing, but you’re starting to question whether or not you’ve been doing it right this whole time. And, why does everyone else make it look so easy?
6. “Oh, gosh. What do I do if a bear comes?”
You’ve been so focused on getting your snowshoe moves right, you’ve practically forgotten that you were outdoors to begin with. It’s come to your attention that learning how to walk in your snowshoes has been hard enough. Running, however, would be a whole different story.
7. “Maybe I need a rest.”
Those legs have been working hard. We all know snowshoeing is a great workout. But, oh my goodness, your legs literally can’t take it anymore. Maybe you’ll just sit and rest for a little. Oh, wait…that means it’s going to take a lot longer before you can take these things off.
8. “Wow, I’m actually getting it!”
You don’t need to rest! You’ve got this thing! You think…
9. “Why is everyone ahead of me?”
You were so proud of yourself for a moment. You had the hang of it. Things were moving along just fine. You were smiling and snowshoeing away. But then you look up and notice that everyone seems to be way ahead of you (even if they are just a few feet away) and the struggle is real again.
10. (Makes it to the end of the trail) “THAT WAS AWESOME.”
Before you know it, you’re at the end of your trek. You’ve made it. Time to take the snowshoes off and take a load off. You evaluate what just happened. It was hard. It was a little painful. At times, you didn’t know if you would make it. But, you know what? IT WAS AWESOME, and you would gladly do it again!
So, what thoughts did you have the first time you went snowshoeing?