A while back, an elderly snowshoeing couple went missing in Nevada when a blizzard hit. They ended up lost in white-out conditions. Thankfully, they were rescued before things took a turn for the worse. They were able to dial 911 from the ski area and unlike many others who have found themselves in similar positions, they were luckily rescued and made their way out.
So, who knew that snowshoeing could be so dangerous? Well, anything can be dangerous, really. Walking across the street can present dangers, too. Snowshoeing is overall a safe sport. But, there are certain things you need to look out for.
Like any winter activity, bad weather is something you need to always be watching out for. There’s always a chance of an avalanche or a blizzard hitting, as well as freezing temperatures. If you’re one of those people who tends to snowshoe for long distances, you can find yourself in quite a pickle if the weather is unpredictable or on the verge of changing.
Stay Safe: It goes without saying that you should always check the weather before you head out. That being said, you really never know what could happen. Therefore, have a plan to stop at a base every so often throughout your snowshoeing trek so that you can find shelter if the weather gets bad.
Weather can be one factor that causes people to get lost. However, it doesn’t always take a snowstorm to displace people out in the backcountry. And, whether you’ve got snowshoes on your feet or not, going deep into the outdoors on a trek can always put you at risk of getting lost. Though, getting lost when the weather is not really conducive to spending extended time without shelter, can be very dangerous.
Stay Safe: One of the best ways to avoid getting lost is to simply stick to the trail. This can obviously be harder when you’re snowshoeing and the ground is covered with snow. Though, most parks or resorts that are designed for this activity will make it easy for your to navigate your way.
Though it’s not as likely to happen with snowshoeing as it is with other outdoor activities, one of the dangers of snowshoeing involves putting you at risk for injury. As we know, snowshoeing puts a lot of strain on your feet, ankles, and leg muscles overall. Doing too much at once without being physically prepared can, unfortunately, cause you to lay off the snowshoes for many seasons to come.
Stay Safe: Baby steps. If you’ve never gone snowshoeing before, don’t hike a massive backcountry trail without building up your strength, first. Use snowshoeing poles to help take the pressure off your feet, and make sure you stretch before your hike. Also, make sure you have supportive hiking boots to go into your even more supportive snowshoes.
Though there are certain dangers to be aware of while snowshoeing, don’t let it stop you from getting out there and having fun!