Snowshoe accessories. Your key to a great day on the shoes!

“A champion is one who gets up when he can't.”

Jack Dempsey

Snowshoe accessories are really the most important part of the snowshoe sport.

When you think of it, apart from jumping upon the frame from a great height or getting run over by a car, there’s not too many things to wrong with to-days frames. The same goes for the snowshoe binding. Unless you opt to purchase cheap gear that is, then you are just asking for trouble.

That has been our experience over the years. Irma and I started out buying cheap camping equipment. Wow did we get a lesson. Then, after many disappointments we made the decision to buy only well tested, well designed snowshoe accessories and our problems were solved.

When you think of it, the outdoor environment is much tougher than a comfortable home. Here is a story of how poor equipment can make your life miserable. Why not be happy in snowshoe paradise.

My two good friends, Bill and Obie, agreed with me we should hike from a place called Meat Cove on the northern tip of cape Breton Island to Pleasant Bay, a distance of 25 miles give or take. We decided to hike it without a trail (there was a small one available) traveling on a zigzag course.

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I had purchased an inexpensive pair of hiking boots. Genuine leather no less. I gave them a good coat of waterproofing and we set out on the hike. By the time we reached our jump off point it was pouring rain. Within an hour my boots were soaked. Worst still, the boots developed a crease across my forefoot that dug into my big toe base every step I took.

The rain let up late in day two but my boots continued to kill my feet.

At the end of our five day hike my foot had a big hole worn in the base of the big toe that took at least a month to heal.

If you want to enjoy the great outdoors for many years, the best equipment and snowshoe accessories will, in the long run be the cheapest overall as they will outlast the cheap stuff many times over. Snowshoe accessories are very important. Good boots. Gor-tex gaiters. Warm socks. If you look at the photos in travel brochures you may see photos of snowshoer’s traveling along with shoes hardly breaking the surface of the snow. It only stands to reason that a snowshoe this size is going to sink deeper than one of the older styles as pictured at the top of this page. Be prepared to work in the deeper snow. It has been our experience that in normal snow, you may sink about a foot. And that’s on a good day. The person breaking trail is going to have a tough time keeping the feet dry unless they have good waterproof gear. The Gor-tex gaiters are very good at keeping the snow out. Need to step off the shoes? No problem with the gaiters. Perfect for X-country skiing as well. They are on the top of the list of our snowshoe accessories. Even around camp they provide lots of comfort.

Our best advice to would be snowshoers, get equipped with the good stuff. You’ll never be sorry.

Snowshoe boots are a must for the avid enthusiast. Warmth, comfort, fit and wear are the reasons you must have good boots. Yes, you may use hiking boots but they have their limitations. Feet cool off very quickly once you stop.

A warm pair of socks, especially if they are moisture resistance, will keep your feet cozy and warm without the dampness. Buy a good pair and keep them just for snowshoeing. One of the better snowshoe accessories we can think of.

In winter, the sun reflecting off the snow can do double damage to your skin and eyes. Ordinary glasses do not cover the sides like these glasses do. I bought a pair of these glasses ($40.) six years ago. I must have hundreds of hours on them. Dropped them many times, bumped them, squeezed them and they are still as good as the day I bought them. They cut the rays beautifully. Very tough. A wonderful item to add to your snowshoe accessories.

Ever wonder how to keep your feet warm? Wear a good cap and you will solve the problem. Heat escapes through the top of your head. Cover it and stay warm all day. This style has a small visor for keeping the sun from your eyes.

Almost as important as the cap are the gloves. Again, Gor-tex will keep you hands dry and the lining will keep them warm.

Layering your clothing will keep you comfortable. Wear clothes that are easy to take off along the trail. Stuff a big sweater in a day pack to don while stopped. Remember, the body cools down very quickly in the cold.

We hope this advice on buying snowshoe accessories has been helpful to you.

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