Trading in Skis for Snowshoes

MilliGFunk in Snowshoes When we came home from our Christmas ski trip to Austria, I returned my skis to the Army Outdoor Rec rentals office and asked about their snowshoe rentals. For $40 I could rent a pair for a week. We had almost ten inches of fresh snowfall, and I was chomping at the bit to get outside. I happily paid the $40 and loaded the snowshoes into my car.

I’d never snow shoed before, so I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing. Since I’ve done my fair share of hiking and skiing, though, I figured I’d have the clothing and general athletic skill I’d need not to get frostbite or break an arm.

In the 24 hours between renting the gear and heading out on the snowshoes for the first time, I had a few nervous moments. Would I look super-awkward clunking my way through the woods? Was it really a good idea to take Small Shaw out in the cold?

MilliGFunk Tries Snow ShoeingWhen it was time to go out, I dressed Small Shaw, got myself into ski clothes (but with a lighter-weight jacket than I wear skiing), and put her into the Ergo Baby. I hiked the mile or so to the forest, carrying snowshoes in one hand and poles in the other, wearing the baby on my front.

The trickiest part of show shoeing was getting my feet into the snowshoes while wearing Small Shaw. There I was, alone at the edge of the woods, bending over with an 18 pound baby in a snowsuit between my snowshoes and me. It was doable, but not easy.

The next two hours were awesome: It was cold. It was beautiful. It was quiet. It was peaceful. I was getting a great workout in while cuddling Small Shaw and talking to her about show and trees. Those next two hours made me want to move to rural Colorado ski country when Nick retires from the Army so that I can snowshoe all winter long. I loved it.

Snow Shoeing in the Quiet Winter WoodsDo you like pushing yourself beyond what’s comfortable? Do you like trying new things? I know how much I enjoy those things, but I’m not sure if other people do, too. I’d love to hear your thoughts; either on snowshoeing or on trying new things — or both. Will you leave a comment?

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  1. Just found you blogs. You are a wonderful writer and adventurer! Will make this a favorite. We arrived in Wiesbaden almost 2 weeks ago. Definitely want to trade in skis (both downhill and cross country) for snowshoes, so glad to know we can rent them from Outdoor Rec. My husband is retired Army and now working with DOD – we were in Germany 30 years ago and fell in love with it. I will check your blogs when we want something new to do! Thanks! (Question: What shoes did you wear with the snow shoes? Hiking boots? Snow boots? We have neither currently, but will invest.) Best cross country skiing we did was out of the Hotel Plattig in the Black Forest. Not even sure it is still there, but check it out. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you so much, Pat! Welcome to Wiesbaden – I hope you’re enjoying it so far. I tried snowshoeing in two different kinds of shoes: hiking boots and snot boots. Each had pros, and each had cons. I liked the arch support of the hikers, but they wouldn’t have been good in super-deep snow, since they’re only just above the ankle. The snow boots were warm and kept the snow out, but because they didn’t have laces, I ended up with a bit of a hot spot on one of my heels where they rubbed up and down as I walked. I hope this helps, and that you keep coming back to the blog. Enjoy your (second) time in Germany, and congratulations on your husband’s retirement!

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