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Want to Be More Active in Winter? You Can Learn Snowshoeing Basics in One Fun Day

Got cabin fever? Hiking doesn’t have to be a spring-through-fall activity in cold-winter locales. Just strap on some snowshoes and go.

Last weekend, I joined the REI Outdoor School on one of their Intro to Snowshoeing classes in Southern California’s San Jacinto State Park (yes, there’s decent snow high in the mountains of Southern California, even in this drier-than-normal winter).

On the agenda: a fun 6 hours or so of learning and snowshoeing.


Gene, one of our REI Outdoor School instructors, leads us across a snowy meadow.

Most of my classmates had never been on snowshoes before but were eager to learn. As we introduced ourselves at the start of the class, the common theme was that everyone already loved being outdoors—snowshoeing was seen as a way to expand their outdoor repertoire.

REI Outdoor School instructors Michael (shown at right) and Gene (shown above) first taught us the parts of a snowshoe and how to strap snowshoes onto your boots. Everyone did so successfully, but before the next rule could be delivered—don’t try to walk backwards wearing snowshoes!—one of our classmates took the first tumble of the day. Oops.

Conveniently enough, that led to the next “learning moment,” that of how to stand back up after falling.

And so the day went. The snowy mountains were beautiful in the sunshine. Smiles were plentiful. Lessons included how to walk up and down hills, traverse hills, follow Leave No Trace principles and practice a bit of basic navigation skills. A lunch stop allowed us to rest tired muscles while refueling for the walk back.

All in all, it was an enjoyable and informative outing. My classmates agreed that we would all want to go snowshoeing again sometime.


Want to give it a try? Check out an REI Outdoor School class (click on your region or by activity to review their class schedule). Or, you can also learn about snowshoeing online via the REI Expert Advice article, Snowshoeing: First Steps.

Shopping for snowshoes? Check out our cool new video:

If you are a fan of snowshoeing, how did you get started?

Posted on at 1:15 PM

Tagged: REI Outdoor School, Snowshoeing and snowsports

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Sweet Smile

Nice Blog

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Sweet Smile

Blog is nice


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