Snowshoe Day-Hiking Checklist
To determine what you need to bring for a snowshoeing day outing, think about how far you plan to travel, how remote the location is and what the weather forecast has in store. In general, the longer and/or more remote the trip is and the more inclement the weather, the more clothing, gear, food and water you’re going to want. If you’re just getting into snowshoeing, be sure to read our Beginners Guide to Snowshoeing article before you head out.
How to Use This Checklist
Use this handy checklist while you’re getting your gear and supplies together to make sure you don’t forget anything important. Here are some notes on how to best use this list:
- This checklist is deliberately comprehensive and intended for day trips in the backcountry where being self-sufficient is key to your well-being.
- The list includes many more items than you’re likely to need for short treks in or near developed resort areas, though you can adapt it to your needs for these trips.
- Items that are part of the Ten Essentials are marked by an asterisk (*). The exact items you take can be tailored to your trip based on considerations such as weather, difficulty, duration and distance from help. To learn more, see our article on the Ten Essentials.
- Print out the PDF version for easy use at home.
Snowshoes are the most important gear for your trek. The correct size for you depends on your weight, as well as the anticipated terrain and snow conditions. Learn more about choosing snowshoes.
Clothing & Footwear
Check the forecast and make sure to dress for the conditions. Dress in non-bulky layers, so you can adjust as you heat up and when you cool down at rest stops. To be prepared for changing weather or an unplanned night out, pack extra clothes * beyond those required for the trip.
Food & Water
In the winter, you need more food and water to help you maintain warmth. Take snacks like energy bars, jerky and nuts that you can eat easily on the go. A sandwich (or two) is also fine. Be wary of things that might freeze (like gels) or become rock-hard and difficult to eat easily.
For water, start with two-plus liters per person for the day, but adjust the amount depending on length and intensity of the tour, weather conditions, your age, sweat rate and body type.
Navigation * is one of the Ten Essentials. The type of trip you’re taking and your personal preferences will determine exactly which items you’ll bring.
Emergency & First Aid
Optional: (for trips away from resorts that do regular avalanche control, you'll also need to take classes to learn how to use these items)
Health & Hygiene
Tools & Repair Items
Day Tour Extras
* These items are part of the Ten Essentials systems. The exact items you take for each system can be tailored to your trip based on considerations such as weather, difficulty, duration and distance from help. To learn more, see our article on the Ten Essentials.