Activity 29/150

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is the act of walking through deep snow wearing webbed ‘shoes’ that prevent the snowshoer’s feet from sinking into the deep snow.

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Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

History
Snowshoes are used in all indigenous cultures in Canada, although very little by the Inuit. The design varied widely, different snowshoe shapes reflect regional diversity as well as their function for travelling across various types of snowy landscapes. Some are designed for easy maneuvering in tight forested spaces, others for long-distance travel in the subarctic. Given Canada’s prevalence for snow, snowshoeing is now a recreational pastime for those who like hiking all year round.
 

Where
Snowshoeing is best enjoyed in deep snow in forested areas in the Canadian north. An abundance of snow allows the snowshoer to truly experience the feeling of ‘floating’ on snow.

How to play
Snowshoeing is like walking or running on snow. To enjoy this winter activity, pick a pair of snowshoes that is appropriate for the depth of snow and speed you wish to travel. There are touring snowshoes designed for deep powder or here are lighter, smaller snowshoes that work well on packed down trails and in light snow. Finally, there are racing snowshoes that are streamlined and tailored for running through the snow. For any of these styles of snowshoeing, poles can come in handy for stability and climbing.

Suggested equipment
- Snowshoes
- Hats and mitts
- Winter clothing
- Poles

Adaptations
Physical activity in Canada includes everyone, regardless of any ability or circumstance. Some sports and activities may, however, require a few adaptations to make them as accessible as possible. Below you’ll find recommendations and suggestions on how to accommodate individuals that may have limitations or different needs. With a positive attitude and a little ingenuity, any activity can be made enjoyable for all.

Sensory

Very little modifications need to be done to enjoy snowshoeing for an individual who has a sensory limitation. Ensure that communication methods are established. Use ski poles for balance if desired. Snowshoe with a friend and enjoy!

Learning/Cognitive Disabilities

Snow shoe with a friend. Pick the terrain that suits the participant’s needs. Adjust the distance of the activity or if desired, take a hike in the snow without using snow shoes.

Mobility Limitation

Individuals with a mobility limitation may wish to use ski poles for balance. Choose a short course with a flat terrain. Consider changing the activity to sit skiing or using a snow sled.

Benefits of Snowshoeing

The Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines outline the amount and type of physical activity you need at every age and stage of life. And, for the first time, the new 24-hour Movement Guidelines for Children & Youth also include sleep. Following the guidelines will help reduce the risk of chronic disease, lead to a more focused mind, a stronger, fitter body, and all in all, a more enjoyable life.

See Benefits and Guidelines

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CONTACT
Michelle Murray
Communications Coordinator