Top 6 Things to Take on a Snowshoeing Trek

Before venturing outside for your first snowshoeing adventure, there are a few things that you may want to consider taking along with you.

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Here they are:

1. Backpack with Hydration System

I recommend that you don a large, waterproof and wind resistant backpack that includes an insulated hydration system. You will undoubtedly find it helpful when it comes to staying hydrated and storing your equipment.

2. Avalanche Survival Kit

I wouldn't think of beginning a snowshoeing trip without packing an avalanche survival kit—and neither should you. A basic one should include a collapsible avalanche probe, an avalanche beacon, glow sticks and a portable snow shovel. You may want to add a snow saw too.

3. Snowshoe Repair Kit

A repair kit is also critical to have just in case your snowshoes break during your walk. I'd suggest that your repair kit include duct tape, spare grommets, wire and zip ties. The duct tape may be used to repair broken bindings. The wire and zip ties are superlative for securing the snowshoe's decking back onto its frame.

4. First Aid Kit

Speaking of kits, I'd be remiss not to suggest that you consider packing a first aid kit. A basic first aid kit should at least contain a packet of aspirin or other pain relieving drug, a topical antiseptic, gauze dressings, trauma pads, a triangular sling, compression bandage, utility shears, petroleum jelly and assorted bandages. Instead of assembling a kit with items from the drug store, you may want to purchase one. In my experience, it is a more cost effective option in the long run. You can typically find kits online for less than $80.

5. Warmers, Spare Clothes and Personal Care Items

Hand and body warmers tend to come in handy during a long trek in the snow, as does an extra fleece shirt, neck gaiter and glove liners. I like to have the warmers for obvious reasons, and the extra clothes are helpful in case the temperatures drop more than I had expected. Personal care items like Chap Stick and a small bottle of lotion usually make it into my backpack as well.

6. Snacks

I don't know about you, but snowshoeing in the wilderness has a way of making me hungry. I am also prone to an energy slumps at times, so I like to pack a few complex carbohydrate-rich snacks. This way I can satisfy my hunger and provide my body with the additional energy it needs to finish my snowshoeing journey. Therefore, you may want to pack some granola bars.

My family enjoys winter sports and we have been snowshoeing.

More from this contributor:

Couple's Guide to Snowshoeing at Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Pleasantville, New York

Where to Rent and Buy Snowshoes in the Poconos

Family's Guide to Snowshoeing at High Point State Park in New Jersey

Where to Go Snow Tubing in the Hudson Valley

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Updated Monday, Nov 21, 2011