Adventure, gear and clothing, hacks, Kids, organization, Travel Tips, winter sports

Snowshoeing with Kids

snowshoeing with kids

Do you have snow on the ground yet? We’re lucky to live very close to the mountains, so even though you can see the grass at home, it’s just a short drive to this winter wonderland.

snowshoeing with kids

We were in a rush getting out this morning, and we didn’t pack what we should have to make our snowshoe hike enjoyable. About halfway through our trudge along the snowy trail, I pulled a muscle pretty badly and had to hobble back to the car.

A sad end to the day, especially because snowshoeing is one of my all-time favorite activities. The injury is already healing, but it is a gentle reminder for me to be a bit more prepared when adventuring outdoors. With that in mind, I thought I’d share some tips for snowshoeing with kids – in your backyard and beyond.

snowshoeing with kids

Why Snowshoeing is an Awesome Winter Sport

  • You don’t need special skills and there is very little risk. It’s hiking in the winter.
  • You can travel where skiers and walkers can’t.
  • You need very little equipment to get started.
  • Snowshoeing provides amazing exercise.
  • It’s a slow sport — you can bring your camera along.
  • Once you’ve bought your gear, snowshoeing is free.

Tips for Getting Your Kids Outside in the Winter

snowshoeing with kids

The natural world is an amazing and beautiful place, but sometimes kids are just resistant to getting out there. Before you strap on the snowshoes and head into the wilderness, you need to inspire your kids to love winter, snow, and the cold. Here are some tips for becoming an outdoor family in the winter.

  • Make sure your kids are dressed properly. Get to know and love your layers — capilene, wool, fleece, silk. They will make all the difference. For more on layering your littles for outside time, check out this post.
  • Bring along snacks for energy. Nothing seems to cure grouchy kiddos like a snack break in the woods. It can be as simple as a granola bar or as elaborate as a snowy picnic.
  • Recruit a friend or two. Outdoor excursions are so much more fun with friends — your kids will spend less time complaining and more time giggling.
  • Make it a habit. Once your kids know that the outdoors is part of their everyday world, they will accept it into the rhythm of their days. It’s not “out there”, it’s home.
  • Be a good role model. Get yourself outside everyday, and please don’t complain about the weather.

snowshoeing with kids

Special Equipment for Snowshoeing With Kids

One of the best things about snowshoeing is that you need very little equipment. Snow boots and snowshoes will get you out the door. Poles are handy for really deep snow or climbing mountains. You can probably score second-hand snowshoes for your kids on Craigslist or at an autumn ski sale, but even if you have to buy new, they’re pretty affordable. We like Tubbs Snowglow Snowshoes (affiliate link) for toddlers, and the Atlas Spark Snowshoe (affiliate link) when they’re a bit older.

snowshoeing with kids

Things to Consider Before Snowshoeing with Kids

Now that you’ve got your gear, you’re ready to start exploring.  There’s really no right or wrong way to snowshoe. Start by strapping on your snowshoes and exploring your yard or a local park. Walking in your snowshoes will take a bit of getting used to, especially for kids. Once you’re comfortable walking in your snowshoes, you’re ready for a little hike. Here are some tips for making it fun.

  • Take it easy. How far will your kids reliably walk or hike with you? Take that number and cut it in half. Little legs will get tired quickly trudging through heavy snow.
  • Bring a sled. Hiking up that hill is hard work. Make it fun on the way back down. If your kids are small enough, you can give them a ride when they tire out.
  • Hot chocolate. Nothing is as exciting as a hot cup of chocolate in the woods. A little thermos may just be your best investment.
  • Stop and play. Let’s face it — walking in the woods is peaceful and beautiful, but it’s not always an exciting adventure for kids. Remember to stop and have some fun. Throw snowballs. Build a snowman. Make a fort. You will remember these days forever and so will your kids.

snowshoeing with kids

  • Don’t be above rewards. If that hill is looking a bit overwhelming for your youngsters, offer a bribe. “Hey, if we can all make it to that tree, we can stop for a snack.” Keep a stash of goodies in your pocket — trail mix, M&Ms, or fruit leathers should do the trick.
  • Layer up. You will get hot as you’re hiking and you may want to shed layers, which is fine. Just be sure to put those layers back on if you stop for a break.

What’s in Your Day Pack?

No matter how short your adventure, don’t forget some basic essentials. Here’s what you need for a foray into the woods on snowshoes, whether your alone or with your kids.

  • A basic first aid kit. Always bring along an ace bandage, Tylenol, moleskin for blisters, an emergency blanket, and a few packets of hand-warmers.
  • Your cell phone. Bring it if you’ve got it.
  • Paracord. Handy for all kinds of emergencies and adventures.
  • Waterproof matches. For emergencies or for a mid-day campfire.
  • A compass
  • Extra socks for each person
  • Food and water
  • Extra mittens for the kids. They’re hands are always in the snow!
  • Lip balm
  • Sunglasses

snowshoeing with kids

Snowshoeing is such a great way to enjoy a winter day, with or without kids. The exercise will keep you warm and the beauty of the natural world will inspire you. Now all we need  is just a little bit more snow…

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Get outside this winter! Here's what you need to know about snowshoeing with kids.

 

 

 

 

 

15 Comments

  1. Jen

    Great post Tara! Snowshoeing was the one thing that I wanted to do when I lived in NV but never got around to. I’m not a downhill skier – I liked cross country skiing better. I suppose I always figured I was going to be in NV for the winters so there was plenty of time. Perhaps one of these days I’ll make it back to the snow and will get the opportunity to try it.

    Thanks for sharing with us at Photo Friday!
    Jen recently posted…(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – 52 Weeks Week 4 – Head ShotsMy Profile

  2. Having seen very little snow in my lifetime, I didn’t know snow shoeing was a thing until I started blogging, but now I can’t wait to get a chance to try it. I’m too scared to ski or snow board, but this I would love to try. I like the suggestion to bring a thermos of hot chocolate and sled down the hills!

    • Karen,
      I spent much of my childhood in the south, and I new nothing about snowshoeing. It’s such a slow, beautiful sport.

  3. Tara, I absolutely love all of your fabulous photos! You really do live near a winter wonderland. Here in Sacramento, California we’re a few hours’ drive from Lake Tahoe. But although I’ve built plenty of snowmen I’ve never gone snowshoeing before. It looks like so much fun!
    Denay DeGuzman recently posted…Winter Skin Care: 7 Tips You Need Right NowMy Profile

  4. Awesome post! Love the pics and how you formatted with all the tips. Really thoughtful and made me yearn for snow out here in the desert. We got about 48 hours of it this year, but that may be it from the looks of the warming trend. I am going to subscribe. Again – impressive job!!

    • Thanks so much for visiting, Vi. I love the desert, but I haven’t spent a lot of time there – never in the winter.

  5. I always love keeping up with your journey! Great post! Looks like a blast!

  6. What a great post. We were just in Steamboat Springs and we were debating snowshoeing with the kids but we weren’t sure if they would be able to. After reading this we are definitely going to give it try next time.

  7. Great Tips!!! I am glad I came across your post; going for snowshoeing this weekend!! 🙂

  8. Snowshoeing is my favorite winter activity. We don’t have enough snow to go through the woods yet but the fields are covered. I wish we’d done it when our kids are little. One snowshoes now but the other doesn’t and really isn’t interested.

  9. These are awesome tips! I love snowshoeing but haven’t been in a long time and my kids have never been, so these tips will come in handy! Thank you!
    Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife recently posted…Wine Bliss: Waterbrook in Walla Walla, WashingtonMy Profile

  10. This is such a complete informational! Love it! We tried snowshoeing a few years ago, but my son was too little. We ve been wanting to try again, but I went and had another baby! I am hoping one of us is conditioned enough to backpack the baby and get out to enjoy this sport! Thanks for sharing!

  11. I’ll be honest – I had no idea what snow shoeing was until I read this. Sounds like a fun time!

  12. Great tips! I actually want to try snowshoeing this year (without kids), so I actually read this to find tips for me! I was wondering if it would be worth bringing a camera, so I definitely will.

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