153 forum posts
I’m looking at buying my first set of snowshoes for a backpacking trip I’m planning in a few weeks in the Porcupine mountains in Upper Michagan. I’ve snowshoewed twice before, but only for a mile or two on level ground and never with a lot of gear on my back. I do most of my winter backpacking in Wisconsin and haven’t ventured to the UP in winter due to the fact that much of it receives 200+ inches of snow a year.
First, I’m looking for a good set of snowshoes. I’m planning a 4-5 day hike and plan on hiking most of the day on each of these days. I generally do most of my walking off trails, so I imagine that would play some part in my selection as well. Because it’s pretty cold up there, my winter load is usually approx 50 lbs. The terrain where I’m going is quite uneven so I would imagine a quality set would be in order. Someone mentioned to me that the Atlas 10 snowshoes were pretty decent, but heavy. Does anyone have any other recommendations or would I be pretty happy with these? Is there any specific features I’m looking for?
Also, I realize from the other two times I’ve tried snowshoeing that I’ll be hurting at the end of the first day and I can only imagine how I’ll feel by the end of day 5. I realize that an off trail hike with a lot of gear and only one other person to help break trail that it is a pretty ambitious trip. I’ll be out of town for most of the time before the trip, so I’ll only have one or two days to train with whatever snowshoes I select before I go. Is there any specific exercises I can do for the next two weeks while I’m on the road? I’m in pretty good shape, but as I remember, snowshoeing uses some muscles that don’t seem to get used much. Anything I can do to target these areas would likely allow me to cover more ground and have a lot more fun. Any suggestions here, or is the real thing the only thing to do here?