Getting Started on Your Snowshoes

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 19,688
    Kevin Hinds, a Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing Instructor with L.L. Bean, shows you how to get started with snowshoeing.

    Kevin Hinds: Hello! I'm Kevin Hinds. I am a Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing Instructor with L.

    L. Bean. I want to talk about today how to adjust your snowshoes, put them on, adjust your poles and how to use them. First thing I'm going to do when I put on my snowshoes is I get onto the snow-pack.

    I want to make sure I'm not on a drive way or concrete, you get onto the snow-pack itself. Then, with the snowshoes I'm going to make sure to open all the straps. For this basic snowshoe I'm going to first slide my foot in from the back of it. My toe is going to reach as far forward into the snowshoe, and then I'm going to pull that strap down on the front side there and hook it in.

    Next thing I'm going to do is take the heel-strap, bring it around to the inside and start tightening that up. And the last thing I'll do is I'll take the strap over my instep, snap it into the buckle there, and I'm going to snug that up nice and snug, lock it, and stow that away, just like so. We'll do the same thing on the other snowshoe.

    So next we're going to talk about snowshoe poles. Now, to go snowshoeing, you don't necessarily need them, but snowshoeing poles are fantastic. One of the benefits is good balance. It'll also help you test the snow and just great aerobic activity when your arms are moving a little bit more too.

    Now to adjust the poles most of them are telescoping. So they are smaller when you travel. They are Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey. So I'm going to loosen that up so that my arm can make a nice right angle. I know myself. I'm just a little over 135 centimeters. Then, I'm going to move it right to tight, left to loose. Once I make that adjustment, the pole, I should be able to make a right angle with my arm so that the pole is at the right height.

    Now, to grip onto the pole, what you're going to do is adjust the pole so that when you bring your glove up through the bottom, then you can grab onto the grip. The way I like to remember it is the rabbit comes out of the hole and grabs on to the carrot. When it's properly adjusted, you can have a nice, loose handgrip and relaxed.

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