1849 Mountain Rentals

5 Things You Should Know Before You Start Snowshoeing

Skiing and snowboarding are two of the biggest draws for guests at our Mammoth rentals, but if you’d like to explore some of the more remote areas on foot, snowshoeing is a great winter activity.

While snowshoeing is simple in nature, it’s important to know these five things before you get started.


Get the Right Snowshoes

Just like any other outdoor activity, it’s important to have the right gear for snowshoeing – starting with your snowshoes. 

There are different types of snowshoes, and the right one for you will really depend on where you’re hiking.

Hiking or recreational snowshoes are the most popular choice, and you can often find these shoes for rent at the gear shops near our Mammoth rentals. Hiking snowshoes work well for flat terrain and even rolling hills. They have simpler bindings and are often the best choice for beginners. 

Backcountry snowshoes are designed for more challenging terrain and are better suited for experienced users. 

When looking at snowshoes, a few things you need to consider include:

  • Frame: Traditionally, snowshoes have a tubular frame with a flexible and thin deck. However, you’ll find that some newer snowshoes have flat metal frames or are made entirely out of plastic. Most recreational snowshoes have tubular frames.
  • Crampons/Traction: Most snowshoes will have either steel or steel composite crampons, but aluminum is a popular lightweight choice. Typically, crampons have a two-prong design, but you may find three-prong options that offer a better grip. 
  • Binding Closure System: Arguably the most important component of the snowshoe. It’s important to consider your footwear and the type of hiking you will be doing. Entry-level snowshoes usually have nylon webbing straps, which are lightweight and offer the most adjustability. This means that you can wear a variety of different shoes or boots with your snowshoes. Rubber straps are also very common because they offer the advantage of not stretching in cold or wet temperatures. Keep in mind that bindings cannot be removed or changed, so it’s important to choose a system that’s easy for you to use and works well for your activity level.

Renting snowshoes is a great option for beginners because it allows you to get a feel for different shoes to see which one works best for you.

group of people snowshoeing

Practice Your Bindings

Snowshoes are secured to your feet through a binding system. Bindings consist of straps and a platform that goes over the boot and around the heel. 

If you’re just getting started with snowshoeing, it’s important to test out the binding before you head out onto the trail. Practice taking them on and off so you know how quickly and easily you can tighten your bindings when you’re out in the snow.

woman in winter clothes

Start Out Small

If you’re an experienced hiker, you may assume that you can tackle a long snowshoeing route, but your body works much harder when snowshoeing compared to traditional hiking.

When snowshoeing, expect your pace to be about two times slower than hiking. Plan for a shorter route with a shortcut just in case you find yourself struggling to finish your loop.

Dress in Layers

Gear is just as important when snowshoeing as it is with any other winter sport. In addition to snowshoes, you’ll need to consider your clothing. 

Dress in layers to keep warm and dry while you’re out on the slopes, but don’t go overboard. Again, your body is going to be working extra-hard while you’re snowshoeing, so too many layers may leave you feeling overheated. The extra weight from these layers will also make it even harder to navigate the terrain. 

Dress a little lighter than you would if you were hiking in comparable temperatures, and invest in gaiters to keep snow out of your boots.

Find the Right Trail

For beginners, it’s best to stick to well-groomed trails that are a little easier to maneuver but do your research first to make sure that snowshoeing is allowed. Stay away from ungroomed trails or tracked ski trails. If you’re not sure where to start, visit a Mammoth Mountain lodge to ask for help. Our townhouses and condos for rent are in the ideal location, making it easy to enjoy snowshoeing and other winter activities like learning how to ski or snowboard.

Plan Your Visit

If you’re new to snowshoeing, consider heading out with a guide or group first until you feel comfortable enough to head out on your own. Meanwhile, find a rental perfect for you.


Info@1849MountainRentals.com(760) 934-7525
Mailing a package?
826 Lakeview Blvd (POB 835)
Mammoth Lakes, California


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