Snowshoes in New France / Les raquettes en Nouvelle-France

raquette à neige
What Did Snowshoes Look Like in the Northern Colonies of New France?

The French colonial officers, troupes de marine, and missionaries residing in the northern colonies of Nouvelle-France were the first Europeans to add indigenous snowshoes to their inventory … Continue reading

WMAC Dion Snowshoe Racing Series 2015 Schedule

WMAC Dion Racing Series
Are you a Southern New England or Hudson Valley based runner? Give snowshoe racing a go this winter!

Four Kinds of Snowshoes for Big People and Heavy Loads

Faber Bear Paw, Heavy Duty lacing, 16x30 inches
Carrying some weight on your belly or your back and headed out into the powder? Then go big with your snowshoe choice.

Gear (P)review: Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra

A more rugged alternative to Yaktrax for runners and casual users, and a direct competitor to MICROspikes for hikers and trekking.

El Nino and Snow Forecast for Northern Winter 2014/15

ENSO Jet Stream
Defining El Nino, along with a region by region rundown and what the phenomenon means for snowfall during North American winters.

Gear Review: KEEN Revel II Boots

A waterproof/breathable layer, 200g of insulation, and a roomy design make the Revel II a winner for cool to cold days on and off trail.

Gear (P)review: Hillsound Armadillo LT Gaiter

Affordable winter and mud season gaiters that touch all the bases.

Gear (P)review: FITS Socks, Expedition Weight

FITS Ultra Heavy Expedition Rugged Boot Socks deliver merino warmth and moisture management courtesy of made in America workmanship.

Gear (P)review: Patagonia Nano-Air Jacket and Hoody

Patagonia FullRange
The stretchy, breathable Nano-Air pieces are purpose-built for stop-and-go winter activities like climbing and breaking trail.

Gear (P)review: Buff Balaclava in Merino Wool and Microfiber

Lightweight natural and synthetic fabrics provide moisture wicking comfort while helping keep windburn at bay.

Gear Review: Salewa Snow Trainer INS.GTX

winter boots
Salewa's Snow Trainer is a great choice for snowshoers and winter trekkers in search of a low profile, lightly insulated boot.

Gear Review: CamelBak Phantom LR 20

This out of bounds ski pack also works nicely as a half day snowshoe and winter trekking backpack.

Gaiters: How to Choose

Whether you're running snowshoe races or kicking steps above treeline, gaiters are must-have kit. Here are the design features that matter.

Gear Review: RailRiders WeatherTop Jacket

A pullover made of rugged and wind resistant Cordura reinforced Supplex ripstop nylon and incorporating adjustable manual ventilation.

Before Snowshoeing Alone, Ask Yourself These Questions

Catskill High Peaks
"Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory." - Ed Viesturs

Robert Rogers and the Battle on Snowshoes

On January 21, 1757, a French and Indian unit got the drop on Robert Rogers and his rangers.

Gear Review: Mountainsmith Tour TLS Lumbar Pack

Mountainsmith has refined its classic lumbar pack + strappette combination for the 21st century.

Gear Review: Jandd Mogen Backpack

The San Diego-based company Jandd Mountaineering is well-known to cyclists for their high quality seat packs and panniers. Jandd makes some nice backpacks, as well, and their Mogen model is worth a look from any snowshoer in the market for … Continue reading

Gear Review: Granite Gear Athabasca 24

Lightweight day hike and urban backpack

Granite Gear’s new Athabasca 24 is envisioned as a lightweight, dual use pack. It functions as a commuter bag during the work/school week, with the sleeve in the main compartment holding your laptop and … Continue reading

Gear Review: Deuter Freerider Pro 28 SL Backpack

This feature-rich back- and side-country ski pack includes a convenient front carry option for strapping down snowshoes.

Gear Review: CamelBak Mil Tac H.A.W.G.

The 2013 tactical version of the HAWG works well as a half day winter pack.

Snowshoe Makers and Manufacturers That Were

Sherpa, Snocraft, and other and other snowshoe makers from the recent and not so recent past.

Snowshoeing the Equinox

Faber Winter Guide hybrid snowshoes
A late winter snowstorm in Western Massachusetts gave me the chance to try out my new Faber hybrid snowshoes.

The Virtues of Wet Snow

Traditional snowshoes still have their place, and one of those places is in heavy, wet snow.

Snowshoeing the Thunderbolt Ski Run

17 February 2013 – My trip up the Thunderbolt

Last Saturday I made a snowshoe trip up and back down the Thunderbolt Trail, a Depression era ski piste located on Mount Greylock near my residence in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Thiel Continue reading

February Fillers – Wash, Organize, Sharpen and Revive

The malaise which infects the American public during the month of February is so strong that sports magazines attempt to gin up their sales with photos of underfed models. But surely there are more productive ways to while away … Continue reading

Race Report – The 2013 WMAC/Dion Moby Dick

On 23 February 2013 the Western Massachusetts Athletic Club held its annual Moby Dick snowshoe race at Mount Greylock State Reservation.

Post-Nemo Snowplay

Nemo snowhoeing

Berkshire County had seen a clipper-rich but winter storm-poor snow season prior to Friday, with two late December storms contributing a snowpack which disappeared during a freakishly warm late January thaw + rain … Continue reading

Eskimo Words for “Snow”

Bard College at Simon's Rock
Are there really dozens of words for "snow" in Inuit and Yupik? Depends on how you define "word." Does it even matter? Depends on who you ask.

Know Your Mountains: The Southern Taconics

The Taconic Mountains of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont are rarely distinguished from the neighboring Litchfield Hills/Berkshire Hills/Green Mountains system to their east. A number of specialist articles exist regarding the complex geological history of the Taconics, but no … Continue reading

Do Snowsports Have a Therapeutic Effect on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

SAD is linked to the shorter day length and less intense light of winter. Can winter sports help roll back the symptoms?

Combined Gear Review: RailRiders Winter Weatherpants & Bison Designs Last Chance Heavy Duty Belt

RailRiders Winter Weatherpants

Winter in southern New England is typically cold and blustery rather than truly frigid. Breaking trail through a foot of early winter powder quickly overwhelms the breathability of trousers with a waterproof/breathable layer (such as Gore-Tex) and … Continue reading

Choosing a Backpack for Your Snowshoe and Backcountry Skiing Needs

A round up of features to look for when shopping for a new pack for your days in the hills on snowshoes or skis.

Selecting a pack for snowshoeing and backcountry skiing

The modern outdoor goods market leaves us with … Continue reading

Planning for the Worst for Snowshoeing and Winter Hiking

Salty winter trekkers know to hope for the best but to plan for the worst.

Traditional Wooden Snowshoes: Shapes, Designs, and Names

A rundown of snowshoe frame shapes and design features, and how they combine into conventionally named styles.

How To Care For Wood-Frame Snowshoes

Hanging to dry.
How to prep your wood frame and babiche snowshoes before the season begins, and how to put them to bed once it ends.

ThinShell Layering

snowshoe clothing
A merino wool baselayer and non-insulated nylon outer layer set-up maintains breathability and wind resistance while minimizing overheating.