Gear: The White Walkers

Snowshoes | BCBusiness

Snowshoeing may just be the best way to get your outdoor sweat on this winter

Snowshoeing has always been a great way to enjoy snow-covered forests and mountains, but what’s changed are the snowshoes themselves.

“Back in the day, snowshoes just kept you on top of the snow; now they can go anywhere,” says Peter Dixon, owner of Revelstoke Snowshoe Co. He suggests looking for shoes with a metal, not plastic, crampon that digs into snow for grip, and recommends two manufacturers for their dependability: MSR and Tubbs.

Summit Baggers and long-distance hikers should go for all the bells and whistles of the MSR’s Lightning Ascent ($270; Traction grooves on the metal frame help with side-hill grip, a soft deck cushions feet over the long haul and heel lifters reduce calf strain on steep climbs.

A better shoe for beginners is the bargain Tubbs Flex ESC ($130; A flexible tail allows the shoe to roll in a natural-feeling stride, while the rest of the shoe is stiff enough for stability and grip in all kinds of terrain. A quick, two-hand pull on the pressure-point-free binding system cinches it snug.

Black Diamond’s lightweight, collapsible Compactor Ski Poles assemble in seconds so you can stash them in your pack until you hit steep terrain ($130;


Stuffed with Polartec Alpha—the only breathable puffy insulation—Marmot’s Isotherm jacket won’t overheat while hiking, but still locks in warmth at rest stops ($225;

The Outdoor Research Huron Gaiters deflect snow, insulate and breathe, transforming any hiker into a snowshoe-specific boot ($60;

A zipper on the Dakine Skyline Mitt frees the interior liner glove for easy binding adjustments or, when fingers get sweaty, to let off a little steam ($75;