Looking for a way to get outside this winter with the kids or the grandkids?  Consider snowshoeing. Just about as easy as walking, this 4,000 year old winter sport can be done by anyone with a minimal investment in equipment and a patch of snow.  For our first foray into snowshoeing, we picked ours from the large selection of snowshoes carried by L.L. Bean.

Snowshoe sizes for everyone

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Similar to shopping for shoes, your selection will vary according to your weight as well as your foot size. For example, the same size snowshoe will fit any boots from size 8 through 13, but if you weigh from 120 to 200 pounds, you’ll want a 25” long snowshoe and if you weight from 170 through 250 pounds, you’ll want to buy a 30” long snowshoe.

Trailblazer Snowshoes with BOA closureWith the Trailblazer Snowshoes my wife and I use, we have the advantage of the new BOA closure system. This is patented lacing system that typically comes preinstalled on boots or snowshoes. It’s actually stainless steel wire that connects to an easy-to-use adjustment knob.  Pull out the knob to loosen – push in and twist to tighten. It’s so easy, you’ll get a good grip on whatever style boots or shoes you are wearing and you can easily tighten or loosen without removing your gloves.

Winter Walkers for kidsWe also have a pair of Winter Walker snowshoes so we can take one of our grandkids with us when we go.  The 19” Winter Walkers are good for children from 50 to 110 pounds, and they came with a pair of walking poles included.

Everybody is doing it

Based on the most recent industry statistics I could find, over 4 million people went snowshoeing in 2011/2012 and those numbers consistently have been climbing.  It is the fastest growing sport in the world in winter climates.

With little risk of injury, and with the ease of learning, it’s little wonder snowshoeing is catching on. It’s also a wonderful way to burn calories – 600 per hour – which is 45% more than walking or running.

Few other sports are as simple to master as snowshoeing, so bundle up, strap on a pair and get outside to enjoy that clean, fresh winter air.  You’ll be glad you did.

Check out all the models available from L.L. Bean, from old fashioned to the most high tech, they’ve got quite an assortment on their website – from kids to adult sizes. For that matter, check out L.L. Bean for all your outdoor gear and clothing needs.

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