Snowshoeing Checklist: Essential Items to Bring on Your Trip

snowshoeing checklist essential items

Do you plan on snowshoeing in the winter months? If that's the case, make sure you have the right clothing and equipment. This post will equip you with a snowshoeing checklist of items to pack on your next trip!

Snowshoeing Pre-trip Prep

Before going on a snowshoeing trip, it's important to do some preparation.

Check weather forecast, trail conditions, and avalanche forecast 

Before going on any snowshoeing trip, always check the trail and weather conditions. This will help you know what gear to pack. You should also check the avalanche forecast to be aware of any potential dangers.

Leave a trip plan with a friend or family member

Always inform a friend or family member of your planned route, expected return time, and emergency contacts. This is essential in case something happens and you need to be located.

If you are Unsure about your skill level and ability to navigate safely in the backcountry you can go with a Guide at K7 Adventures.

Basic Snowshoeing Gear List

The following are essential items you'll need for snowshoeing:

1. Snowshoes

snowshoes used for walking on snow

Snowshoeing is nothing without snowshoes! You'll need a pair that are appropriate for the snow conditions and terrain you'll be encountering. Waterproof hiking boots are also advised to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

2. Trekking poles

Trekking poles can provide extra stability when snowshoeing, especially on uneven or slippery terrain. Poles with snow baskets are also helpful to stop you from sinking into deep snow.

3. Map and compass or GPS

A map and compass (or GPS) are essential for navigation. Make sure you know how to use them before heading out on your trip, in case you get lost.

4. Water bottle or hydration pack

Water is essential for all outdoor activities, and snowshoeing is no exception. Make sure the water you bring will last for your entire trip.

5. Snacks (trail mix, energy bars, etc.)

When you're snowshoeing, you will burn a lot of calories. Keep your energy levels up by bringing high-energy snacks like nuts or energy bars.

6. Small flashlight or headlamp

It's wise to be prepared in case of unexpected events. A small flashlight or headlamp can come in handy if you find yourself snowshoeing in the dark.

7. Mobile phone or communication devices

It never hurts to carry a means of communication with you, like a mobile phone or satellite phone. In case you need to call for assistance in an emergency.

8. Toilet Paper

For sanitary reasons, always bring a roll of toilet paper with you. You never know, you may need this and be glad you did!

What To Wear For Snowshoeing: Clothing and Footwear

man wearing snowshoes

Proper clothing is important for any snowshoeing trip. This includes:

1. Moisture-wicking base layer

This is the layer of clothing that will be in direct contact with your skin. Choose a moisture-wicking material like polyester or wool to keep you dry and comfortable.

2. Fleece jacket or other mid - layer

This extra layer of clothing will help to keep you warm and regulate your body heat. Fleece is a good option for an insulating mid-layer.

3. Waterproof jacket

Your outer waterproof layer will help to keep you dry in case of snow or rain.

4. Waterproof pants or gaiters

Like a waterproof jacket, waterproof pants will help to keep you dry and comfortable during wet conditions. An outer layer will also protect you from the wind.

5. Hiking socks

Keep your feet dry and comfortable with the right pair of socks. Choose a material like wool or synthetic fibres that wick away moisture.

6. Beanie or cap

This protects your head from the cold weather and can also be used to cover your ears.

7. Sunglasses or snow goggles

The sun reflects off snow, so bring sunglasses or snow goggles to protect your eyes from the glare.

8. Extra pair of socks

If you notice your feet getting wet, you can always change into a dry pair of socks for snowshoeing to avoid blisters.

Emergency Gear

An emergency could occur anytime during your trip. It could be anything from getting lost, or something more catastrophic like an injury. Be prepared for anything by packing these essential items:

emergency items when going on a snowshoeing trip

1. First-aid kit

Bring a portable first-aid kit that contains items, such as bandages and pain relievers. Avoid bringing a big kit that will weigh you down.

2. Emergency whistle

If you get lost or injured, an emergency whistle can help you attract attention. It can also be used to scare animals away.

3. Signal mirror

In case you get lost, this will reflect sunlight and help alert others to your location.

4. Knife or multi-tool

This multi-purpose tool can be used for a variety of activities, including opening cans and doing simple repairs.

5. Firestarter

A fire starter can be used to create a fire in an emergency situation. If you need to start a fire, bring matches or a lighter with you.

6. Water purification

To make potable water you obtain during the trail, you may use water purification tablets or a water filter.

7. Emergency blanket

An emergency blanket is useful for staying warm in case you get lost or injured. This thin blanket can be used as a shelter as well.

8. Small plastic tarp or bivy

This functions primarily as an emergency shelter, to protect you from the elements. It can also be used to gather snow that will be melted into water.

9. Parachute cord

This is a versatile item that can be used for many different purposes, like setting up a shelter or making repairs.

three people snowshoeing

Source: K7Adventures

Optional for the Backcountry

Backcountry snowshoeing requires more preparation than snowshoeing in developed areas. If you're planning on venturing into the backcountry, be sure to bring these additional items:

1. Avalanche beacon

This is also called a transceiver, which is essential for backcountry snowshoeing in avalanche-prone areas. It will help you to find others if they are buried in snow and will help you stay alive if you slide.

2. Ice axe

It will provide support and stability when snowshoeing on steep or icy terrain. It can also be used to self-arrest if you begin to slide down a snow slope.

3. Extra clothing, food, and water

An extra of each of these will help to keep you comfortable and safe on your snowshoeing adventure. Be sure to pack items that are lightweight and easy to carry.

Extras to Enhance Your Day

Want snowshoeing to be a little extra? Bring these items along to make your snowshoeing trip more enjoyable.

1. Camera

To document the beautiful scenery, don't forget to bring a camera or your Smartphone!

2. Binoculars

Bring binoculars to get a closer look at the animals you spot on the trail.

3. Head warmers

Just for additional warmth and comfort, you might want to bring a head warmer.

4. Lip Balm

This will be necessary to protect your lips from the cold.

5. Trail seats

Portable trail seats are great for taking breaks and enjoying the scenery. They are also useful for sitting on snow if you need to change your shoes or socks.

6. Small stove

This may not be necessary, but if you want to heat up food or drinks, a small stove can be very useful. Choose a small, lightweight stove that is easy to use.

7. Thermos

a man and a woman drinking a hot drink from a thermos while on their snowshoeing trip

Bringing a thermos can be helpful for a hot drink or soup. It will also keep your water from freezing if it gets cold enough at night.

8. Outdoor apps and small battery pack

For places with proper network coverage, outdoor apps will come in handy. They can provide you with GPS tracking, maps, and even snowy conditions. Extra battery pack will keep your devices charged.

Done packing? Try it yourself!

Have you checked off everything on this snowshoeing to-do list? Then you're ready to begin your snowshoeing journey! Just remember to be emotionally and physically prepared, but above all, have a good time!

Book your stay at Lantern Apartments

lantern apartment in Thredbo room

Snowshoeing in Thredbo this winter? At Lantern Apartments you'll find the best accommodation. With a range of self-contained apartments, we have something to suit everyone. Book now and enjoy a snowshoeing adventure in the beautiful Snowy Mountains!

Contact us at bookings@lantern.com.au