This is Alex’s second winter and the second year that we took the little guy out on a snowshoeing adventure during our Christmas break. If you like to get outside for exercise and have a little one that’s too small for many winter sports but is happy to be bundled up and spend a bit of time out in the cold, then this is a great family winter activity!
In our case, Alex is still too little to ski and pregnancy is limiting my options this year, but snowshoeing is the one outdoor activity that we can all do (other than our many, many walks around the neighborhood pulling the little guy in his sled!).
Planning for an afternoon snowshoeing adventure is relatively simple:
- Special equipment. You’ll obviously need a pair of snowshoes. A good pair can be a bit expensive, but will provide years of entertainment if you like going out. On the other hand, there are only a few sizes of snowshoe, based upon the wearer’s weight, so why not borrow or rent a pair before buying your own?
- Got your gators? If the snow’s particularly deep and fluffy, then you may want to wear a pair of gators. On this trip, Calder’s wearing gators, while I have a pair of tall boots; both work well.
- We suggest dressing in layers ~ it may be cold outside, but it’s likely that you’ll quickly build up some body heat with each step, so you’ll want to be prepared to unzip and possibly take off your outer layer.
- Plan on carrying little ones. As you can see, last year we were a bit more prepared for the adventure, using a proper baby carrier. This year, we forgot all carriers in our packing frenzy (rushing to get on the road before a Christmas day winter storm). BUT we had this regular old backpack, and, much to my surprise, Alex was more than happy to sit in it for the whole trip.
- Don’t forget your sunscreen.
- Tell someone where you’re going.
It was a cold day, so we only stayed out for about 20-30 minutes, but that was plenty of time for a good walk. *** Quick note ~ this is where we should mention that if you’re pregnant you may want to proceed at your own risk (or, talk to your favorite doc first). While Calder and Alex went on a larger loop, I realized that at such a high altitude it was better for me to take it slow and walk with them at the beginning and end of their loop rather than push my limits. If you exercise regularly, a vigorous snowshoe at lower altitudes while pregnant is much less of an issue.
This turned out to be one of those perfectly planned days where we were able to meet everyone’s fun quota. We rode the gondola to the top of the mountain, which makes the whole adventure even more fun for little ones! Calder carried along his skis and was able to put in a few runs after our walk while Alex and I warmed up by the lodge’s fir. Then we all had lunch before Alex and I rode the Gondola down and Calder took another run to the bottom of the mountain.
At that was it ~ our simple but fun snowshoeing adventure for the whole, growing family… we’re hoping to fit in a few more trips this winter, and I’m already imagining next year’s adventure when we’ll have two little ones in packs!