Snowshoeing for PE

[osd_social_media_sharing]

Looking for a fun outdoor physical activity when it's snowy outside that won't break the bank?

Skiing and snowboarding generally come to mind when someone talks about Winter sports. Nonetheless, with hard economic times, activities that require expensive lessons, equipment, and lift fees probably don't register high on the to do list. However, there is an alternative that the entire family can enjoy on a budget, snowshoeing.

First used over 6,000 years ago by ancient Asians, they are one of man's oldest inventions and rank alongside the wheel in importance for human progression. Snowshoes allowed migration into unchartered northern territories and have served as a vital tool throughout history. Modern man has taken snowshoes from an item of necessity to a source of entertainment.

Materials and designs may have changed over time, but the science behind snowshoes stays the same. By providing a greater surface area to displace a person's weight, snowshoes keep the body from sinking deep into the snow. This allows for a person to walk somewhat "on top" of the snow making the entire trip significantly easier and faster. Don't be fooled though, snowshoeing is quite an aerobic work out and will burn 45% more calories than walking or running at the same speed.

One of the best things about snowshoeing is very minimal equipment is required, keeping costs down and storage a breeze. Modern snowshoes are produced for people of all ages and sizes, which is why it's so important to purchase a shoe that will fit each member of the family properly. Snowshoes are rated by a person's body weight and by length of the shoe. The heavier a person is, the longer their snowshoes will need to be. Most modern snowshoes are made of aluminum tubes and allow for adjustment in personal shoe size so they can fit a range of shoe sizes and also allow for foot growth in children. Just remember to purchase a pair that is rated for a weight higher than the person wearing them, and don't forget to include the weight of their snow boots, clothing, and any backpacks or gear they may carry. Trekking poles are not necessary, but are recommended for long hikes and those that have steep slopes. They can also be quite helpful for younger children as they learn to balance while walking, and are fun for writing in the snow when taking a break.

While awkward at first, snowshoeing can be quite easy to master. Anyone who can walk well, can learn. Which means that even small children age three and older are typically capable of the balance and coordination needed to snowshoe. However, just like hiking, they will walk slower and for shorter distances than an adult or older child can manage. Snowshoeing can be the perfect Winter activity. With a one time cost for equipment, a family can get years of enjoyment and exercise out in the fresh air. Get geared up and go have some fun!

Where and How Much?

Most shoes are pretty inexpensive and can be purchased at major retail sports stores like REI, Dick's Sporting Goods, or Sports Authority, or online at retailers like Amazon and Land's End. Childrens shoes run between $25-$80, while adult shoes run between $100-$300. Trekking poles can be found for $15-$20 each. Remember that these are one time purchases and you won't need to pay a lift fee on top of buying equipment every time you want to use them. Rentals are even available at some resort locations.

Preparing for a Long Hike

  • Before stepping out to snowshoe, make sure you follow the list of preparations below:
  • Dress in layers. It might be cold to start out with, but you will start getting warm as you get your blood pumping.
  • Wear sweat wicking materials. The harder you exercise, the more you will sweat and your clothes will become wet and cold in the Winter air. This is especially important for your feet.
  • Remember gloves and a warm hat or earmuffs.
  • Don't forget to apply sunscreen and chap stick. Snow reflects sunlight and can cause a sunburn, while windy days can dry out your lips.
  • The most important thing to remember is food and water. You will need nourishment to fuel your body and keep it hydrated just like a hike on a hot Summer day.

Activities

You can do more than just walk in snowshoes! Try one of these fun ideas to get used to your new snowshoes, or just to have fun!

  • Do the Hokey Pokey.
  • Have an early Easter Egg or scavenger hunt. Some families have contests to see who could find the first tree with a two trunks, or the littlest pinecone, etc.
  • Play Follow the Leader.
  • Try a game of Hide and Seek.
  • Many traditional games can also be played on snowshoes. Try a game of kickball or have races to a finish line.

More for our members on field trips:

At HECOA, we LOVE field trips!  They are a great way to enhance your academic content and they really help kids to get hands-on experiences to extend the learner to much deeper levels.  We have articles as well as recorded webinars on field trips, and we have TWO amazing field trips scheduled at the national level for 2016 - one is to Yellowstone National Park in June 2016, and the other is to Washington D.C. in September!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR 2016 NATIONAL FIELD TRIP TO WASHINGTON D.C. !

Why You Need to Teach Geology and How
The common approach to teaching Geology is to hit it once, probably in 8th Grade. But Geology is the beginning[...]
Yellowstone Prep Curriculum 2016
Yellowstone Field Trip - 2016Group Information and Access PageOn this page, you will grab your weekly updates as you prepare[...]
Safely Navigating the Social and Virtual Worlds
This live presentation will air on:Tuesday - April 5th at 11am Pacific​This workshop will be taught in the 2016 Ultimate[...]
Fishing for Facts at the Aquarium
Fishing for Facts at the AquariumBy Jen Holmstrom Dive into another world at the aquarium! The aquarium is one of[...]
The Mystery Spot
​The Mystery SpotBy Jen Holmstrom Your mind will be blown away when you hear about this spot in Santa Cruz,[...]
8 Amazing Things to Do at Yellowstone National Park
8 Amazing Things to Do at Yellowstone National ParkBy Jen Holmstrom There are some incredible spots in our natural surroundings. We[...]
Skating Through Life
Skating Through Lifeby Jen HolmstromAround the Holidays we look for seasonal activities. One of the best activities for colder days[...]
You’ve Got Mail!
You've Got Mail! By Jen Holmstrom"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift[...]
Exploring Nature In Your Own Backyard
Exploring Nature In Your Own Backyardby Jen HolmstromOne of the most enriching parts of the world is nature. It’s filled[...]
The Jelly Belly Factory
The Jelly Belly Factory  by Jen Holmstrom Crushed Pineapple, Blueberry, Island Punch, and Toasted Marshmallow. Do these flavors peak your[...]
Apples & Pumpkins by Jen
Share0 Share +10 Tweet0 Share0 Pin0 ​Apples & Pumpkins by Jen HolmstromHomeschooling allows us to explore and study seasons and[...]
Field Trips – An Essential Component of Homeschooling
This workshop was taught in the 2015 Not Back to School SummitField trips are essential to homeschooling, and yet many[...]
Customize a World Class Education For Your Children
This workshop was taught in the 2015 Not Back to School Summit - REGISTER HERE for FREE live access to our next[...]
Biblical Geology – The Biblical Framework for Interpreting Earth History
Do you wish that you knew more about the Earth so that you could explain the geographical formations to your[...]
Creating a Humanitarian Homeschool
This workshop was taught in the 2015 Not Back to School Summit - REGISTER HERE for FREE live access to our[...]
Using Travel to enhance your childrens understanding of the World
This workshop was taught in the 2015 Not Back to School Summit - REGISTER HERE for FREE live access to our[...]
Towers of Learning
Share0 Share +10 Tweet0 Share0 Pin0 Towers Bring New Meaning to Higher Learning There are few things more breathtaking than[...]
Make a trip to your local farm
Field Trips by Jen - a HECOA series for Home Educators Visiting Local Farms   For some, farms might be[...]
Teaching Geology with Rock Identification
How to Identify those Rocks Your Kids are Bringing Home Presentation by Patrick Nurre Do you have a child who[...]
Snowshoeing for PE
[osd_social_media_sharing] Looking for a fun outdoor physical activity when it's snowy outside that won't break the bank? Skiing and snowboarding[...]
Letterboxing
[osd_social_media_sharing] Much easier than geocaching, letterboxing involves following a set of directions to a location – turn left, turn right,[...]
Yummy Chocolate Unit Study
This time of year, as we ponder all the yummy treats that will pass by our eyes, one in particular[...]
What Not Back to School Means to Homeschoolers
What does Not Back to School mean to YOU?? We asked our members to send us a photo or a[...]
Scheduling and Planning to Have Fridays Off
Scheduling and Lesson Planning – How to Have Fridays Off –  How do parents find time to attend park days[...]

Leave a Comment: