Looking to enjoy the outdoors this winter but aren't enamored with high-intensity winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding that can be hard on your joints? We've got five reasons why you should follow your curiosity and give snowshoeing a try this season.

1) Snowshoeing is essentially winter hiking.

There are so many beautiful trails around the Pacific Northwest, but they can get so crowded during summer months. Surprise: these trails are primarily empty during the winter! The solitude and natural beauty of the snow blanket allows you to view our beautiful backyard like you've never seen it before. It's the perfect excuse to get a group of friends or the family outside for an excursion unlike any other.

2) Great exercise.

Hiking, as most of us know, is great exercise, but now add elevation to the equation and you're playing a whole new ball game. Snowshoeing is conceptually easy, but it is a surprisingly demanding activity. The amount of exercise also depends on the individual, it can be as demanding or leisurely as one desires.

3) Snowshoeing is affordable relative to other winter sports.

After your initial purchase of gear, snowshoeing is essentially free. There are no lift tickets, overpriced lodge meals, or excessively priced and advertised destination resorts. Most of the time it is simply you, friends or family, and the great outdoors. We offer snowshoes for all budgets and would love to outfit you, so check out our entire snowshoe collection. Picking the appropriate size can be tricky, so be sure to check out our sizing chart.

Snowshoeing the Trillium Lake Loop*

4) It's Easy! Anyone can do it.

If you can walk, you can snowshoe. There is a common misconception that snowshoeing is overly technical and difficult which is erroneous on both accounts! There is no age limit or skill limit, the only thing it requires is a positive mindset and desire to explore.

5) Why not give it a try?

We are all sometimes apprehensive to pick up a new hobby, sport, or instrument, but in reality it's never to late to try something new. Snowshoeing doesn't require much skill either, so after 15 minutes into your first expedition, you'll have the hang of it. So what do you have to lose? And who knows, you may just fall in love.

If you want to go with someone experienced for your first time, then check out our guided snowshoe trips!

*photo courtesy Ben Amstutz Creative Commons