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Winter Snowshoeing with Poles
Customers often ask "Do I need poles for snowshoeing? What kind of poles should I get?" Here's what you should know...
Poles will add to your experience on snow. Poles give you a more balanced stride, help with uphill travel, and increase your ability to go longer distances. Many people find that poles add to their confidence on steep terrain, both and up and down hill. Also, if you’re carrying a backpack, poles are very helpful in sharing the load from your legs to an “all-body” experience. However, poles are optional; they are not essential.
Another reason to use poles if you’re snowshoeing for exercise and fitness is to get more of a full body workout. Poles exercise your chest, arms, and shoulders, resulting in better all-around fitness.
There are many poles to choose from. In rolling terrain, and extended climbs and descents, telescopic poles are very useful. As you’re going uphill, your hands and upper body are closer to the ground as you lean into the hill, so you can adjust the poles to shorter lenght. Likewise, when going down a steep slope, being able to lengthen the pole (because your hands are further away from the ground) is very valuable and allows you to walk much more comfortably and balanced.
Crescent Moon Snowshoe Poles are designed specifically for snowshoeing. They adjust easily (on the fly, so to speak) but they also have a “shock absorption” feature that can be turned on (for downhill) and off (for uphill). This works just like a hard tail/soft tail bike adjustment - and for the same reasons. As you ascend, you want the energy you put into the poles for support to be “stiff” while on the downhills you want the poles to “give” or absorb the energy that is otherwise absorbed by your arms and legs. The Crescent Moon poles come with 2 pairs of baskets for both summer and winter, and carbide tungsten tips and removable tip covers for all terrains. Crescent Moon poles are very reasonably priced, too, considering you get the same features and benefits of other poles which cost $125 to $150.
RedFeather also offers snowshoe poles - check back soon for more info!
MSR poles and snowshoes too!
And as noted above, many hiking/Trekking/Backcountry poles will work perfectly for your snowshoe adventures. check out our Hiking/Trekking Poles Page for the full gamut of options.