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Do you have a planned hike on snow but no suitable equipment? We can help you find the accessories you need to walk at altitude without slipping!
Snow hiking is adaptable to all tastes and is practised in all conditions, you just need to adapt your equipment depending on the terrain and type of snow. You might need snowshoes or spikes for good stability and grip on the snow. We help you choose the product suited to your needs. And if you are still unsure, don't hesitate to choose from our snow hiking shoes.
Choose your snowshoes according to your activity, your build and weight and not your size. At Decathlon, each deck is designed for a specific weight capacity:
Kids snowshoes : 15 to 50 kg
Medium deck: from 40 to 75 kg
Large deck: from 60 to 90 kg
Find the perfect snowshoe for you!
Don't hesitate to ask for advice at your Decathlon store to choose those that will suit you best. Especially if you’re torn between 2 sizes.
You go for a day hike in the snow, and you follow a rather flat trail, until... you have to go up in altitude. And then the slope is steep. Fortunately, your snowshoes have been designed to accompany you everywhere and help you in your effort. They are indeed equipped with a heel lift.
Ideally, you’ve taken the time to study your route before leaving and to make sure that if you have a difference in altitude your snowshoes are equipped with a heel lift.
SPIKES ON PACKED OR FROZEN SNOW
If the snow is packed or frozen there is a greater risk of sliding. Adding spikes to your shoes, much like chains to car tyres, lets you walk freely without the risk of falling.
Snowshoes in fresh snow and more...
By increasing the contact area with the snow, that is the bearing capacity, the snowshoes stop you from sinking, particularly in powder, or when the snow layer is deep and loose. Try to walk in your boots for an hour sinking up to the knees and you will quickly realise that it's unpleasant, wet and very tiring!
On more packed snow, even frozen, snowshoes have their use as they have front crampons for grip on slippy ground. That said, they will be very noisy. If you have spikes you’ll be happy to enjoy the quiet of the snowy expanses.
Walk with poles! They distribute your effort on the flat, support you on the climb, hold you back on the descent and help you to keep your balance on slopes. For snow hiking, poles should have wide baskets that don't sink in the snow.
Poles with adjustable height are perfect for adapting their length to the height and texture of snow.
Advice on adjusting the height of your poles: take your pole by the handle and make a 90° angle with your arms (your hand should be the same height as your elbow), the tip of the pole should touch the ground. Your arm's angle should not be lower than 90° (your hand should not be higher than your elbow).
WHEN THE GROUND IS TIGHT OR RUGGED
When your chosen route is very rugged with tight forest passages, steep slopes, difficult passages with obstacles, snowshoes will more often hinder you than help. The same is true if there are sections of the hike with paved roads. So go for spikes for freedom and flexibility!
WHEN THE GROUND IS VARIED
You're walking on a well packed trail with shady and sunny areas, forest sections... The ground can be slippy only in certain places. Spikes are easy to use and you can decide when you need them!
Whether you’ve invested in a pair of snowshoes or spikes, you want to keep them in good condition for as long as possible. The good news is that with a few simple steps and almost no equipment you can maintain them.
After your outings, resist the urge to bang one snowshoe against the other to get the snow off. Yes, it's effective, but it can damage them, especially if they’re old and the plastic has become brittle. Instead, use a brush, such as those found on windscreen scrapers for example. It stays in your car to remove snow from it and your walking gear. Then dry the metal parts of your snowshoes or spikes with a dry cloth. This will slow down the rust on the metal and stop your boot getting wet.
Finally, don’t store your equipment in the boot of your car. Large temperature changes can weaken the plastic. You should look for a dry place (better to avoid the cellar) and temperate place to keep your snowshoes and spikes between uses. If you still have their cover, it's even better!
A little more information about rust:
With your snowshoes and spikes you walk on snow and sometimes on areas that have been salted to avoid ice formation. Salt is abrasive and may facilitate the appearance of rust on the metal parts of your equipment. This is almost inevitable and on snowshoes and spikes it won’t diminish the technical performance of the equipment (unless it’s really old). So the aim is to slow down the onset of rust rather than to prevent it completely.
Whether with spikes or snowshoes, snow hiking adapts to all levels, all terrains and all tastes! Enjoy yourself by always being careful and forward-looking. So, what will be your snow hiking destination this winter?