My choice of winter hiking mobility equipment

My choice of winter hiking mobility equipment

After plenty of research, I think I’ve got figured out what is the best mobility equipment for hiking in winter. My goal was to find gear with what I can move with decent speed, transport all my gear, and operate close tent smoothly. Finding the right equipment for winter hiking is a key, as without easy transitions you can’t cover nearly any milage.

Options for winter hiking mobility gear

Gear choices for my testing were: snowshoes, skis, and sliding snowshoes; and as an extra attribute I wanted to consider whether or not to pull a sledge behind me.

At first, I approached this matter with zero science and all feeling. Snowshoes appeared to me as ‘cool’. They looked very futuristic and felt like something entirely new. After more reading about different options, I realised there is quite a lot of things to be considered: weight and portability, price, hill climbing, even fields speed, downhill mobility, and agility (movement on camp area etc.). As price is a factor, I didn’t want to stare only the absolute value of the gear, but also figure out how often am I going to use the gear. In other words: what’s the best bang for the bug?

Deciding what equipment performs the best

Here is a table where I’ve rated all three options from 1 to 3. 1 equals poor, 2 equals neutral, 3 equals good. Result? Snowshoes.

 Weight and portabilityPriceHill climbingEven field speedDownhill mobilityAgilityTotal
Sliding snowshoes21233213

Sliding snowshoes were a discovery for me at the beginning of this research, but they seem like a great option. What tilted the scales to me was the fact that I believe I’m going to use snowshoes more often in the future. If I didn’t have to worry about money, I would buy good sliding snowshoes and cheap snowshoes.

Afterthoughts and sledge

While I hike, I get these childlike urges to go through a dense bush or climb a steep hill. A portion of my hiking experience comes from those moments where I want to let go and do things. Those things might not be the most logical, but they are the most fun. To fulfil these moments, I believe snowshoes without a sledge are the best choice for me. I didn’t write much about sledges. After watching some videos and reading about them, I figured I want to be able to carry my gear in a rucksack, no matter is it winter or summer.

On the other hand, if my goal would be to cover the most mileage per day, I would again lean towards the sliding snowshoes.

A concern appeared after all the testing:
There is this thing called carrying capacity which I didn’t take in the count at all. So it is either that my gear will be no more than 30 kilos or me losing some weight. I think it’s better to weight my gear


Testing TSL snowshoes

So here’s a picture:

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