View Full Version : not hiking depression and snowshoes

12-08-2002, 00:16
Well I was all psyched about a hike next week off but with the sheer amounts of snow I am depressed to the point where I am considering buying the Northern Lites Elite snowshoes so I can go anyway...some buds years ago took off from Davenport Gap and a day later at Icewater Springs (dont quote me on that) woke up to 3 feet of snow...after 3 days there were airlifted to the UT hospital in Knoxville...many lessons learned from them--dont loan a backpack your not willing to loose forever, watch the weather channel, pray a lot, carry extra food, and what about snowshoes? I have several pair of them already-the old fashioned wooden type that look good beside the stone fireplace, these I would never consider hiking with but they have seen use in an emergency when I needed to get back to civilization from my cabin in the same 3 foot conditions that my friends discovered in the smokies...so the question to all you section hikers is this...if you winter hike do or would you consider snowshoes as part of your emergency gear? The Northern Lites Elite model was carried by Brian Robinson on his AT section which he began Jan 1....your thoughts please.

12-08-2002, 12:52
I wouldn't consider hiking without snowshoes durring the winter, but I'm from Maine and don't like post holeing.

12-08-2002, 19:27
I've been hiking in New England winters for 25+ years and consider snowshoes a necessity, not an emergency item. Used my wooden bearpaw snowshoes as recently as last winter, but am now using MSR Denalis. They're fairly light and have great traction for steep climbs. Can even add tail extensions for deeper/softer snow.

12-08-2002, 23:33
well it might be overkill in the south but one never knows so when I head to GA in January I think it best to have them strapped on the back.

12-10-2002, 11:12
Do you southerners know how to pitch a tent on snow? I guess if you see enough snow for snowshoes only on rare occassions, you wouldn't have much practice at this. Heard of one thru-hiker who had a big snowfall in spring down south, pitched a tent like it was summer, and woke up in a big hole in the snow. Here's a quick lesson for anyone who needs it (and you all can reciprocate some day when I'm hiking down south in the heat).

Before pitching a tent, you need to make a tent platform by compacting the snow that will be under the tent. Tromp around in your snowshoes (or bare boots if no snowshoes) for 10 minutes with your pack on. Jump up and down on the snowshoes to compact the snow well. The platform should be big enough for the tent and give you room to walk all the way around it and fasten your guylines in the platform. If on a slope, move some snow to level the site before tromping. Then allow the compacted snow to sit for 20 minutes before pitching your tent. This allows the surface to firm up so you can walk on it without punching through, and move around inside the tent without making knee and elbow holes in the snow underneath. While the tent platform is resting, tromp out a kitchen area for cooking and a trail to the latrine. Now erect the tent. If your stakes don't hold, bury them in the snow horizontally (sticks would work too) and pack snow on top. When the snow sets up around the stakes they will hold very well.

12-10-2002, 12:41
Great advice. I want to snow tent and had no clue about how to do it!

trail angel Apple

12-12-2002, 02:24
As far as hiking in the south, you don't really need snowshoes. However, crampons can be a neccesity. It all depends on what time of year you're hiking. We went for a week long trek through the Smokies in late Feb-early March and hit alot of snow. The snow was fine, but the ice presented alot of problems! We were lucky to meet an employee from the Happy Hiker in Gatlinburg (incredible outfitter with incredible employees) named Steven who gave us 2 pairs of crampons with shoelaces. They were lightweight and extremely helpful! Just an idea versus snowshoes.