Snow shoeing – Awesome, Cheap & Good for You!

If you’re looking for a winter sporting activity, but don’t want to plop down big bucks, you should really consider snow shoeing. Here are several reasons why snow shoeing is now my go-to winter sport, as someone working toward Financial Independence.

Experience Nature in Snow

There is something magical about walking in the woods when it is covered in a blanket of snow that is several feet thick! You will see the tops of what you know are tall trees barely poking out of the snow. Or, easily step over a fence line, that would usually be at least chest height. Its amazing to think of the sheer volume of snow, and all the life that is hibernating beneath.

Frosty Forest

With snow shoes, you can get to places away from the masses, unlike many other winter sports. The experience of complete solitude in a quiet, snow covered forest is awesome.


You generally don’t have to pay an entrance fee, buy an expensive lift ticket, have tons of specialized equipment to go snow shoeing. You do need some inexpensive snow pants, a regular old hat and a pair gloves. You can buy good snow shoes at REI for about $200. While that’s not super cheap, its not likely that you will outgrow them, or the technology will drastically change, so a pair should pretty much last you a lifetime. You can also rent them for about $25 to try it out.

Compared to down hill skiing/snow boarding, this is ridiculously cheap. Right now, Google says the average price a full day lift ticket in the US is $94, and equipment rentals $40. Then you gotta have a cute outfit, and some slick googles. And, when you first start, you probably need a lesson….ca-ching! I will separate out cross country skiing here, though. You can often cross country with no lift ticket, and rentals are less expensive.

Great Exercise

Just like hiking, snow shoeing is a great exercise. Especially if the snow is really deep, it can be quite challenging. Definitely downgrade your expectations for how far you might be able to go, versus day hiking. However, it is easy to just fall back into the snow and take a little rest! Getting up is the trickier part. 🙂

Resting during a strenuous snow shoe adventure

Low Skill, Low-tech

If you can walk, you can snow shoe. While it can take a few minutes to get used to them, and you may feel a little silly, at first. But you definitely don’t need lessons. Snow shoes don’t really need any maintenance, unlike down hill or cross country equipment, and there’s not much about them that you could break.

This makes snow shoeing easy to start doing, and easy to keep doing. As opposed to some other winter sports, where it takes a while to get good, you can begin enjoying snow shoeing right away. Learning to ski, snowboard, cross country….you can spend your first several times miserably wiping out. Another bonus of snow shoeing, you’re not likely to get injured!

Close to Ski Resorts

Now that I’ve poo-pooed on down hill skiing/boarding, I will say that their resorts can be very nice! Luckily, you’re often able to snow shoe close to them, and take advantage of their services. Generally, there’s nice roads to them with snow plowed parking lots.

Take advantage of the ski resorts.

If you’re hungry, or feeling social, you might be able to get those needs met, as well. You can meet up with friends who are ponying up the big bucks for the lift tickets for lunch or a beer. You’re able to share stories and experiences, so you won’t have to feel like you missed out on any of the fun.

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