If you’ve ever been hiking in the winter wonderland, you know how essential snowshoes can be to navigate through the deep, powdery terrain. But carrying snowshoes on your backpack? That’s a whole different art altogether. In this article, we’ll show you the best techniques to securely attach your snowshoes to your backpack, ensuring a hassle-free and comfortable winter hiking experience. So, grab your backpack and get ready to hit the snowy trails like a pro!
How to Carry Snowshoes on Backpack
Carrying snowshoes on your backpack is an essential skill for winter hiking and mountaineering. Snowshoes can be bulky and cumbersome, so it’s important to know the proper techniques for attaching and securing them to your backpack. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of carrying snowshoes on your backpack, ensuring comfort, stability, and ease of movement.
Choosing the Right Backpack
Before you can carry snowshoes on your backpack, you need to make sure you have the right backpack for the job. The key factors to consider when choosing a backpack for snowshoes are the appropriate size, weight distribution, and evaluating backpack features.
Selecting the Appropriate Size
When selecting a backpack, it’s important to choose one that has enough space to accommodate your snowshoes. Look for a backpack with a capacity of at least 40 liters to ensure there is enough room for your gear and the snowshoes. Additionally, consider the length of your snowshoes and make sure the backpack is long enough to accommodate them comfortably.
Considering Weight Distribution
Proper weight distribution is crucial for maintaining balance and stability while carrying snowshoes on your backpack. Choose a backpack that distributes the weight evenly across your back and hips. Look for backpacks with padded shoulder straps and a hip belt for added support and comfort.
Evaluating Backpack Features
Certain backpack features can greatly enhance the convenience of carrying snowshoes. Look for backpacks with external attachment points, loops, or straps specifically designed for securing snowshoes. These features will simplify the process of attaching and securing your snowshoes, making your hiking experience more enjoyable.
Preparing the Snowshoes
Before attaching the snowshoes to your backpack, it’s essential to properly prepare them. This involves cleaning off any dirt or debris and removing any ice and snow build-up.
Cleaning the Snowshoes
Inspect your snowshoes for any dirt, leaves, or other debris that may have accumulated during your previous hiking trips. Use a brush or a cloth to gently remove any dirt or debris from the snowshoes. This ensures that your backpack and gear remain clean and free from unnecessary mess.
Removing Ice and Snow Build-Up
If your snowshoes have been used in wet or snowy conditions, it’s common for ice and snow to accumulate on the bindings and crampons. Use a small shovel, ice axe, or your hands to carefully remove any ice and snow from the snowshoes. This will prevent excess weight and reduce the risk of damage to your backpack.
Attaching the Snowshoes to the Backpack
Once your snowshoes are clean and free from ice and snow, it’s time to attach them to your backpack. The key to successful attachment is locating anchor points and utilizing straps or compression bands.
Locating Anchor Points
Most backpacks come with external attachment loops or daisy chains that can serve as anchor points for securing snowshoes. Locate these anchor points on your backpack and ensure they are strong and durable enough to withstand the weight of the snowshoes. It’s also important to position the snowshoes in a way that doesn’t obstruct your movement or interfere with accessing other gear.
Using Straps or Compression Bands
Secure the snowshoes to the anchor points using straps or compression bands. These can either be integrated into the backpack or purchased separately. Start by threading the straps or bands through the bindings or crampons of the snowshoes, making sure they are tightly fastened. Adjust the tension as needed to ensure a secure fit.
Securing the Snowshoes on the Backpack
Attaching the snowshoes to your backpack is just the first step. It’s equally important to secure them properly to ensure stability and balance during your hike.
Ensuring Stability and Balance
After attaching the snowshoes to your backpack, take a moment to check for stability and balance. Ensure that the snowshoes are centered and not hanging too low or swinging excessively. Adjust the straps or compression bands if necessary to achieve a balanced and secure fit.
Avoiding Excessive Movement
Excessive movement of the snowshoes can be uncomfortable and can hinder your hiking experience. To prevent this, double-check that all straps and compression bands are tightened and secure. Avoid leaving any loose ends that may get caught on branches or brush along the trail.
Adjusting the Backpack for Comfort
Carrying snowshoes on your backpack can add extra weight and affect your overall comfort. However, by properly adjusting your backpack, you can minimize discomfort and ensure an enjoyable hiking experience.
Properly Fitting the Shoulder Straps
Start by adjusting the shoulder straps of your backpack to ensure a comfortable fit. The straps should be snug but not too tight, distributing the weight evenly across your shoulders. Adjust the straps until the backpack sits comfortably and doesn’t cause any strain.
Adjusting the Hip Belt
The hip belt plays a crucial role in carrying heavy loads and maintaining stability. Make sure the hip belt is properly positioned on your hip bones, snugly wrapping around your waist. Fasten the buckle and tighten the strap until the backpack feels secure and the weight is evenly distributed on your hips.
Utilizing Chest or Sternum Straps
Some backpacks come equipped with chest or sternum straps, which can provide additional support and stability when carrying heavy loads. Adjust these straps to a comfortable tension, ensuring they sit across your chest and prevent the backpack from swaying side to side.
Balancing the Load
Once you have adjusted the shoulder straps, hip belt, and chest straps, it’s important to assess the balance of the load. Ensure that the weight is evenly distributed between the snowshoes and the other gear in your backpack. Aim for a balanced load that allows for easy movement while maintaining stability.
Carrying Techniques for Larger Backpacks
If you have a larger backpack, it may require a different carrying technique to ensure comfort and stability.
Positioning Snowshoes Horizontally
When carrying larger backpacks, it is often more practical to position the snowshoes horizontally. Start by attaching the snowshoes to the anchor points on your backpack, placing them side by side. Ensure that the bindings are facing outward and the crampons are secured. This horizontal position helps minimize obstruction and maintains a balanced load.
Vertical Attachment for Increased Stability
For increased stability and reduced interference, some individuals prefer to attach the snowshoes vertically. Instead of placing them side by side, position one snowshoe in front of the other. This technique is especially useful if you need to maneuver through narrow trails or dense vegetation.
Tips for Carrying Snowshoes on Smaller Packs
If you have a smaller backpack, there are additional tips and techniques to ensure you can comfortably carry your snowshoes.
Using External Loops or Attachment Points
Smaller backpacks may not have dedicated snowshoe attachment points. In these cases, utilize external loops or other attachment points to secure the snowshoes. You can use cords or bungee cords to create makeshift attachment points and securely fasten the snowshoes to your backpack.
Using Dedicated Snowshoe Carrying Systems
Some manufacturers offer specialized snowshoe carrying systems that are designed specifically for smaller backpacks. These systems typically consist of lightweight straps and buckles that attach directly to the backpack, providing a secure and convenient way to carry your snowshoes.
Alternative Methods for Carrying Snowshoes
While attaching snowshoes to your backpack is the most common method, there are alternative ways to carry them if attaching them directly isn’t suitable for your needs.
Utilizing Snowshoe Carrying Bags
Snowshoe carrying bags are a great solution for transporting your snowshoes without attaching them to your backpack. These bags are specifically designed to hold snowshoes, keeping them protected and separate from your other gear. Simply place your snowshoes inside the bag and carry it separately or attach it to your backpack using external loops or straps.
Carrying Snowshoes in Pockets or External Pouches
If you have sufficient pocket space or external pouches on your backpack, you can consider carrying your snowshoes directly in these compartments. Slide the snowshoes into the pockets or pouches, making sure they fit securely and don’t obstruct your movement. This method is convenient if you need quick access to your snowshoes or if you only need to carry them for short distances.
Considerations for Long-Distance Hikes
When embarking on long-distance hikes with snowshoes, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind.
First, check the durability of your backpack and ensure it can withstand the prolonged use and weight of carrying snowshoes. Reinforce any weak points or damaged areas to prevent any accidents during your hike.
Second, regularly check the attachment points and straps to ensure they remain secure throughout your journey. Adjust them if necessary to maintain stability and prevent any damage to your gear.
Lastly, be mindful of your energy levels and take breaks when needed. Carrying snowshoes can be physically demanding and may require additional stamina. Pace yourself and listen to your body to avoid exhaustion.
Carrying snowshoes on your backpack doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By choosing the right backpack, properly preparing the snowshoes, attaching them securely, and adjusting your backpack for comfort, you can enjoy a hassle-free winter hiking experience. Remember to consider the size, weight distribution, and features of your backpack, clean and prepare your snowshoes, and utilize the various carrying techniques based on the size of your pack. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to confidently hit the trails and explore the winter wonderland with your snowshoes securely attached to your backpack. Stay safe, have fun, and enjoy the beauty of winter!