Hiking with snow-shoes allows you to explore the wintry nature of Lapland in a quiet and ecological manner. Using snow-shoes is easy and you do not have to be a skier to learn how to do it. All you need is reasonable balance and warm clothes and a thermal suit is supplied for your use when you arrive in Lapland.
Many people, before trying snow-shoeing believe that they are like tennis rackets strapped on your boots for walking on snow. Maybe some cartoon has encouraged this belief but they work on the principle that a larger surface area spreads the weight of the body over the snow so you can even walk over fresh snow and not fall in up to your waist.
Snowshoes were originally intended to assist people to cross snowy landscapes and the indigenous Sámi people used a form of snow-shoe for their hunting trips. Now they are used as a recreational pastime and are made up of lightweight metal that is larger than your boot (and actually about the size of a large tennis racket) with straps to secure them to boots and enable you to walk. There are different styles but most have spikes on the bottom to avoid slipping and most let the heel move up and down to make it easier to walk. The snow-shoe is also turned up at the front to help when going downhill.
Snow-shoeing is generally slower than walking, although the shoes allow you the freedom to go where you like, whether uphill, downhill or in to fresh snow. You have two ski poles to help balance whilst you are walking so you can concentrate on the nature and the beauty around you. There are marked trails and beginners are recommended to follow these as they are well marked and circular routes can be followed. If you feel like making fresh tracks through deep and unbroken snow and climbing a small peak for some fantastic views then ensure that you have a map and compass with you. Santa’s Lapland optional snow-shoeing excursions start with a guide explaining exactly how the snow-shoes work and the best techniques before setting off.
View Snow-shoeing dates and times here.