Snowshoeing in the Arctic

Tracing back over 6,000 years, snowshoes were once vital tools utilised by indigenous populations across Finland, Sweden, Canada and Alaska.

In regions that experience months of deep snow, snowshoes allowed for easier navigation and were of great assistance to hunters and trappers. They were also crucial in helping communities stay in contact during the winter months.

During your holiday to the Arctic, you can experience this popular pastime as you walk over the deep snow with ease and explore your stunning surroundings.

View all of our holidays that include snowshoeing here.

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What are snowshoes?

Traditionally made from a hardwood frame with rawhide lacings, modern snowshoes are mainly plastic and are the perfect footwear for hiking over snow. Snowshoes are so effective because they distribute your weight evenly over a large surface area. This stops your feet from sinking completely into the deep snow. They work best when there is enough snow between the snowshoes and the ground, usually around 20cm - which is no problem in Finland, Sweden, Canada or Alaska!

How to snowshoe

Setting off for the first time, we think the best way to have a go at snowshoeing is to simply strap them on and step out onto the crisp, white snow. You might find it takes a bit of getting used to but little instruction is required, really it’s more a case of mastering your coordination! However, with a bit of practice, you’ll soon be on your way to making tracks in the pristine wilderness.

Snowshoeing on holiday with Artisan Travel

A lot of winter trips include snowshoeing, with tours in the daytime and nocturnal hunts to search for the Northern Lights.

Many hotels in Finland, Sweden, Canada and Alaska will also allow you to hire snowshoes so you can explore the surrounding areas at your own pace. Often there are set trails to navigate to help you see more of the white wilderness.

Although snowshoeing can seem a little on the tame side in comparison to other Arctic activities such as dog sledding and snowmobiling, we’ve found that many of our guests enjoy the novelty of walking across deep snow. What’s more, you’ll soon appreciate their use when you try and tackle the deep snow of our Arctic locations without them!

When you strap on a pair of snowshoes, you can easily tackle deep snow and make the most of your remarkable surroundings during this peaceful activity.


Image credits:  Antti Pietikainen & SnowGames

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