A Brave Ski Mom interview with Tanya Koob, a Canadian mom who blogs at Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies and writes for numerous outdoor publications.
Of all your winter activities, which one is currently your favorite?
Currently my favorite winter activity is snowshoeing and hiking because it’s something we can do as a family. My son is only 4 and isn’t very interested in skiing yet so when we go cross country skiing he has to ride in a pulk.
When we go hiking however, he can hike with us. He has his own snowshoes and it’s fun watching him improve in his technique every time we go out. We bring a toboggan style sled with us when we go hiking so that when he gets tired he can have a rest. It works well.
What makes snowshoeing as a family especially fun?
We can go to some pretty cool places with snowshoes that you can’t get to on skis. For example, last week we did a winter canyon hike and it was the most fun I’ve had in winter – in a long time. We just wore micro spikes for traction but our son wore his snowshoes and they worked very well for him.
Where is your favorite place to snowshoe?
We like snowshoeing in Kananaskis because it’s close to home. Within an hour or less we can be on the trail.
What is it like snowshoeing with young children?
It’s like hiking. You bring lots of snacks, bring friends for motivation, and always have a backup plan for when they get tired. This is super easy in winter because you can bring a sled. It’s harder when the snow’s gone. As with any outdoor adventure there are good days and bad days. Some days are full of tantrums and whining, and other days are super fun with laughter and good spirits. We try to prepare for the worst but hope for the best every time we go out.
What equipment do you need?
We all have snowshoes that we’ve purchased second hand. We don’t like to spend a lot of money on gear unless it has to be super high performance. For the most part our snowshoeing is pretty tame as a family. I usually like to bring hiking poles when I go for extra balance as well. Other than that, we bring a sled most of the time and we wear warm waterproof clothing. And good boots are a must!
What is the one thing you shouldn’t forget?
Your camera. You want to capture those family memories.
What advice do you have for other families interested in snowshoeing?
Try it close to home the first time or two. I taught my son to snowshoe on a golf course in the city. There was lots of snow, we were close to the car, and it was flat. That’s all you need for the first time out.
Where, more than any other place, do you want to go snowshoeing? What’s on your list?
I want to snowshoe into Skoki Lodge with my son. It’s an amazing backcountry lodge in Banff National Park and while I’ve been in there many times, my son has yet to make it in. I like to take him to all of my favorite places.
I’ll probably cry the first time we snowshoe or ski in there together when he’s old enough to make the trip on his own without being pulled or carried. It’s a hard ski or snowshoe and so I imagine we’ll be waiting a few years on this one.
What else should I have asked?
My favorite piece of clothing for snowshoeing is my new down skirt from Skhoop out of Alaska. I love it! It keeps my bum warm and dry when snow is kicked up at me. I wouldn’t go snowshoeing without it again.
The Brave Ski Mom Adds…
Tanya is the author of the blog Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies. Her motto is “Have child and have not slowed down!” Her blog seeks to chronicle the joys and challenges of taking kids hiking, camping, backpacking, skiing, biking, paddling and all-out exploring in the Canadian Rockies.
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