Our snowshoeing gear list includes everything you need to wear and bring on your next snowshoeing adventure!
Winter adventures call for a bit more preparation, but it’s always worth it. For a successful snowshoeing outing, bring extra clothes, a hot drink, and the ten essentials. Our gear recommendations are below.
Here is a printable PDF version of the checklist:
Snowshoeing with kids? See our story The Best Winter Gear for Kids: Buying Guide & Product Recommendations.
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What to Wear Snowshoeing
- Warm, moisture-wicking base layers (synthetic or merino wool): We love Helly Hansen LIFA Merino (Available at Helly Hansen | Sport Chek | Amazon) and Patagonia Capilene base layers.
- Wool ski socks: Smartwool and Bridgedale make high quality socks. We recommend wool-blend ski socks because they are warm but not overly thick, and fit snugly to prevent blisters. You don’t want super thick socks for snowshoeing because your feet will overheat and get sweaty.
- Wool toque with fleece lining: wool is warm and naturally anti-odor. A fleece lining (at least around the forehead and ears) prevents skin from getting itchy. We like this Ambler toque.
- Insulated waterproof-windproof jacket: I own and recommend the Helly Hansen Powderqueen 3.0 Jacket and Helly Hansen Alva 2.0 Parka for very cold weather (up to -20C). For milder weather, wear the Patagonia Down Sweater and pack a waterproof/windproof shell like the Helly Hansen Verglas 3L Shell in case it gets very windy or wet.
- Insulated waterproof-windproof snow pants: The Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated Pants are warm and waterproof. I loved my first pair (bought in 2014) so much, I just bought another pair!
- Gaiters: Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters (unisex) are the bomb at keeping snow out of your boots.
- Waterproof winter hiking boots: After trying several brands, my whole family likes Salomon winter boots best. They are warm, light, grippy, and durable (and no, we didn’t get them free or get paid to say that – we have been buying Salomon boots for years!). The Salomon Outblast TS Waterproof Winter Boots have 200 gram insulation to keep your feet warm.
- Water-resistant mittens or warm gloves: Black Diamond Mercury Mitts are really warm. For extreme cold, get the Black Diamond Absolute Mitts.
- Sunglasses or goggles: polarized lenses help cut the glare and improve depth perception. We like Shady Rays‘ quality and commitment to fight hunger (10 meals provided for every pair of sunglasses purchased).
What to Bring Snowshoeing
Clothing Pack List
- Buff or fleece neckwarmer
- Fleece jacket or down sweater (mid layer)
- Extra mittens or gloves
- Extra socks
- Snowshoes: We highly recommend Yukon Charlie’s Elite SPIN Snowshoes. The bindings are so easy to adjust! Check out our review of the Yukon Charlie’s Elite Spin snowshoes here. For backcountry use, we recommend MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes for their aggressive crampons and easy-to-repair/replace straps.
- Trekking poles with snow baskets: splurge on Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z poles (super light and compact – fold into 3 sections), or save on the Yukon Charlie’s Carbon Lite Trekking Poles (I have been using these for 3 years and love them)
- Backpack: 30-40 L is a good size for adults (to hold extra clothes and emergency gear); for kids, keep packs small. Kids shouldn’t carry more than 10% of their body weight since their spines are still developing. The Osprey Tempest 40 Backpack from MEC has all the features you need.
- Toe warmers
- Foldable foam seat to sit on (great to have for emergencies too)
- Avalanche Gear (if heading into avalanche terrain): avalanche beacon, probe, and shovel
The 10 Essentials
Pack the ten essentials on EVERY trip! For more information, please read our story: The Ten Essential Systems.
- map or trail guide + compass or GPS
- headlamp + extra batteries
- Adventure Medical Kids first aid kit in ultralight waterproof bag (0.5 size is good for one person, 0.7 for 3 people)
- signaling mirror
- emergency shelter: Sil-nylon tarp and/or bivy, emergency blanket or waterproof, heat reflective poncho, or large garbage bag
- sunscreen + lipgloss with SPF
- pocket knife and/or multi-tool: We like Swiss Army Knives
- fire making kit: lighter, matches in waterproof container, fire starters (Zip Firestarters are the best; they last up to 15 minutes)
- snowshoe repair kit (extra snowshoe straps and/or zip ties and duct tape)
- hand sanitizer
- toilet paper and ziploc bags (to pack out waste and used toilet paper if no outhouses available)
- bear spray and holster. Holsters come in different sizes so make sure you get the size that matches your bear spray canister.
Food and Drink
- Insulated Hydroflask coffee bottle with hot drink (don’t forget marshmallows for cocoa!)
- foods you can eat with gloves/mittens on: sandwiches, cookies, granola bars, yogurt tubes, cheese sticks
- water in insulated water bottle (hydration packs not recommended in cold temps as water can freeze in the tube): Hydroflask double-walled stainless steel, BPA-free bottles are great.
Optional / Nice to Have
- Power bank with charging cable to recharge your cell phone and headlamp
- Personal locator beacon like the Garmin inReach Explorer+
Snowshoeing Gear List Printable PDF
Here is a printable PDF of our snowshoeing gear list:
Have fun and stay safe! Remember to check the trail report and avalanche report before you head out.