We got whacked with a huge snowstorm in Boston on Friday so the weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to take out the new Tubbs snowshoes for their FirstUse. We had done cross-country skiing around the city, but not snowshoeing. We were eager to see what it would be like to hike around the Arnold Arboretum with snowshoes.
The first thing we noticed was just how easy it was to put the snowshoes on and adjust the fit. The Tubbs' large steel teeth bit easily into the snow and gave great traction. The hinged toe design made it very stable to push off and move forward.
It was quite the winter wonderland in the Arboretum. The sky was blue, the air was fresh, and all the branches were snow covered.
We got there early in the morning, but there were already fresh cross country tracks on the snow, which were helpful in figuring out the bet place to ford the stream (above). Even so, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
There was a good 8 to 10 inches of snow on the ground from the Friday storm. Having snowshoes definitely allowed us to get into areas that would have proven really difficult had we just been wearing hiking boots. Snowshoes also enabled us to hike a lot quicker and with seriously less effort.
"Hey... where are we?" Since we were breaking new trails, it would not have been difficult for us to retrace our steps. But just to be sure we brought along the Magellan eXplorist 500 GPS receiver. We did not have the trail maps loaded (the software is on its way), but the GPS had been tracking our course the entire time.
Even though the main goal for this outing was to take a FirstLook at the Tubbs Adventure snowshoes, it was also a good chance for us to give a quick check on some of the other gear that we'll be taking with us on our January outing.
It was 34 degrees outside, but we knew that once we got going we would get pretty warm. All we had on was a layer of UnderArmour Metal and the Columbia Skier Cross Vertex jacket. Even so, after 30 minutes of hiking, we had to let out some of the excess heat via the underarm vents.
The combination of the wicking action of the UnderArmour Metal and the venting capabilities of the Columbia's OmniShield kept us dry and warm the entire time, even when we stopped to rest.
Getting in and out of the Tubbs snowshoes was a snap...of the buckles :-) Once adjusted they stayed on the entire time. With the snap and buckle, there is no need to loosen anything to step out of them. The entire setup is already adjusted, and is ready for the next outing.
We found snowshoeing in the city to be just as enjoyable and a lot less cumbersome than cross-country skiing. Snowshoeing required less prep work and no need for special boots, waxing, or hoping for good snow conditions.
If you have not tried city snowshoeing yet, you should. All you have to do is just strap them on and go!