Not trying to jack this thread or anything, but elkohlic got me thinking. Are using snowshoes during hunting practical? The snow was really bad this year (the kind of snow that you think you might stay on top of but end up falling through 95% of the time). I got home and thought snowshoes would have been nice. Never done it before so I wouldn't have a clue if it would be good for hunting or not. Just sounded good. Can you walk in them without the poles? Thoughts?
Poles are a must. They are absolutely practical. It is amazing where you can get on them. I did about 14 miles (tracked it out on Google Earth) in one day this year on mine. I have also packed out bulls in ridiculous conditions with them. I use them all the time.
Originally Posted by WYrider
Elkoholic307, just thought I'd add that there is a good write up on the REI site below on snowshoes. A good option might be to rent so you can see if it is something you might want to get into or not and perhaps try some out that the folks here recommended. I have a pair of modified bear paw Sherpas with crampon grips that I use winter backpacking here in the Sierras. There are a lot of cool different brands out there depending out what you want to use them for.
WYrider, I've used snowshoes without poles and on level ground it's ok to cruise on. For me like Bitterroot Bulls notes I think they are a must as well. If I have a pack and I'm going up any kind of uphill grade the poles sure help a lot in balance and foot placement on the hills. Falling over and getting back up while on snowshoes with a pack on is not the most graceful of things.