This post is sponsored by Backcountry & ShopStyle.
Marquette, Michigan, (my hometown) is a winter wonderland. It’s snowy and gorgeous, and people come from miles around to experience it. We have extensive snowmobile trails, a ski hill that’s just minutes from downtown, and a gorgeous lake to surf in (yes, even in the winter!) . . . or just look at, if that’s more your speed. We’re home to the UP200, one of the top sled dog races in the Midwest (an Iditarod qualifier!) and the Noquemanon Ski Marathon, a cross-country ski race famous for its rugged and pristine Upper Peninsula wilderness course. And there’s always a hockey game to watch (or play in) inside or outside on the many outdoor rinks thanks to the ice and snow we get. In short, if you love winter, Marquette is the place to be.
But . . . let’s say winter isn’t your favorite. Let’s say you’re more of a sun, sand and beach sort of girl. The summers here are beautiful, sure, but if you live here and don’t have some sort of outdoor winter activity you enjoy, you can go stir-crazy waiting for the warmer weather.
New Year, New Outdoor Activity: Snowshoeing For Beginners
Shana and family love downhill skiing, and we have so much fun watching them race down the slopes when they’re here. I’d love to get out there and ski myself, but I always have an excuse: the time, the money, the fact that I don’t know how (that’s kind of the big one) . . . But every year I say I’m going to try something new. Like skiing. Or snowshoeing. And every year I end up saying ok maybe next year. So when Backcountry (a premium retailer for top outdoors & lifestyle brands like Patagonia, Fjallraven, and Free People) reached out, asking us to try something new this year (like snowshoeing!), I took it as a Sign From The Universe that I needed to get out there and do it already. Backcountry believes anyone is capable of enjoying outdoor experiences–even an “indoor” kinda girl like me.
What To Wear: My Warm, Pretty & Practical Snowshoeing Outfit
I chose all the gear I’d need for my outdoor adventure: snowshoes and boots, warm pants and jacket–even crazy-toasty mittens and a hat–and headed up to Presque Isle to try it all out as soon as they came in the mail. The lake is always one of our favorite places in the summer, but I rarely get the chance to take in the view during the winter–I wasn’t disappointed. I could stare at Lake Superior for hours. The snow falling softly onto the water was breathtaking. It reminded me of how important it is to slow down once in a while and take some time for myself . . . and snowshoeing was a great way to breathe in nature and just be.
Komperdell Powder 22 Snowshoe – These were perfect. I was able to buckle them myself with minimal effort, and they stayed on the whole time I was hiking around. (For some reason I remember snowshoes being really difficult to put on back in the day, but these were a breeze.) They have a heel lift, which helps when you’re climbing up steeper hills, and are lightweight and comfortable to wear. They also came off easily when I was done . . . I’d highly recommend going with these! (They’re also on sale!)
Sorel Snowlion XT Boot – I love these snow boots. They have warm inserts that come out of the boot. I’ll often take off the outer shell and wear the inserts as slippers inside. Keeps your feet toasty warm. (They run a bit big and come in whole sizes–I’m usually a 7.5/8 and sized down to a 7 for the perfect fit.)
Backcountry Gore-Tex Snow Mitten – Woah. These are . . . warm. Like really, really warm. If you have cold hands always (raises hand), these are the mittens for you. They come in multiple sizes (I used their sizing chart and ordered a 7–perfect fit) and the wrist wraps keep them handy at all times, which is especially useful for texting.
Spyder Orb Softshell Pants – I LOVE these pants! So comfortable and warm and NOT low-rise like so many snow pants are. I like the flare at the bottom so they can fit over boots, and the fact that I don’t have to wear any base layer underneath (although I could if I wanted to be extra warm). I probably should have paid attention to the size chart on these. I ordered my usual size 6 and had to exchange them for a 10. Definitely follow the numbers on the waist chart so you end up with the perfect size!
Roxy Jetty Jacket – I’ve never had a jacket with a powder skirt before, but I definitely could have used one all of those times we went sledding and snow flew up the bottom of my jacket! I was worried that it would be too tight, but there’s elastic that stretches to fit. There are so many compartments and pockets for everything you’d need to carry, as well as vents that you can unzip when you get too warm. (Which, surprisingly, actually happened!) It was easy to move in and the hood is detachable. And how fun is that pattern??
Mammut Sally Beanie – The felt lining feels super-soft on your skin, and the wool, which is “kindly sourced from non-mulesed sheepies,” keeps you warm. I hadn’t heard about that before, but after reading into it, I’m even more excited to share this one.
Shop My Snowshoeing Outfit, Boots & Gear
p.s. You can use code “THEMOMEDIT” for 15% off your first purchase! (exclusions apply)
A huge thank you to Backcountry and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post! You finally got me to try something new, and I’m so glad I did. Snowshoeing will be a great winter activity for me that will keep me from going stir crazy in our winters! Amy, your pictures are amazing as always, and it’s so much fun to work with you And to our readers . . . you guys are awesome. Thank you so much for your continued support. It does not go unnoticed and is so very much appreciated!
photo credit: Vafa Photography