Snowshoes as adaptive equipment

One of the major joys of winter for me is snowshoeing. There’s a pasture near my house that I often tromp in, meandering along fresh deer tracks down to a grove of white pines and cedars. Sometimes I lay beneath the pines and listen to the wind in the muffled quiet of fresh snow, watch as it knocks snow off the high branches, white billows cascading to the ground. Other times I’ll tramp a path into the frozen marsh, dead reeds and cattails rustling above my head. Of course, I adore all the natural world stuff, but I also adore how steady I feel on snowshoes. It’s not that I pine for better balance in my day-to-day life as a disabled walkie, but the contrast between my balance with and without snowshoes is quite noticeable. In the years when I lived in places where winter meant rain, not snow, I would never have imagined snowshoes to be adaptive devices. They always looked so clumsy, those oversized frames to strap onto hiking boots. But now I love the places I can go on my snowshoes.

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