Snowshoe Guide with your child

Guide Raquette avec votre enfant

Do you like hiking with your mini? Well, in winter you can do your usual hikes, and even others, in the snow on snowshoes.

Yes, introduce your little ones to snowshoeing and nature. We created this short guide to snowshoeing with children just for you!


Who is Peakbwa ? We are a young company that creates in Quebec eco clothing and which grow with your children from 0 to 12 years old. We love nature and our designs reflect that of here.

Have a good snowshoe hike!


5 reasons to introduce your little ones to snowshoeing

At what age to start?

2 tips

How to dress them (by age)?

Rent or buy?

5 tips to get started

What to bring?

Or snowshoe?

5 good reasons to introduce your children to snowshoeing this winter!

It's possible to do it with baby

If you have a carrying backpack or a stable sled, the snowshoe is a good way to get some fresh air. Unlike cross-country skiing, if you are able to walk with baby carried on your back you will also be able to do it on snowshoes.

It's a great cardiovascular exercise to breathe in the winter!

If you like walking and are looking for a way to stay fit even when there is snow, snowshoeing is a good low-impact aerobic exercise.  If you are a fan of hiking and running, snowshoeing allows you to extend your season. The activity also allows you to enjoy the beautiful landscapes  and calm in areas that might be crowded in summer.

It's a great social activity

All ages and all levels can share this pleasure.

It's inexpensive

If the price of equipment and tickets for downhill skiing and snowboarding makes you want to slow down a little, the racket is very affordable . Equipment includes snowshoes and appropriate clothing; sticks are sometimes useful, but not obligatory. You can always try before you buy. Retractable poles are great so you can attach them to your bag if you're not using them.

This sport requires little technique

There are few outdoor activities that are as friendly  for beginner children. If you plan to venture off the beginner trails, you will need to learn how to go up and down hills, cross slopes, use your poles, get up after a fall in the snow.

snow shoes with kids, snowshoe with children

At what age should you start snowshoeing with children?

0-2 years

We carry them on the back in a hiking bag type baby carrier with rigid frame or we pulls them in a sled . Hiking bags suitable for transporting babies allow you to store essentials that you bring during the activity and also protect your baby from the wind with the sun visor and removable canvas.

2 years to 4 years

From 2 years old, a child should be able to walk with snowshoes  over small distances. Walking in the snow requires a little more energy. Keep in mind that it will walk a little less  than without snowshoes. This is a good activity to help them develop their balance!

4 years and over

Around 4 years old, children will generally be able to snowshoe for between 1 and 2 hours on terrain that is not too uneven. Obviously, the duration of your snowshoe hikes will depend on your ability to walk. Remember to take frequent breaks! If the terrain is uneven, consider reducing the hiking time.

Tip 1:  This generally takes Twice as long to cover a distance  on snowshoes rather than on foot. Then consider this in your hiking distance and duration with your child. If he generally walks for 15 minutes, cut it in half by snowshoeing: a short 7-8 minutes.

Tip 2:  If you plan to snowshoe in the powder snow , your child will spend much more energy  than on a well-packed path. Powder is great, but they will do it for a lot less time so plan ahead! Compacted trails are then recommended for 2 to 4 year olds.

Source: Quebec City

How to dress children?

We dress them using the principles of multi-layering and depending on the temperature. If it's not too cold, 2 layers may be enough. If it is very cold, 3 layers are generally recommended.

0-2 years

Since they are being transported, they need to be warm. So we dress them according to the outside temperature + 1 layer. Hat , balaclava, warm polar sweater, coat (wind), mittens, snow pants, boots and warm socks, in addition to blankets and sleeping bag if they are in a sled. A fur coat at the bottom of the sled will make a very good insulator!

Useful article : Experiencing winter with baby

3 years and over

On their snowshoes they will walk and expend some energy and warm up. Dressing them in layers is therefore important to keep them dry and comfortable.


  • Coats:  A wind-resistant winter coat is all they need (when worn over long underwear). Very insulated jackets (down type) are generally too warm for long-distance snowshoe hikes, especially if there is a slope.
  • Pants :
    • Ideally, we opt for pants made of synthetic material with a waterproof and “soft shell” fabric on the outside. They have enough stretch to allow movement, but are not too baggy.
    • Otherwise, you can put on long, wetsuit-type underwear under lightweight, waterproof and breathable lining pants. Lightly insulated children's ski pants work well, but can get too warm during a long snowshoeing adventure. Avoid jeans and other cotton pants, because once damp, they take a long time to dry and your little runners of the woods will then be cold.

  • Long underwear (dry diaper):  Even in cold weather, walking warms the body a little. For very cold conditions, place a lightweight base layer close to the skin. Choose wool or synthetic fabrics  which wick away moisture and dry quickly ( Caution: cotton becomes cold when damp ).

  • Insulating layer to put in the backpack:  If your excursion includes a lunch break or snack, pack a wool sweater, fleece jacket or light down coat. Your child doesn't need this layer for walking, but will appreciate its warmth during breaks.

  • Socks : Choose wool socks or synthetic fibers (again here, not cotton ). Make sure they fit the child's boots or shoes. Hiking socks that extend just above the calf work well, as do alpine ski socks. Light padding underfoot and in front of ankles and shins helps cushion young feet and ankles.

  • Gloves and mittens:  opt for a pair of synthetic or wool gloves or mittens. If the palms are reinforced, they will help with durability and water resistance. For cool days, remember that mittens are warmer than gloves. If necessary, add small fleece gloves inside your mitten for very cold and wet conditions.

Trick:  If your child tends to get hot, bring a second pair of gloves/mittens and socks if their pair becomes wet.

  • Beanie  : a lightweight beanie wool or synthetic is ideal for cold weather and for snack breaks. Add your hood when the wind is too strong or when you take a break. The hood that you wear under your ski helmet is a good option for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Ideas:  You can bring a small backpack for your child. Even the youngest can carry a bag with an extra jacket, water bottle and snack. Make sure the bag fits properly - the best are those with padded shoulder straps and, for older children, a lightweight waist belt and sternum strap. For long trips, bring a small insulated bottle filled with hot chocolate!

snow shoeing with kids, snowshoeing with children

Rent or buy snowshoes?

Rent if

Buy if

  • You've done it before, they like it and you know you'll do it sometime in the next few years (one to four years).
  • If you have more than one child; buy a pair for the oldest and he will pass them to the youngest in a few years.

Size of snowshoes

Youth snowshoes are often one size fits all and depend on the child's weight. The bindings are easily adjustable and accommodate many shoe types (and growing feet).

Trick :  For a child who weighs more than 80-90 pounds, it is best to choose a racket designed for women. They are lighter, narrower and shorter than standard unisex snowshoes and, because they use fewer materials, they are also less expensive.

Trick  : When putting the binding on the shoe or boot, make sure the straps are snug, but not so tight that they impede circulation.

  • Boots :  Most snowshoe bindings fit everything from walking shoes to ski boots, but your best choice will be lightweight, insulated winter boots  with good ankle flexion. Hiking boots or hiking shoes also work, especially if they have waterproof or water-resistant toes.

  • Sticks  : They are not necessary, but they facilitate movement in unpredictable terrain . Children can use downhill ski poles or hiking poles. For optimal fit: arms are at a 90 degree angle when holding the handle. Large baskets at the end of the pole are preferable, as they don't dig as far into the snow and provide a larger platform for balance. Most stores rent poles with snowshoes. If you're buying poles for kids, consider ones with adjustable shafts so they can be extended as your child grows. ;)

starting kids snow shoes, start snowshoeing with a child

5 tips to get started

The racket is easy to learn.

Generally, no lessons are needed - if you can walk, you can snowshoe . It is best to learn on flat ground. Many ski resorts have snowshoe-specific trails that follow snow-covered roads. Golf courses in snowy areas often cater to snowshoers (and cross-country skiers).

Consider joining a group.

You and your child can broaden your horizons by exploring unknown trails, making new friends and refining your technique.

Snowshoes make sense

Snowshoes are designed to move forward, not backward. If you back up, the sharp tail digs into the snow, usually resulting in a fall. Instead of going backwards, turn around.

Practice at home

Have your child put on and take off their snowshoes at home (walking on grass is fine). Practice moving forward and turning around. Children often like to imitate a penguin (a slightly wider than normal stance) to accommodate the width of the shoes.

Try some hills

Snowshoes should lie flat with each stride. Once a child can walk comfortably on level ground, choose a short trail (1 or 2 km) with hills to climb.

Avoid cross-country ski trails

Many snowshoe trails share the same trails as cross-country skiers. Always be careful not to walk on cross-country ski trails.

What to bring?

It all depends on age and temperature!

If it's cold, bring

  • a backpack to bring extra things or place a layer of clothing in if it's too hot.
  • an extra pair of stockings.
  • an extra pair of gloves or mittens if the first becomes wet.
  • a scarf, neck warmer and additional hat
  • a snack or meal that your child will enjoy.
  • a water bottle.
  • a hot beverage in a thermos.
  • the trail map if available.
  • reusable hand warmers Hot Poc or disposable when needed.
  • an insulating blanket (in my first aid kit) in case of hypothermia on longer hikes.

For babies and toddlers

Also remember to bring :

  • Everything you need for diaper changes.
  • Their food/milk.
  • A sleigh: even if it's empty when you leave, it might be practical to bring your mini back!

kids snow shoes

Where to snowshoe?

The beauty of snowshoeing is that you can go almost anywhere! We also have a nice list of parks for hiking year round in most regions of Quebec .

0 - 2 years

Since you are transporting them, it is up to you to plan how far you are able to snowshoe with your child on a sled or on your back.

2-4 years

Flat terrain or without steep slopes will be easier and more pleasant for them. And for you!

  • Go to the park near you or to nearby golf courses
  • Try to find a route that will be interesting for your child; following a small river, crossing a small bridge, and seeing interesting things like following animal tracks make the experience more positive than just walking in a field!

4 years and over

The possibilities multiply around the age of 4;

  • Hills and mountains, refuges…
  • Loose snow or compacted trail, go according to your child's attitude that day.
  • Go to places where you will have a choice of trails. This way, we adjust the choice of trail according to the attitude and energy of the troops!
  • You can even let them choose the trail by explaining to them how long they will have to walk and the hills or mountains to hike. If they balk along the way, it was their informed choice!

Regional, provincial parks and walking clubs will be the favorite places to keep them interested!


Peakbwa eco-friendly Grow with me clothing fits children in several sizes. That is to say that our pants Grow with me , children's hoodies , t-shirts , pajamas Grow with me , tuques , bandanas And baby hat last 2 to 3 times longer.

2 times eco : Economic and Eco logical. Take a look!


Supplementary article:

70 Active Play Ideas for Your Kids Indoors

Cross-Country Skiing with Children Guide