Face-Saving Ways to Buy Resting Time When Snowshoeing With Someone Who Is More Fit Than You

Adapted from TheNewNomads.

We have all been in the situation of being on a snowshoe  excursion with someone who is more experienced than us, more fit than us, didn’t drink as much as us the night before, or just seems hell bent on flying across the terrain. You can’t perform as impressively, yet you love their company and want to encourage their companionship and positive opinion of your ability. Snowshoeing with someone like that without ripping your chest open with exertion AND without seeming like an undesirable wuss requires some premeditation and planning.


Here are some of the ways I suggest you can use to get the rest you need on a strenuous trip without constantly whining and begging.

  • Adjust your bindings. Preferably one at a time, buying at least two stops.
  • Photo-op. The easiest but also very obvious excuse is the need to photograph a beautiful winter scene or companion.
  • Hydration. Water is the building block of life. You can’t be denied a need for a drink of water.
  • The need to write down an important task you can’t forget to do when the trip is over. “It will bother you all day” if you don’t.
  • Exploit a past injury. No one wants to imagine the possibility that they may have to limp you down the mountain. A slight gesture of knee discomfort is worth a few rests.
  • Questions about flora, fauna and/or geology of surrounding features. Most people love to share their knowledge.
  • Need to pee. If you are female, you can get some time here.
  • Clothing adjustment. Need to shed/add layers of clothing.
  • Talk about something very difficult, serious and/or intimate requiring full attention. Good for confessions, childhood trauma stories, and deep relationship issues. If you can cry on command, you’ve got a good long break.
  • Track identification.  Ask for advice on determining what made those tracks in the snow.
  • The possible glimpse of wildlife. If they’re not actually there or difficult to find, i.e. a small bird in a tree, you get a longer rest while your companion keeps following your finger looking for them.
  • You happen to have their favorite sweet treat in the pack and would they like a bit?
  • Fall.  Just slip. Don’t hurt yourself of course.
  • Ask about the location: Where are we? What’s the elevation? How many miles have we come? Someone won’t be able to resist pulling out the map and figuring it out.
  • Lip balm. Chapped lips are horrible. Do not have it conveniently in your pocket.
  • Pack adjustment.  Loosen/tighten your pack straps. You can appear to suffer a bit first to add authenticity.
  • Deploy your trekking poles, walk for a while and then put them back in your pack.
  • Petting / playing with other hiker’s dogs buys time.  Check their paws for clumps of snow.
  • Request demonstrations of favorite gear items … “Is that an anemometer around your neck?” or “How did you get your shoulder straps to agitate with your hip belt like that?” or “How do you layer your socks with those shoes on a day like this?”
  • Ask for a rest break.  This will greatly decrease suspicion the rest of the time.
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