The winter trail

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The proper way to prepare trails in the snow

This is going to sound weird, but there actually is a best way to prepare trails through snow in the winter.

This trick is to start out shuffling. That builds winter trails that are clear and level.
This trick is to start out shuffling. That builds winter trails that are clear and level.
Shuffle for happy trails

Winter trails need to be level, clear and relatively smooth. The best way to achieve this is not to “walk” through the snow after a snow fall, but to “shuffle.”

If you have kids it's great. A session of trail building and they're pooped right out.

I recommend making your path 1 and a half times the width of your shoulders. If you make your trail too narrow, later in the season when the trail starts to build up, you’ll find yourself twisting your ankles or stumbling or sinking up to your bottom when you go off trail.

The basic formula
  • Start with a straight ahead shuffle
  • When you return go off track one foot width
  • Repeat
  • Stick to one trail to each destination
  • after a few trips back and forth you’ll have a good safe trail

You wouldn’t know it, but the trails in the photo above cut through snow three feet deep. The trails are over two feet above ground level.

As they lead to my truck and to the washroom, you can bet I want a nice level trail at night heading to the john or returning from grocery shopping laden with bags.

Happy shufflin’ y’all

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