[at-l] Snowshoeing VS Hikng

Jim Bullard jim.bullard at gmail.com
Sun Jan 24 18:02:46 CST 2010

The 2 mph was an assumption on my part. The calculator does not take speed
into account on eiither the backpacking or snowshoeing activities, only user
body weight and time involved in the activity. The snowshoeing entry does
not indicate whether they allowed for carrying a backpack. I assume not. As
such it is admittedly a guesstimate. There are a lot of other considerations
which could/would affect the total calorie burn from either activity.

In running that calculation I was only looking for a base comparison of the
activities in terms of relative energy required. I arbitrarily chose 2mph
figuring 10 hours to do 20 miles. I did not intend to imply that one could
or should snowshoe at 2mph for 10 hours. My own snowshoeing with a pack
involves substantially less weight than you carry; my camera, some emergency
clothing/supplies and trail maintenance tools (bow saw & brush axe). I've
never weighed it but it probably isn't over 15#. With that I can cover 2.5
miles in about 90 minutes (not counting stops for photos and/or trail work).
A couple of folks have indicated that they thought snowshoeing was easier
than backpacking. Perhaps for them, the way they do it, it is. That hasn't
been my experience possibly because I spend a lot of my snowshoe time
breaking trail. As you observe, the extra weigh attached to your feet makes
a difference especially if you are in deep soft snow.

Jim Bullard

On Sun, Jan 24, 2010 at 6:20 PM, Lee Parker <l.clayton.parker at gmail.com>wrote:

> Perhaps it is just me, but I have never managed to make 20 miles in one day
> on snowshoes. I suspect their calculator is flawed. Or perhaps it is just
> the assumptions.
> For parameters, lets look at this: I weigh 170 lbs more or less, my winter
> mountaineering pack with all the appropriate gear weighs 45 lbs, less
> snowshoes. My snowshoes and crampons weigh about 5 lbs total and the plastic
> bots another 5 lbs. So that it more like 225 lbs, with 5 of it directly
> attached to my feet (it does make a difference). My summer pack on the other
> hand weighs 27 lbs for the same trip length, for a total of 197 lbs. Not
> even going to get into the clothing.
> The major difference is in hiking style, you cannot huff and puff till you
> are covered in sweat. My experience has been that in the mountains in deep
> snow one mile per hour is about the average. It is possible to go faster,
> but not likely.
> Lee I Joe
> On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 11:28 AM, Jim Bullard <jim.bullard at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Frank asked if anyone had snowshoed 20 miles in a day. I responded the I
>> had hiked 20 miles per day and I had snowshoed but never the two together
>> then I got wondering what the difference in exertion would be. Having done
>> both activities I know that snowshoeing is more strenuous. There is a site I
>> frequent <http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/calories.htm> for such
>> calculations and I went there to check it out. I put in 200# and 60 minutes
>> as the parameters then figured 2mph to complete the 20 miles totally 10
>> hours. The result was 6670 calories burning backpacking vs 7620 calories for
>> snowshoeing or 14.24% more energy required for snowshoeing. So if you try
>> it... take extra food.
>> P.S. I'm not clear how they calculate the energy burned (something to do
>> with oxygen consumption I think) but I notice the, some though not all, of
>> the activities are tagged "Taylor Code". I've tried without success to find
>> out what that refers to. Anyone know?
>> Jim Bullard
>> http://jims-ramblings.blogspot.com/
>> http://members.photoportfolios.net/Jim_Bullard
>> http://www.photoshelter.com/c/jim_bullard
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