Snowshoeing: More Fun Than Dying of Hypothermia. Possibly.

I was recently talking with a friend about weekend plans when he started waxing poetic about heading north to do some snowshoeing. Snowshoeing, as far as I can tell, is the least amount of fun you can have while still being in the snow. Aside from dying of hypothermia, I guess. I’ve never died of hypothermia before but I’m willing to bet it’s even less fun than snowshoeing. Except for the part where you maybe hallucinate. That’s always a good time.

Last winter, the whole MILK tribe piled into the minivan and followed two other families up into the wilds of Canada for some wintery fun. By the wilds of Canada, I mean a ridiculously gorgeous resort town where we all crammed into a sweet condo with heated floors and a hot tub (which the Engineer apparently broke by showing the kids how cool icebergs are…and something about global warming).

Anyway, multi-family vacations are the way to go if you happen to know multiple families you both like and who aren’t super likely to stage an intervention when they see how few places you go without a flask. Aside from the money you save by pooling resources, the real genius point is the trading off of childcare.


So it was agreed upon that the ladies would watch the kids one day while the boys had an adventure and then we’d swap.

I have a pretty limited take on what “adventure” means in this scenario. I was about to ditch a four year old and a six month old with their dad for half a day. I wanted to either go down a steep hill very fast, or else I wanted to be tits deep in hot mud while a muscular swede massaged my shoulders. A distant third would’ve been sushi and too much sake. Alas, this was not in the cards. I was outnumbered and outvoted by two ladies with a much broader definition of fun.

The plan was, we were gonna go snowshoeing. Well, why the hell not, I thought, I like to try new things. Or I try to like new things. One of those. At this point I’d never been snowshoeing before. To be honest, I didn’t even know it was an activity one did for fun. I sort of thought snowshoeing was just a brutal necessity of life for people too far from civilization for proper footwear. That, and a whacky mode of transportation for cartoon characters.


Turns out, I was totally correct on all fronts. Snowshoeing is not fun; it’s essentially just a long, cold walk in very uncomfortable shoes, which is a habit I got out of after my twenties. It also smacks of exercise – another nasty habit I avoid. I hadn’t slogged twenty feet from the rental spot before I recognized the monstrous error in judgment I’d made. Instead of soaking away my cares in a spa, I was trudging uphill behind two women in much better physical condition who were yelling back encouraging tips like “If you squeeze your ass, you can really feel the burn!”

Thank God I brought my flask. And also thank God I was slow as hell, because that’s the closest I’ve ever come to murdering my friends. 

And you know the thing about going uphill? At some point there will be a lovely, downhill slope. And the thing about snowshoes? It doesn’t f’ing matter. There will be no fun glide alongside the cross-country skiers shooting past you. There will be no reward for your pain. Hiking downhill on snowshoes sucks every bit as much as hiking uphill in snowshoes. Which is a lot. It sucks a lot.

Add this to a very long list of “fun” activities I will never understand. Like ice-climbing. And running. Just…why?

For their adventure, the boys went skiing. In case you were wondering.

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