Snowshoeing this year?

·2 min read

For the Perry family this could be the winter of the snowshoe.

“We just started snowshoeing this week,” said Riverview mom Janet Perry.

The family took up the new pastime because their oldest son, Judah, 3, is old enough, but also as another option of winter activities to get them outside with COVID-19 keeping them from some other activities, she said.

The family is not alone. New Brunswickers have been getting their hands on more snowshoes this season.

Don Rittwage, owner of The Kayak Exchange in Moncton, which has been selling hundreds of snowshoes among other outdoor equipment, said he is almost sold out of the shoes.

2020 has been his best year ever, he said, estimating he has been selling 60 per cent or more than usual of outdoor equipment. The snowshoe buying craze follows record sales of other outdoor equipment such as bicycles which had record sales at most outlets across the country. Kayaks, skis, trailers and other items linked to independent outdoor activities also did well.

The store also sells poles and outdoor gear like hats and gloves, he said.

If families are looking to try out snowshoeing but not ready to make the investment just yet, there are also options to have a loan of snowshoes at no cost in the region.

Some New Brunswick public libraries are participants in a program that has been running since last year.

Memramcook Public Library is one of them. If you walk into the branch and provide your public library card, you can check out a pair for a week, which are offered in various sizes, said Pascale Dupuis, programming and communication co-ordinator for Memramcook.

Not all libraries are participating in the object lending program, but the same program also exists at Petitcodiac Public Library, said David Collette, circulation services supervisor at Moncton Public Library.

Adult snowshoes can also be rented from the Town of Sackville by calling 364-4955.

As for the Perry family, they haven’t hit the trails just yet, said Perry, but they do have a double lot backyard, so they have been getting in some good practice, truly right in their own backyard.

Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal