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By engaging in winter sports (where there is significant snow on the ground) you are already greatly reducing your impact. The biggest impacts to back-country areas from non-motorized recreation come from vegetation disturbance: boots grinding up plants and breaking topsoil, tents compressing vegetation, camp activity destroying vegetation, fire scars, etc. ...


I would consider two items: Trekking poles with large baskets. And if you are looking for a pair of modern snowshoes Consider models which have bars at the rear to elevate your feet during ascent. It is common to use the trekking pole to flip the bar up when required.


Elevation bars are great, but more important are the grips/spikes on the bottom, not just for icy snow, but for fallen wood/exposed roots which are especially slippery in the winter. That traction makes all the difference. Ideally the grips run parallel to the length of the snowshoe, usually to the outside, and an additional grip runs across the toe where ...


There is one often forgotten thing in skiing that can be harmful. The waxes. The racing ones contain a lot of fluorocarbons that can stay in the environment for ages. The pure racing fluorocarbons (mostly powders) are dangerous even to people applying them and special masks should be worn (see). Consider using just pure hydrocarbon waxes or other waxes ...

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