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8 of the best ways to get around on snow

This article looks at a variety of different ways to get around in the snow. And, picks out the best instances for each of them.
© Luleå University of Technology

There are a number of different ways humans can travel in the snow.

Let’s look at eight of them, and in what instance they come in handy:

1. Snowmobile

A Snowmobile

A snowmobile, also known as a motor sledge and a skimobile, is a motorised vehicle designed for winter travel and recreation on snow. It is designed to be operated on snow and ice and does not require a road or trail, however, most are driven on open terrain or trails. Snowmobiling is a sport that many people have taken on as a serious hobby.

You should choose a snowmobile if you are travelling long distances on snow and if you need to carry a lot or have heavy packing.

2. Spark

A Spark

The spark is a small sled consisting of a chair mounted on a pair of flexible metal runners that extend backwards to about twice the chair’s length. The sled is propelled by kicking (“sparka” or “sparke” in the Scandinavian languages) the ground by foot. There is a handlebar attached to the top of the chair back. Some possible translations are “kicksled” “kicker” and “chair-sled”.

You should choose the spark if you are travelling a medium distance on ice and if you carrying a pack or have a friend who wants to come along.

3. Fatbike

A Fatbike

Riding a fat bike in the snow is amazing! It is a unique experience to cycle on a surface that is constantly changing. Perfectly packed snow can be as much fun as cycling on dirt trails. One of the biggest benefits of cycling in the snow is the ability to crash with reckless abandon. Because crashes are relatively safe, they allow you to test the limits of the bike, tires and surface.

You should choose a fat bike when you have to get through rough terrain such as in the woods or when you want to take an exercise session.

4. Dog sledding

A Dog sledding

Dog sledding is a fun means of transport that everyone can drive. It is a way to get through hard-to-reach nature areas while it is an opportunity to enjoy vast expanses. You, the dogs and the sled become one as you glide silently over beautiful snow-filled landscapes. Common dog breeds are Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky and Alaskan Husky.

You should choose dog sledding when you want to experience something really special.

5. Kitewing

A Kitewing

Kitewing is a hand-held and high-performance wing sail, originally designed for ice and snow, that has since become a versatile tool for many applications. Kitewings are used on frozen lakes, open terrain and parking lots with a wide variety of equipment. Once known as the Skimbat, the Kitewing is a popular method of harnessing wind for pure enjoyment.

You should choose a Kitewing when you are at a frozen lake and want a great adrenalin kick.

6. Ice skates

People ice skating

Ice skates are metal blades attached underfoot and used to propel the bearer across the surface of the ice. Modern skates come in many different varieties, which are chosen depending on the requirements needed for the skating activity. They are worn recreationally in ice rinks or on frozen bodies of water across the globe and are used as footwear in many sports, including figure skating, bandy, ice hockey, ringette, rinkball, speed skating and tour skating.

You should choose skates when you have a frozen lake that is not covered in snow or when you visit an ice rink.

7. Snowboarding

Snowboarding is a winter sport that involves descending a slope that is covered with snow while standing on a board attached to a rider’s feet, using a special boot set onto a mounted binding. The development of snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing and skiing.

A person snowboarding

You should choose a snowboard when you are at a ski resort and want a great adrenalin kick.

8. Snowshoes

Snowshoes are frames that are attached under the shoes that provide a sufficiently large bearing surface to facilitate walking on snow. They have been used for several thousand years and have in recent years gained new popularity as a form of exercise and in outdoor life.

Man walking with Snowshoes

You should choose Snowshoes when you go hiking in wintertime and the snow is deep and loose. They are also a good choice if you climb in the mountains in deep snow.

© Luleå University of Technology
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Snow: What It Is and Why It Matters

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