That's a great question! We never know from year to year. Mother Nature dictates our use for each. We always have to be ready for both. During the past several years we have had plenty of opportunities to snowshoe, however, last year we didn't get many snowshoe outings in compared with micro spike outings. It's the way the snow falls and how much. Within a few days after a snowfall, many of the trails become packed down from heavy use or even icy because of the heating and cooling weather pattern. If it snows often, we generally get to use snowshoes more often, but if there are big gaps between snow falls like last year, we need to use micro spikes. I encourage hikers to always carry micro spikes with them on every winter hike. During the next several months, you never know when you'll need to use them, especially when the trail is a dry, non-snowy, non-icey trail to begin with.
I rent the MSR Classic Snowshoes for $10/outing with our group
You can buy Micro Spikes from me, since I generally have several pair in stock for sale.
Contact me first, for either snowshoes or micro spikes!
1 Gently stretch muscles that are sore. It will help or feel good but may not speed up the recovery time
2 To reduce inflammation, Ice. Put a few ice cubes in a ziplock bag and wrap in a thin cloth and hold it against the sore area. Do this for 10-15 minutes. It will help or feel good but may not speed up the recovery time
3 Use Heat. Do this after using ice, but not immediately, wait about 3 hours. Put boiling hot water in a rubber hot water bottle and place it on your sore muscles. Leave it there for 15 minutes. http://www.walmart.com/c/kp/hot-water-bottles
4) A warm bath w/ epson salt will help and definitely feels good but may not speed up the recovery time
5) Hydration - Drinking plenty of water can help flush out toxins from your body and prevent dehydration, which can make muscle soreness even more painful. While there is no consensus on how much water you should drink, somewhere around 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water per day is a good starting point.
6) Use over the counter pain relievers i.e. Advil or Tylenol. (Follow instructions on the bottle and do not abuse the drugs). Use as a last resort, as they alter the way your body works and do not teach your muscles to learn to de-stress for themselves.
7) Pre & Post-Workout Nutrition - Consuming a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein either before, or after a workout, or both, may help reduce the severity of muscle soreness
8) Build up to a difficult workout slowly
9) Aerobic exercise helps to reduce soreness. Lactic acid accumulation is a major contributor to muscles being sore days later. Aerobic training can flush out a lot of lactate by bringing oxygen to the affected muscles. Go for an easy jog, walk or bike ride.
10) Avoid training sore muscles on back to back days. Though soreness doesn’t decrease a muscle’s strength, it can severely limit range of motion. If proper methods aren’t taken, injury can result.
11) Glucosamine can help with joint lubrication, to help protect cartilage from breakdown which helps to support and promote joint comfort. Joints are the junction between two or more bones. The ends of the bones are covered with cartilage which serves as a smooth, resilient cushion that allows the join to move freely. The protective cartilage cushion and joint fluid work together like a shock absorber to allow for proper joint flexibility. When you do even the simplest of everyday activities, there is tremendous pressure on your joints. The ingredients in Cosamin DS help support and promote joint health for those feeling the effects of aging and physical activity.
12) Foods high in magnesium can reduce muscle tension and supplementary joint stress.
13) Take it down a notch on your next workout(s). If you feel soreness 5 days after (particularly on a workout you know from experience shouldn’t make you sore) you could be overtraining. If that’s the case, take a week off from the gym
14) Rest Recovery - Getting plenty of sleep and resting your body may be the most effective treatment
15) Active Recovery - Light exercise during the recovery phase can stimulate blood flow to the muscles to help reduce muscle pain. Active recovery may include swimming, a light jog or walking.
16) Topical Creams - creams like Ben Gay and IcyHot provide the “perception” of pain relief, but have no effects on the underlying muscle
17) Massage - Will help or feel good but may not speed up the recovery time
18) Use Trekking or Hiking Poles to take some pressure off your knees while hiking downhill. That will cut down on soreness.
If you are not used to exercising, it’s wise to consult your physician before participating in a new sport