Enjoy hiking? 5 reasons to also consider cross country touring
Photo: By Fischer skis
Nice views, fresh air and the sounds and scents of nature. Hiking in the mountains is one of the most meditative and stress relieving activities you can do. The same thing can be said about cross country backcountry skiing or cross country touring as it’s also called.
In this article, we will present you with 5 reasons why many outdoor-lovers embrace cross country touring as a natural extension of activities such as hiking, trail running or even skating.
For cross country touring you want a set of skis that are a bit wider than regular cross country skis. The reason for this is simply that you will meet some deep powder when you move outside the prepared tracks. A ski like the Fischer E99 Crown Xtralite is perfect for finding the isolated places to camp in the backcountry.
Let’s start with the most obvious and important reason why you should consider this sport:
1. Enjoy nature in a new way
Photo: By Fischer skis
Seeing the world from a set of skis is somehow different than going on a hike. If you choose to go cross country touring you will still experience the unique silence of the wilderness but also enjoy the spiritual experience of gliding through a winter world leaving nothing but ski-tracks in the snow.
The main difference from hiking is, that you have the ability to travel huge distances way faster than you would if you were traveling in your hiking boots.
Those big mountains ahead of you grows and becomes bigger in no time. You will also reach the river in no time, and follow it through the beautiful landscape.
The skis underneath your boots also allow you to go places that just wouldn’t be possible with a set of regular hiking boots. In other words, you will get the ultimate feeling of being one with nature.
Even if you don’t want to go off the prepared tracks, you will still be amazed by what nature has to offer if you stay on the prepared cross country tracks. If you want to explore the prepared track we recommend a pair of classic cross country skis, which has a narrow width since you rarely meet any deep powder. An excellent choice for a trip like this will be the Fischer Twin Skin Carbon IFP Classic.
2. Achieving a new skill set
If you hike, run or skate you are most likely in good shape, and we would lie if we said, that this was not an advantage if you want to explore cross country touring. It’s always fun to learn new stuff, and if you have never skied before learning new stuff will be necessary.
Once you get the hang of it, cross country skiing will become a very efficient and enjoyable way to experience the beauty of nature.
3. Superb workout
Photo: Sindy Thomas for Rossignol
It can come as no surprise that cross country touring is a great workout. The whole body gets a workout since you use your entire body for achieving the forward motion. Despite this, cross country skiing is very gentle on joints and bones since the movements used are way ‘softer’ than from for example running.
4. Increase of balance and visual acuity
Skiing improves your visual acuity, which is your ability to sense terrain changes in bright and low light conditions.The weight shift in the diagonal stride while gliding on snow increases your balance, which is critically important in all sports but also when we age to prevent falls.
5. A great way to spend time as a family
If a child can walk it can basically learn to ski. Just mount the skis and they will instantly start to practice. Children are very fast learners, and it won’t take long before your kids are ready to go cabin-to-cabin skiing, and are ready to explore the magnificent wonders of nature.
This is both a great way to spend quality time together as a family but it also strengthens a child's self-esteem to experience how fast they will learn and master the new sport.
No snow - Don’t worry
Photo by Powerslide
If you like to go hiking in areas where there is no or minimal amounts of snow another option is Nordic skating. The big, inflatable wheels on Nordic skates are perfect for combining hiking and skating.
On Nordic skates, you use poles for momentum and stability. The technique is very similar to the one you would use when cross country skiing, and perfect for skiers who want to train out of season.
Go check out our wide selection of Nordic skates in this category.