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Snowshoe Thompson

Imagine climbing countless flights of stairs for three consecutive days with little rest and a 90-pound pack on your back. That was essentially the level of rigor Carson Valley legend John A. Thompson—better known to history as “Snowshoe” Thompson—endured on each of his 90-mile expeditions over the Sierra Nevada Mountains for nearly 20 years.  
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Walk It Out

I tried to love skiing. I grew up in the mountains and signed up for the cheap ski lessons through my junior high, but I couldn’t get into it. I tried it again in my early ‘20s, thinking maybe my personality had magically changed in the ensuing years, but it’s just not my sport. Still, I couldn’t spend an entire season indoors.  Enter my first pair of snowshoes, a birthday gift I received during my first winter in Nevada. Now, 10 years—and hundreds of stomps—later, I am still using the same gear. Every time I head out, it costs me exactly zero dollars (unless you count gas and the rare occasion I pay for a cross-country course). The zero dollars is not my favorite thing about snowshoeing, but it’s a pretty awesome perk. Another bonus? Snowshoeing has almost no learning curve. If you can walk, you can snowshoe, and the cardio workout is no joke.