How to Track and Record a Snowshoeing Trip in Strava

Updated October 2022

Strava is an incredibly useful fitness tracking app that is most popular with runners, cyclists, and swimmers, but did you know that you can also use Strava to track, record, and analyze snowshoeing trips?

Snowshoeing is actually one of the thirty-plus supported activity types on Strava. With Strava, you can record trips and analyze data from your snowshoeing excursions. Besides snowshoeing, other winter sports activity types on Strava include:

  • Alpine Ski
  • Backcountry Ski
  • Nordic Ski
  • Ice Skate
  • Snowboard

This article will help answer questions for snowshoe participants who have never used Strava as well as frequent Strava users who want to start recording a new type of activity.

Step 1: Download/Setup the App

Strava is available to download for free in both the App Store and Google Play, and runs on both Apple and Android mobile devices. Strava features both a mobile application and a website platform, but the mobile application is required to record activities.

There is a paid service known as Strava Premium that grants access to more features, but the standard free version of Strava offers plenty of useful standalone features.

You’ll need to either create an account by connecting to your Facebook or Google profile, or signing up with a new email account.

Once you sign up, you can set your preferences and begin recording activities.

Optional: Sync and Connect Wearable Devices to Strava

The Strava application can integrate with several fitness trackers and wearable devices, including popular brands such as Garmin, Fitbit, and Apple Watch.

These devices such as GPS watches and smartwatches provide more new data points with detailed information. One of the main pieces of data that can enhance the Strava experience is heart rate information recorded during an activity.

Wearable fitness devices can also provide more accurate GPS readings than your smartphone GPS which the Strava application uses.

Visit this page for information and support to properly connect your device to Strava.

Step 2: Create a new activity

Once you complete your account setup and ready to start recording an activity at the beginning of a snowshoe trip, follow this guide.

These instructions will be most helpful for a new user to Strava who is a complete beginner to recording an activity, but will also teach you how to create a specific snowshoe activity type if you have previously used Strava but never changed an activity type.

Step 2.1. navigate to the record activity screen

First, navigate to the bottom tabs and press the “Record” icon. You can access this screen from the Home, Maps, Groups, or You sections.

Step 2.2. Change the Activity Type

You should see a map of your current location with a few icons including the “Start” button. To change the activity type to snowshoe, press the “Activity Type” icon which usually defaults to your most recent activity type. In this case, the default activity is the Sneaker icon for “Run”.

Step 2.3. Scroll down to “Snowshoe” activity

Next, you’ll be able to scroll down through the complete list of supported activity types until you find “Snowshoe”. Click this category to change the activity type.

step 2.4. Press the “Start” button

You should now be able to confirm that the icon of the activity is now set to a pair of Snowshoes. Also, you should see a blue icon that marks your current location to ensure that your GPS location is found.

Press the orange “Start” button and your activity will begin recording. You’ll notice that a timer will appear that shows the total elapsed time of the trip along with distance covered.

Step 2.5. pause and complete an activity

At any point, you can pause an activity to stop the timer. However, Strava automatically records when your movement is stopped and will distinguish between moving time and total elapsed time in your activity statistics, so we recommend only pausing an activity when you are finished and ready to complete the recording.

Once an activity has been paused, you can choose to resume timing your activity or complete the activity by pressing the orange “Finish” button. You’ll then be prompted to name your activity and can choose to enter a description of the trip.

Step 3: Analyze your activity

As soon as you complete an activity, the data from the trip syncs with your profile. This step can take a few moments but usually completes in under a minute. You’ll then be prompted to view your most recent activity.

You’ll first see the GPS map of your activity route, with the start and finish points marked by distinct icons. Basic trip information such as distance, elevation gain, and elapsed time are also shown here.

To view more detailed information such as elevation, pace, or heart rate data, press the “View Analysis” button.

Elevation

The first section you’ll see will contain a graph of the the elevation profile over the course of the route. Information such as your total elevation gain and max elevation is also displayed here.

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Pace

Information such as your average pace, moving time, elapsed time, and fastest split are shown in the next section. Ever wonder how much faster or slower you travel going uphill or downhill? You can even view a graph of your pace throughout the duration of the trip overlaid against the elevation gain of the activity.

If you have a wearable device connected to Strava that measures heart rate information, your “Heart Rate Zones” data will show up here as well.

searching for previous Snowshoe Activities

Strava users will find it useful to analyze their trips by splitting them into different categories. On the mobile app, you can view the history of previous snowshoe trips by filtering activity searches by a specific activity type.

To filter down to your previous snowshoe activities, first navigate to the profile section labeled “You” on the bottom tab. Then, click the “Activities” tab which contains a feed of all completed activities listed by most recent date.

Then, click on the “Search by title or description” search bar. Find and click the “All” icon.

Next, scroll down and check the desired activity, i.e. “Snowshoe”.

Once you have checked off the Snowshoe activity type, press the back button and your activity history will be filtered to show all past history of this particular activity type. You can elect to click on particular activity to view the details of that trip.

Note that you can also filter activities by metrics such as distance, elevation, time, or date. You can also choose to manually search for a past activity by its name or description.

Step 4: Share your activity

While you can adjust your privacy settings so that your activities can only be seen by yourself, one of the most fun aspects of using Strava is for its social media features. Some of the ways to engage with your Strava friends and community include:

  • View activities shared by friends, and interact by commenting or sending and receiving Kudos
  • Create segments and routes for popular trails
  • Compete for Trophys or strive to become a Local Legend, or King or Queen-of-the-Mountain (KOM/QOM)
  • Share photos and descriptions of activities from the trip.
  • Participate in group activities. If you have other members in your snowshoe group that record an activity using Strava, the app will automatically create a shared group activity. However, you can also manually create a group activity and add members if they forget to record.

Other tips for Snowshoeing Activities in Strava

Beacon Mode

An important safety feature of Strava is “Beacon Mode”. This feature allows users to create a Beacon that they can elect to share with up to three safety contacts who will be able to monitor your location during your activity.

While this can be a valuable safety precaution, GPS can be somewhat unreliable especially in remote trail areas or the backcountry, so be sure to take other snowshoeing safety precautions.

To turn on Beacon for Mobile, go the Record screen and click the far-right icon above the “Start” button.

Weather

Newer updates of Strava also include weather-related data. Local conditions including temperature, humidity, and wind speed/direction are automatically included and able to be viewed when a new activity is recorded.

For snowshoers that like to record their past trips, this weather information serves as a useful log for the harshest conditions that were braved.

battery life

Cold weather tends to drain the battery life of electronic devices such as your phone and wearable devices at a much faster rate. Remember to charge your devices before embarking on a trip so that your activity recording does not get cut off and you miss out on important trip information.

Another tip is to keep your phone tucked in a pocket within one of your inner layers so that your body heat keeps the internal temperature of the device warmer.

Manually Edit Activities

If you forget to set the activity type prior to recording an activity, you can always go back and edit the activity. This lets you correctly categorize and analyze your snowshoe trips in a separate category, which is particularly helpful if you frequently use Strava for other activities such as running or cycling.

Also, remember that you can use either the mobile application or website to edit activities.

Segments and Leaderboards

One common question is whether Strava offer segments for specific activity types such as snowshoeing. Unfortunately, Strava currently only categorizes segment types as either Cycling or Running segments.

However, using the Segment Search or Segment Explore features in Strava can help you explore nearby trails and routes to inspire your next snowshoe outing.

For other helpful snowshoeing apps, read our recommendations for four of the best snowshoeing apps.

Please comment below if you wanted to ask further questions or share any helpful tips about using Strava for snowshoe trips!

2 thoughts on “How to Track and Record a Snowshoeing Trip in Strava”

  1. Great question Bryan! I believe that Strava currently only allows users to enter Running Shoes or Bikes under “My Gear” for running or cycling activity types. You could create separate entries for snowshoes /boots as multiple running shoes, but I think Strava only lets you assign 1 gear to each activity.

    Only alternative I could think is logging it as a “bike” which lets you add separate components (i.e. create snowshoes and then add the boots under components). This might not work though because I think you can only add gear from a pre-selected list of brands in a dropdown.

    Good link from Strava here for more info:
    https://support.strava.com/hc/en-us/articles/216918727-Adding-Gear-to-Your-Activities-on-Strava

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