Month: October 2015

Features of the best snowshoes for winter hiking

Snowshoeing is probably the best adventure sport in winter.

Over the last few decades, it has gained tremendous popularity as one of the best methods of winter hiking.

Snowshoes provide “floatation” by allowing your weight to be evenly distributed over a flat and large surface.

You can climb, hike or even run on a snowy surface, thanks to this floatation.

To choose the best snowshoes for winter hiking, you need to know about various features of snowshoes.

Given below are some of these features to help you make an informed decision.

Frame

Earlier, frames of the snowshoes were like a large oval shaped platform made up of wood.

These days, various metals like carbon fiber, aluminum, steel or even composite plastic are used to manufacture the frame.

The size and shape of the snowshoes can vary considerably, depending on who the end-user is.

Ovular, teardrop, lenticular (shaped like lens) and rectangular are some of the common shapes that you will find in the market.

Frames specifically crafted for women and for racing purposes usually have a narrowed shape towards the end.

The sizes and shapes may vary depending upon the manufacturer too, though the two common types made available are tapered and symmetrical.

Tail

Tail is the rear end of the snowshoe where the taper or oval comes to a close, just behind your heels.

A tapered tail is ideal for running, fast movements, racing and aerobic activities.

For a deep snowy surface or for beginners, an oval frame or a broader tail is preferable as it encourages better stability and floatation.

Decking

Decking refers to the material that fills the frame’s inner space.

In old times, rawhide panels or rawhide webbing straps were used to manufacture the decking.

These days, the materials used are plastic, urethane-impregnated nylon, compound components with PVC covered polyester, synthetic leather, thermoplastic urethane or synthetic rubber.

These are long lasting and need less maintenance compared to rawhide.

Use of these cold resistant components has enhanced the flexibility and durability of modern day snowshoes.

Synthetic materials are used to make the frame of the best snowshoes for winter hiking sturdy to withstand impact and puncture.

Some recent models comprise of a sturdy, large plastic piece where decking and frame form a single element.

Crampons and Traction Systems

Traction systems are used to keep the hiker stable and let him/her move forward.

Crampons can be made of aluminum, plastic or steel.

It’s necessary for the crampons to have an aggressive design where they are intended to be used in a steep terrain with icy conditions.

It is important to take a close look at the angled direction of the row of cleats while choosing the best snowshoes for winter hiking.

This is because they could be angled to aid in downhill traction or help avoid downhill slipping while you are moving uphill, or at times, do both.

Bindings

Bindings are responsible for securing your feet in the snowshoes.

All types of boots like winter boots, hiking boots and mountaineering boots are compatible with snowshoe bindings, but not all bindings are compatible with all types of boots.

For example, snowboard boots may be too big to go well with small binding systems while roomy bindings may make hiking boots give a feel as if they aren’t securely fastened in.

Thus, it becomes important to check the compatibility of the footwear and bindings before you buy.

Most bindings are made of hard plastic, while a handful may consist of nylon straps accompanied with buckles or band-like straps made of rubber.

Snowshoe bindings have two basic styles namely full rotation and fixed rotation.

Final words

Apart from the aforesaid features, there are various other things like add-on flotation tails, heel lift, sizing, the type of models (men vs. women or unisex), the right fit etc that should be considered while choosing the best snowshoes for winter hiking.

What is the best whitening toothpaste?

Flashing those pearly whites is a dream nurtured by many.

However, due to irregular brushing and eating/drinking foods that harm the enamel, not everyone can boast of sparkling white teeth.

If you want to have pearly whites that many will admire, you need to know about some effective toothpaste that can help you take adequate care of your teeth.

Perhaps like many others, you too are wondering where to get an answer to “What is the best whitening toothpaste?”

Despite your brushing habits, you are likely to find that over a period, your teeth start sporting a slight yellow shade.

This could be due to caffeine intake or other unhealthy eating habits.

There are several oral products that claim to whiten your teeth.

However, not all are as effective as they might claim to be.

That’s why you need to understand that basic properties of a toothpaste to whiten your teeth in order to make the right choice.

Definition of whitening toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is the one that removes stains from the teeth and whitens them.

The paste induces a kind of abrasive element to clean and dissolve stains with ingredients like sodium tripolyphosphate or baking soda, abrasives, fluorides, surfactants etc.

Certain toothpastes also contain peroxide (similar to bleaching gels) and abrasives to whiten and polish the teeth.

However, these are not advisable to be used in the longer run.

If you are still wondering ‘what is the best whitening toothpaste?’, here are some properties and active ingredients of the ones that would help you flash those sparkling white teeth with complete confidence:

  1. Remove Surface Stains Without Bleaching: There are toothpastes that just remove the stains on your teeth without bleaching them.

    These toothpastes use abrasive ingredients to scrape out the stains and polish your teeth.

    These essentially do not alter the natural teeth color but whitens them by removing the stains.

    Ingredients like calcium carbine combined with Hydrated Silica – derived from silicon dioxide – are used, which are mild abrasives and considered safe for removing stains.

  2. Bleaching Toothpastes: There are toothpastes and whitening gels that have bleaching ingredients like Hydrogen Peroxide (a bleaching agent).

    These toothpastes let oxygen into the enamels, which eventually breaks into smaller compounds.

    However, such toothpastes must be used in smaller quantities to avoid damage to the teeth and gums.

  3. Non-Abrasive Teeth Whitener: Calprox is by far a safe ingredient, which does not have the harshness of grainy abrasives that damage your enamel.

    Since it dissolves pellicle layer and plaque buildup that cause discoloration, it offers effective teeth whitening results.

  4. Stain Removers: Polyvinylpyrrolidone or PVP is one of the common ingredients in whitening toothpastes, which prevent your teeth from further staining.
  5. Other Ingredients: If you have sensitive teeth, use toothpastes that have potassium nitrate, as this is FDA approved.

    These toothpastes not only whiten your teeth but also help reduce teeth sensitivity by working on the nerves under the gum line.

    Other common ingredients include sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), sodium monofluorophosphate (fluoride) and sodium tripolyphosphate.

When you think ‘what is the best whitening toothpaste?’ and look for one in the market, probably the best thing to do is to consult your dentist.

This is because you must make sure the toothpaste you pick does not affect your already sensitive teeth or weaker gums.

So, make an informed choice and enjoy a bright smile!