Jan 29 2007

Roycroft Snowshoes

Published by at 5:15 pm under Plant Materials

This type of survival snowshoes I have long wanted to build. I think they look horrible to be honest with you, but the simplicity was appealing. A warning: To save time, I used sisal ropes on this project. Sacrilegious, I know, but hopefully you will forgive me. 🙂

First, You need ten small trees and 6 short halves. Try to use as small sticks as possible to reduce the weight. I used aspen, a very weak wood and consequently needed to use bigger sticks to compensate. If I’d used birch, rowan or even willow I would have been able to reduce the weight to more comfortable levels.

Anyway, bind 5 thick ends together onto a crosspiece, with some spacing. This will be the rear end.

Decide where the binding will be and bind another crosspiece onto it. The binding needs to be a little in front of the tipping point to make the snowshoes work properly. Measure where the heel of the shoe will fall and bind another crosspiece there.

Bind together the tip and lift it by binding it to the front crosspiece.

Make bindings. Just a thread over and one behind the shoe. Duplicate it to produce two snowshoes (hardly needed to say that, did I?).

Compared to traditional Canadian snowshoes, this is a terrible piece of equipment. Heavy and ungainly, but still far better than going without any snowshoes at all. For denser snow I would rather go for the traditional Norwegian style, which is much less encumbering. With the fluffy stuff we have here these days, you can clearly tell the difference. Below: Wading in the snow without snowshoes.


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