Learn how to make snowshoes and snowshoe bindings. Traditional snowshoes are still made very much the way early Minnesotans made them.
There are several excellent books about how to make snowshoes You can also make simple, homemade snowshoes by following the directions farther down this page.
Wooden snowshoes are snowshoes made from willow branches or other small, flexible, tree branches. Early settlers sometimes needed to make their own snowshoes as a way to get out of the back country when a sudden blizzard stranded them.
Snowshoeing in Minnesota remains a favorite winter sport and, as well, a way to get around when other means of travel are limited.
Creating traditional snowshoes is a fairly simple process of using webbed material fastened to a frame to make walking in deep snow easier. Traditionally snowshoes were made from bent wood, animal skins and snowshoe bindings of sinew.
The size of the wooden snowshoe you make will depend on your weight. A 200-lb. person needs snowshoes that are about 15 inches wide and 2 feet long. Adjust the length of the cut branches accordingly.
**The teardrop part of your traditional snowshoe should be about six inches longer than your boot.
This video is of Ed Donegan demonstrating how to make a pair of Ojibwa-style snowshoes. He used two books "Building Snowshoes" by Gil Gilpatrick and "The Snowshoe Book" by William Osgo...
If all of this seems like more effort than you want to exert, you can find many places to buy traditional snowshoes as well as modern, high tech, snowshoes.
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