Wooden Snowshoes

Up for sale are a pair of Vermont Tubbs Vintage Modified Bearpaw Snowshoes, Size 10×36. Storing your snowshoes probably isn’t that high on the list of concerns for caring for your snowshoes, especially if you’ve got new maintenance free” shoes, but if you’ve got wooden shoes with rawhide or babiche lacing (if you’re lucky enough to have a hand crafted pair of traditional snowshoes), it should be right near the top of your list of things to do once the season is over.

Most types of footwear can be worn with snowshoes, although hiking boots are the preferred choice among most recreational users (except racers, who prefer running shoes ). Ski boots , however, will only work with certain snowshoes such as the MSR Denali, otherwise requiring backcountry skiers to carry other footwear for the snowshoe portion of their trip.

Difficulties with Woodies: Those introduced to wood framed snowshoes often-encountered difficulty with the bindings and keeping the snowshoes on. Users also experienced a lack of traction on ascents and lateral traverses on wood-framed snowshoes, unless they took the time to fabricate their own traction devices and adhered them directly onto their decking.

The most recent innovation is the heal elevator, that was developed by Bill Forest, who developed the snowshoes for MSR. It is imperative that you store your snowshoes in a cool dry location, with adequate ventilation. As time passed, both materials and techniques used in making snowshoes improved. The snowshoes of days gone by tended to be wider and longer than modern shoes for ultimate flotation.

The method of filling has been purposely made simple, but the majority of shoes are filled in practically the same manner, which answers quite as well as the more intricate Indian design. If the frames have suffered a minor crack, the frame can be reinforced by wrapping the damaged area with cloth tape, or if necessary splinted with a thin strip of aluminum and then wrapped with cloth tape. Perhaps the best feature offered by wooden snowshoes is the fact that they are quiet. Made out of poplar wood, we import thousands of wooden shoes by the container load from the Netherlands. Modern snowshoes need no regular maintenance save a sharpening of cleats if desired.

Sixteen years later, after a French-Indian raiding party attacked a British settlement near what is today Schenectady, New York , the British took to their own snowshoes and pursued the attackers for almost 50 miles (80 km), ultimately recovering both people and goods taken by their attackers. The best way to keep your snowshoes in top condition is to hang them in a cool dry well-ventilated space. I borrowed these Canadian military-issue snowshoes for a backpacking trip in 1980.

Havlick Snowshoe Company – Havlick Snowshoe Co. manufactures the SPRINTER Group snowshoes for running and training, the TRACKER Group snowshoes for recreational snowshoeing, and the ADIRONDACK Group for hiking and climbing. While originally crafting snowshoes from fine white ash wood, we now specialize in both traditional aluminum and modern composite snowshoes, continuing to raise the bar for innovative snowshoe designs. A shorter person with snowshoes that are too wide will have to lift his or her knees up higher with each step. Notwithstanding these variations in planned use, larger users should plan on buying larger snowshoes.

The Sherpas steadily replaced wooden snowshoes among professional users, including foresters, rangers, trappers, guides, mountaineers, and the military. Until the 1970’s, snowshoes were used primarily for employment and survival rather than recreation, and the primary materials utilized in the construction were wood (white ash) and rawhide. The indigenous people of North America developed the most advanced and diverse snowshoes prior to the 20th century.


At first the novice may be inclined to think snowshoes a bit cumbersome and unwieldy, and doubt his ability to penetrate the brush. Best use of wooden snowshoes – decorating the walls of olde inns, rustic restaurants and yuppified north country taverns. Originally founded for military training purposes, they became the earliest recreational users of snowshoes.

Those who used wooden framed snowshoes also found that the straddle walk required by the wide snowshoes brought on the feeling of tired hips after a few miles of steady walking. In addition, since snowshoes destroy ski tracks, many areas ask that snowshoers observe traditional backcountry courtesy and stay out of ski tracks. But it also sounds like a little bit of sentimentality and buy local loyalty – also something I can support, but not necessarily as the guiding force when you’re deciding what kind of snowshoes to buy.

Iverson sold the company in the late 1980s, and when the business became available again three years ago, Bob and Linda Graves decided that building snowshoes would complement their log home business. Red Feather – We at Redfeather are committed to building the finest quality snowshoes available today. My 1st pair of snowshoes were home made wooded frames with resin coated lace webbing. You have two primary choices to make when deciding upon a pair of snowshoes: wood vs. aluminum in the make up of the frame. But you are fogeting that the wooden snow shoes keep you aflought alot better than the aluminum ones do.

After washing, let your snowshoes air dry in an area that isn’t too hot – room temperature, 17 degrees to 20 degrees Celsius (62 degrees to 68 degrees Fahrenheit) as extreme heat can cause the frames to warp. Baldas Snowshoes – Situated in Scionzier in the High Savoy region of France, the AJR Baldas Company is a family enterprise specializing in snowshoe manufacturing for over 20 years.

All the modern snowshoes are constructed upon practically the same general lines, although the types of frames differ considerably in size as well as in shape, and the filling of hide is often woven in many varied and intricate patterns. Traditional snowshoes are made of a single strip of some tough wood, usually white ash , curved round and fastened together at the ends and supported in the middle by a light cross-bar. Bear Paw Snowshoes are ideal in dense woods or in situations where it is necessary to turn often.

Heat and dampness can cause mildew and mold to grow on the webbing, or even worse, the wooden frames can warp. A well-made pair of snowshoes will stand a couple of seasons’ hard use, or last for a year or two longer for general wear. I have found that making traditional snowshoes is a tedious process and is not for everyone. EBTH’s full-service model makes it easy, with proceeds typically 3-5 times higher than a conventional sale. Admiral Byrd and Norman Vaughan select Tubbs Snowshoes for their South Pole expedition. For heavily damaged snowshoes it is best to contact the snowshoes’ manufacturer.

Making traditional wooden snowshoes is an old craft finding new life thanks to the growing popularity of snowshoeing as a winter sport, and to people like author and Legendary Maine Guide Gil Gilpatrick, who has been making them for years. Reporter Nina Keck of Vermont Public Radio recently paid a visit to two seasoned craftspeople who make wooden snowshoes in Stowe, Vermont. GV Snowshoes – GV snowshoes has upheld a tradition of excellence in the production of quality products since 1959.

It started in the 1950s when the Vermont -based Tubbs company created the Green Mountain Bearpaw, which combined the shortness of that style with an even narrower width than had previously been used ( Pospisil 1979 ). This rapidly became one of the most popular snowshoes of its day. In Building Wooden Snowshoes & Snowshoe Furniture, you’ll learn how to make a variety of snowshoes and furniture in the snowshoe style from Gilpatrick’s years of experience. The bear paw snowshoes provide greater manageability and are easily stored and transported, but the round heel will make the snowshoe drag with each step.

Such large snowshoes give the wearer a very stable gait while the short, rounded front keeps snow from accumulating. We received so much information about snowshoe making and gained a little bit of insight into the lives of those who, years ago, made these out of necessity and not pleasure. If purchased at a Woodcraft Store, please return the item directly to the store where your purchase was made. Superior French snowshoeing skill almost turned the French and Indian War , a conflict that saw two engagements named the Battle on Snowshoes , to their favor.

The elastic material used in the MSR and Northern Lites binding is manufactured by Voile, and enables users the ability to quickly put on and take off the snowshoes. It is a difficult matter to describe by text, but the illustrations will point out the correct way, and show the manner of making an endless thong by eye-splicing, as well as illustrating the wooden bodkin or needle used in pulling the woven strands taut. We are a family owned/operated snowshoe business in Maine, and can help you with any questions about snowshoes you may have.