SNOW SHOES: STRAP THEM ON NOW!

January 29, 2010 at 10:36 am 8 comments

As soon as the first snow accumulates 4 inches, I strap on my snow shoes, and I live in them off still spring.  (Well when I’m outside of house and town – and there’s a part of my brain which says that the only time I am really living.)

Snow shoes are the next best things to wings in winter!

1.  YOUR FREE PASS TO PARADISE — I can get to places on our land in winter that I can’t approach any other time of year.  All those pesky invasive brambles have died back, so the world is opened up, and your snow shoes  let you walk right up the steepest slope.  Because of the way the cleeted boot bindings pivot within the broader platform, the snow shoe takes the angle and your feet remain level – it’s as easy as climbing stairs.

...5 years ago my daughter and the pines were the same height.

2.  JUMP THE RAILS –Skiers need groomed trails but snow shoers can strike off in what ever direction their wanderlust dictates.

3.  LEVEL YOUR PERSONAL PLAYING FIELD — Snow shoes level out those ankle-spraining lumps and divots.  Stepping into deep snow without them, I never know how my foot is going to land, and my ankles (which are something I have to take into constant account – long story) are at risk.  But the snow shoes, though they may sink inches into soft snow, tend to do so in a very even-footed way.

...The old ash and rawhide snow shoes are quieter especially on hardpack, but ours now hang on the wall.

4.  DRAG YOUR FEET — Yes, there are snow shoes designed to run in, but I love the deliberate stride my regular pair dictates.  I get plenty of exercise, but they make me take time to smell the icicles

5.  TOAST YOUR TOES — Snow shoes keep your feet warmer.  Instead of pressing into the cold, packed snow with every step, your shoe soles float just above most of that heat-sucking substance.  We’ve tested this by walking around without our snow shoes for 15 minutes after finishing a good snow-shoed trek, and it is very clear that snow shoes are a warmer walk

6.  STAY ON TOP OF THE SLOP — That goes double during a very exhilarating  kind of weather – those warm, late winter days when the snow is still deep but getting slushy.  You can almost walk on water in snow shoes.  You can go places and see sights you would skip if you had to soak your boots to get there.  You can watch the season change with your own eyes as the snow is melting and rivulets are rushing down every slope.  Snow shoes put you in the middle of that magical scene.

If you have never tried snow shoes, you owe it to yourself to strap on a pair and go explore.

Note to Newcomers:  Snow shoes come in different sizes and are generally rated based on how much you weigh. We have both 32-inch long (for deep, fluffy) and smaller snow shoes (for more shallow or compacted), but tend to choose the smaller ones for most conditions because of their better maneuverability.  Bigger shoes probably make sense in deep powder out in the Rockies.  We get plenty of loft with our smaller shoes.  If you do choose a smaller pair, get good ones.  Undersized and flimsy is a bad combo.

Since they started making snow shoes out of aluminum, the main improvements are easier and easier bindings.  This is something your fingers will appreciate on a cold day.

If you already snow shoe — don’t you love it?  Add what you love best with a  comment below.  Let’s add to the list.

About these ads

Entry filed under: TALES FROM OUR 44 ACRES. Tags: , , , , , , .

THE SOUL OF A CARROT: PART TWO TWO TREE HERDERS UPGRADE THEIR SAWS

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gulland  |  January 29, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Have you ever used the Ojibwa design shoes? They were designed specifically to part prairie grasses with their long pointed tips and tails. I made a couple of pairs several years ago, and they are my favorites. You should try ours some time.

    Reply
    • 2. denisedthornton  |  January 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm

      I think I was someone wearing shoes similar to the ones you describe when I was shoeing at Governor Dodge a couple of weeks ago. I asked them about their shoes as Doug and I passed them, and they said they had made them from a kit! That sounded very cool.
      They were beautiful too.
      That’s my only regret about my snappy orange aluminum tube models.
      Nothing can compare with the beauty of wooden ones.
      Denise

      Reply
  • 3. dihansmann  |  January 29, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I keep a pair of snow shoes in my trunk all winter (well sometimes they stay there through the summer too). Its part of my base I-live-in-Wisconsin-and-must-prepare-for-winter-emergencies kit along with a big bag of sand, a thermal blanket and snow overalls. It also allows me to drop by my favorite county park and go for a winter trek anytime the fancy strikes me. Since I live in the city I always have to drive a little way to get to the trackless wilderness (or the local hiking trails) so it makes sense to keep the snowshoes on hand in the car.

    Another benefit of snowshoes is the stability they offer – they really smooth over uneaven ground. I find this particularly useful for moonlight hiking. As long as there is enough light to avoid walking into trees I’m good to go with snowshoes since I don’t have to worry about stepping in a hole that looked like a shadow and twisting my ankles – I can stride out with confidence.

    Reply
    • 4. denisedthornton  |  January 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm

      Yes, nothing really compares to hiking through snow in moonlight, and snow shoes make it possible to really appreciate the magic.

      Reply
  • 5. Tiara Walters  |  January 30, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Dear Denise

    I’m so impressed with your blog – I harbour a long-held ambition to visit the forests of North America, and your missives are a wonderful contact with that world.

    By the way, at the South African station in Antarctica we wear government-issue “pampoenskoene” (which means “pumpkin shoes”) in Afrikaans. They’re enormous and unwieldy and orange and they would’ve done Mother Hubbard seriously proud.

    They’re great exercise, although when I go for long walks on our ice road down to the airfield — and the snow is as compacted as it is now after two weeks of gorgeous, blue-sky days — I wear my bog-standard hiking boots from South Africa. The soles are much thinner and I feel much more in touch with the “earth” beneath my feet.

    SANAE IV greetings from 71°40’22.17″S; 2°50’26.71″W
    Tiara

    Reply
  • 6. Janet  |  January 30, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Such a different world from where I live in Joburg, South Africa!!

    Reply
  • 7. Chrissy McCann  |  January 16, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Do you know where I can find some kind of bindings. I went out with some old wooden snowshoes we have had for years. I strapped on a couple of bungee straps for the time being. You can imagine the many stops for adjustments! Thanks for any help you might have!

    Reply
    • 8. denisedthornton  |  January 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm

      Hi Chrissy,
      Yes, I can imagine how many stops bungee strap bindings would require.
      I have usually gotten my snow shoes and accoutrement through REI. They might be able to help you with replacement bindings.
      Although I will say that my husband used to use a pair of very gorgeous old wooden shoes. they are now hanging on the wall, and he shoes in something more recent. The easy way they move in the snow and the amazingly easy on and off won out over tradition for us.
      Good luck, and happy shoeing,
      Denise

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 112 other followers

Share this blog

Bookmark and Share

Feeds

Pages

January 2010
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 112 other followers

%d bloggers like this: