Snowshoeing emerged as more of a necessity than a sport, but more modern times has seen it becoming increasingly popular. The invention of the snowshoe is thought to have come about between 4000 to 6000 years ago, and it’s use was widespread from tribe to tribe across the globe in various shapes and forms not long after. The practicality of the device meant that it became a necessary part of day-to-day activities in snow-filled lands. Snowshoes were used for walking, for hunting and traveling over thick or heavy snow.
The snowshoe is basically a device which can be strapped to regular footwear to provide a wider surface on which to walk. In doing so, the person’s weight is distributed over a larger surface and they do not sink into the snow- thus the greater the weight, the larger the snowshoe generally becomes. Even as the snowshoe came in many different forms in ancient times, the same can be said of the device today. Traditionally snowshoes were made from a hardwood frame with leather lacing. Today they are made from a light metal frame with leather or synthetic bindings or from molded plastic. Snowshoes work best when the surface does not allow snow to accumulate in large quantities on top of them. They are usually turned up at the toe to facilitate walking and are most likely forerunners the better known ski.
It is said that if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Snowshoeing provides the opportunity to get out and about in the great outdoors when valleys are blanketed by magical white snow and trees are capped by the powdery substance. They certainly do not generally require as much skill to master as skis or snowboards but they do take a bit of time to get used to. While certain rural tribes still employ this ingenious device to go about their day to day activities in the snow, other individuals have turned it into a sport which they are passionate about. Why not give snowshoeing a try? You never know if it’ll be your next favorite activity…