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Winter is upon us

Well, winter is upon us here in Western Wisconsin. A storm came through this weekend and brought almost 20″ of snow, which fell on a good 6-8 inches which we already had. School was cancelled yesterday and today we came to work in -22 F temperatures and as I sit at the computer, I cannot see out my windows due to them being blocked by snow drifts outside (it has been windy too!).

Anyway, with all this weather as well as reading talk of snowshoes and bindings on some historical forums that I frequent, I decided to post a little how-to on historical bindings.  For bindings, I simple tear a two strips (one for each foot) of heavier linen about 3″ wide and 6′ long (can be a little shorter).  Here is the binding I like the best…

A major tip… make sure your foot moves like in the photo below and isn’t completely bound to the snowshoe.  This allows you to walk NORMALLY in the snow shoe.  Also, it allows your toe to go into the toe hole of the snowshoe to dig in for traction when needed.

Another tip to note is that when using snowshoes… use moccasins, that it how they were invented and made to be used.  I wear mocassins whenever I wear snowshoes, modern or historic.  The moccasins shown above are my COLD weather pair that I made about 8 years ago of moosehide and wear only in the coldest of weather (in this photo series the temps were -7 degrees).  These are THE warmest shoes I own and I wear them for modern hunting and ice fishing as well as historic stuff.  For more on winter footwear, check out my old article here.

2 Responses to “Winter is upon us”

  1. Paul C. Daiute says:

    Isaac,
    Do you think I’m ok with using braided hemp cord for my bindings? I saw a reference to it years agoe but can’t find that reference now,
    Your post (Winter Is Upon Us) is wonderful. That’s the way most of our mess are binding thei feet to the shoes.
    Thank you, Paul

  2. Isaac says:

    I have had problems with hemp being hard to untie when wet and swollen. This was twisted rope and perhaps braided would be different. I have not tried with snowshoes though. I have always been so happy with linen that I have not tried much else (other than initial attempts with hide). I think linen strips could be braided (perhaps a multi-strand box-braid) for more durability.

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