Snowshoes are a part of daily life for some people. Snowshoes provide distribution of your weight over a larger surface than just a boot. In deep snow, this makes it far easier to walk while preventing getting stuck in the snow. But let’s be real, snowshoes of good quality can cost a fortune and everyone is not financially capable to afford one. Especially those of us who don’t live far north enough to justify purchasing an expensive pair of snowshoes.
But you are in luck. We are about to teach you how to make your own snowshoes! They might be crude, but they get the job done. And it’s all about saving energy each step you take in deep snow. So who cares what they look like? These DIY snowshoes will get the job done, and that’s what matters.
Why You Should Use Snowshoes
Walking in deep snow is downright exhausting, so wearing snowshoes can definitely save a lot of energy. Moreover, it somehow gives you the capability to move a bit more quickly. That means you can get out of the way of slough (small loose snow avalanches) if you’re navigating a slope.
Snowshoes provide the ability to limit how deep you can sink down in the snow with each step. Nearly everyone living up north knows how much effort it takes just to get unstuck after sinking one of your feet into deep snow.
Snow can always be slippery. Using snowshoes can give the traction you need to prevent yourself from slipping on ice-crusted snow and similar surfaces. Even DIY snowshoes can provide that much needed grip.
With weight distribution and traction combined, DIY snowshoes give the stability to travel on foot from point A to point B in snowy weather with less trouble. Overall, it definitely saves a lot of energy, which is key in a survival or SHTF situation.
How to Make Your DIY Snowshoes
There are different styles of snowshoes that you can make. The materials used vary depending on which style you are going to make, and what materials you have available. We know that not everyone has the same household materials. So we’ve written up the absolute simplest and most effective method of making DIY snowshoes. No special equipment needed. If you can’t find this stuff around the house, you aren’t prepping enough!
Duct Tape Snowshoes
- Duct tape and double-sided tape (you can fold duct tape in half and make your own double-sided tape.
- Hot glue
- Cutting tools (scissors or knife)
- Tree branches or boughs
- Cardboard or thin wood/plywood
- Jute string or twine
- Large waterproof container
- Wrap the tree branches all together using the jute string and put them in a large container of mild to hot water. Let it sit for at least 4 hours.
- Make sure that the large portion of the branches are soaked in the water, so they can be easily worked into a shape.
- After the branches have been soaked for 4+ hours, they should be nice and flexible. Pick two pieces of longer branches and gently bend them so both ends meet. Then, tie these ends up tightly using the jute string to hold the formed shape. Once tied up, dry them under the sun to ensure stability. You’re trying to make a tennis racket-shape out of each of these longer pieces.
- Create cross braces by picking four pieces of straight branches and cut them to the width of the hoop formed by bending the two branches in Step 3.
- Attach these four cross braces to the body of the snowshoes by applying a generous amount of hot glue. When the glue dries, use some duct tape around the joint to make sure it’s sturdy. There should be two cross braces for each snowshoe, one attached on the upper middle and the other on the lower middle—making it four cross braces for a pair of snowshoes. This step greatly improves the stability of the body of the snowshoes.
- Wrap duct tape on the part where both ends of the branches meet from step 3. You do not need to remove the jute string as the duct tape will cover it while providing a tighter hold.
- Create a woven pattern on the cross braces area with long strips of duct tape. First, apply some duct tape around the body between the cross braces. Now, apply some duct tape from the first cross brace up to the other vertically while doing a cross-thread on the horizontal strips of the duct tape.
- Create the platform of the snowshoes by doing an outline on the cardboard or thin wood with shoes. Make the outline slightly longer and wider than the shoe size.
- Cut the outlined cardboard or thin wood and wrap it with multiple layers of duct tape all over, providing both waterproofing features and excellent support or protection.
- Create a strap binding on the tape-covered cardboard or thin wood by measuring the circular strap with the shoes on top. Apply some duct tape on both ends of the strap placed at the bottom.
- Attach the platform to the body of the snowshoes by applying a generous amount of double-sided tape between the layers, along with some hot glue. Afterwards, apply some duct tape on every side to increase the binding with each other.
- Now, your DIY snowshoes are all finished and you can try them out!
Some Final Thoughts
Snowshoeing can be a mode of transportation, a sport, recreation or even fitness cross-training. Learning to build your own DIY snowshoes is a wonderful experience. You get to create something and feel a sense of accomplishment. And if you’re in the north, remember that a good prepper should at least have some DIY snowshoes to get to a meet-up point or elsewhere when SHTF. With the amount of money that you can save and the benefits DIY snowshoes offer, you should start making your pair today.