How to Make Primitive Snowshoes
In a pinch a primitive set of snowshoes can save your life.
In extreme winter conditions it is easily possible to find oneself in a life and death situation, and without the proper skills to conquer the elements, the chances of survival can diminish quickly. For those without great outdoor skills who would never be concerned with such situations they can occur at any time - while traveling or simply enjoying a winter activity. When an individual finds themselves in deep snow, it becomes nearly impossible to move, let alone to have the ability to walk five or ten miles to rescue. The struggle to move in deep snow can sap the strength and body heat, and ultimately cause the demise of a stranded person at a greatly accelerated rate. A simple pair of primitive snowshoes made from resources that are abundant in the wild can make travel easier, quicker, and save precious energy in a most dire circumstance.
Even for a person possessing little mechanical skill, a primitive set of snowshoes can be made from nothing more than some twigs, branches and something to bind them together with. The first step to make primitive snowshoes is to locate two branches about 5 feet long each, that are pliable and can be bent into a U-shape frame. After doing this, find some sticks that are about 1 inch in diameter, and break them until they are about 4 inches wider than the frame of your snowshoe. Center the sticks horizontally on the frame with about 2 inches hanging over each end, and tie them to the frame with a space of about 2 inches between the sticks. When finished, repeat this process is a vertical manner until the basic snowshoe is completed.
In a desperate situation, what you use for cordage to tie the snowshoes together can be anything that is handy and abundant. This can be strips of cloth torn up, wiring from an automobile or snowmobile, fishing line, or any material that is strong enough to hold. The most simple way to bind the snowshoes to your feet is to use your shoelaces if you are wearing footwear that has them. Just untie your shoe laces, cross the strings at your instep, and tie the laces to the frame of the snowshoe close to the base of your boot or shoe.
While it may take a bit of practice to walk on your primitive snowshoe, in a short time it is easy to get the hang of and remain atop the snow. It is important to move slowly and deliberately, and fashioning two sturdy walking stick will help to take some weight from your feet and help improve buoyancy and save energy.