I received my used modified bearpaw snowshoes in the mail, and I'm quite pleased with the condition of them. I think they might need a fresh coat of polyurethane on them, but they seem to be tight with no loose webbing at all. I took off the old leather bindings that they came with and put on a rope binding. It worked amazingly well, but I think I'm going to get a rougher, more aggressive nylon rope and try that, or I might try nylon strap. The traditional binding is made of lamp wick. I don't have any of that, but it is available online if I should want to try it. I'm linking to a rubber binding that I am going to try next, especially for the wet snow.
How to use rubber bindings & How to make rubber bindings.
I took my first "spin" around the lower area back behind the houses where the snow is very deep and soft. We've had a warm-up this past week, so I knew the snow would be softer and wetter than it has been which can cause more sinking so this was a good test of how well the snowshoes would float (or sink) in the snow. I was quite pleased at how much more float these shoes have over the modern aluminum snowshoes. I've read that this style is not the best for breaking trails which I will do in them, but I didn't have any trouble with them today. You can see the picture above of my track next to a deep Ranger track. I only sunk in a couple inches and the Ranger track is about a foot deep. Along with walking in deep, wet snow, I tried walking up and down the hard, crusted snow in our shelter belt. They were a little harder to walk in uphill, but I did manage it.
To me, the wooden snowshoes felt lighter in weight than the modern shoes. I'm not sure if they are, but the snow sifted through the webbing as I walked and didn't stick at all. Modern, aluminum shoes will collect snow and pack up underneath the boot and particularly on the cleats when walking in wet snow. That didn't happen at all with these. I'm excited to try them in different areas and on different kinds of snow.
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