Learn how to make low-cost snowshoes from natural materials.
FIGURE 1: After cutting saplings to the same length, trim the ends so that the faces come together as flat as possible.
ILLUSTRATIONS: TOM RUSSELL
FIGURE 4: Cross supports get tied into the shoe when you do the webbing.
FIGURE 3: Tie end of string to one of the poles and wind toward end of joint. Keep the cord taut and stop about 2/3 of the way out. Then wind back. Finish off by tying the remaining string to the other stick.
Photo 1: Tom made the harness which holds the boot to the snowshoe out of ordinary rope. The extra twigs on either side of the boot were added to strengthen the main frame.
FIGURE 2: Before binding the snowshoe together, make sure that the natural bows of the sticks point out and down.
Photo 2: Here's the pair of snowshoes made by Tom Russell. Note how the webbing is interwoven to reduce slipping from side to side where the cords cross. It is important to keep string taut while weaving so that the tension is evenly distributed throughout the shoe.