Snowshoeing ??

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  #1  
Old 11-26-17, 01:13 PM
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Snowshoeing ??

Looking for info on snowshoes. I know nothing!
What should I look for?
Any particular brands?
Does the terrain make difference?
How about fit and size of the snowshoe?
Styles?
I'll be looking to use them on hilly and rough terrain.
Not looking for long hikes, but merely to get to the cabin from road. About a quarter mile up hill.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-26-17, 02:40 PM
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I don't have great experience but... I'm 5'8 and loaded up weigh about 180 and I most often use 8" x 25" oval with an aluminum frame and rotating bindings. They have mid sole aluminum crampons and came from Costco in a set with poles and a carrying case for about $100. Living in the east I only get to use them a few times a year but work well enough. The aluminum crampons are OK for occasional use and if you're careful to stay off rocks.

When traveling in the arctic and high country out west I've used many types of rentals and loaner shoes. More expensive shoes can be lighter and the materials are of a higher quality but my Costco shoes are good enough for occasional use. Some of the better shoes have nicer straps and allow adjustment or selection of how much they pivot.

If new to snowshoes and only using them occasionally I'd start with a kit of some type around $100-150. You don't want to go too cheap and get toy shoes. More expensive shoes are better but unless you use them a lot or are out trail running it can be hard to justify. The big difference is in ice and intermittent rocks hardened steel/stainless crampons are a big benefit. Also, if climbing really steep slopes or on ice a lot toe crampons can be handy but I haven't needed them in the east.

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The first thing is to know your weight when snowshoeing. If you'll be carrying a pack include it with your weight. In general the heavier the bigger shoe you will need to stay on top of the snow.

Next, what type of snow will you be on? Fresh (no trail), light, fluffy, deep powder will require a larger shoe. If it's more dense snow or if it has a strong crust then you can go with a smaller shoe.

Aluminum crampons are lighter and seem to be more common on less expensive shoes. Just because they are often on lower end shoes it's not a problem if in powder where you're not on hard ice or rocks very often. Steel and stainless steel crampons stay sharp longer and are better for ice and if you walk on rocks (which you should avoid).

Smaller shoes are more maneuverable and can work around brush and trees easier. In deep soft snow I sorta like a traditional shape with a tail. The tail can drag lightly and helps keep the shoe aligned especially if your bindings aren't the greatest. The long tail is a major pita if you have to back up or maneuver in brush. For shorter walks and most of the time I use tailless ovals.
 
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Old 11-26-17, 03:27 PM
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I always tended toward Cross-Country Skiing; but as a Real Estate Broker, I took up SnowShoeing as part of my job of showing property during the 6 or 7 months of the year that our properties are covered with the white stuff, and to avoid shutting down the business . . . . that's just what I had to do.

I always kept a couple pair of Bear Paw Snow shoes in the Office; sort of like these, so that I could outfit a hot prospect, and quickly teach them how to walk.
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I always used the cheap rubber one-size-fits-all type of bindings that are easy-on and easy-off so that I wouldn't spend a lot of time watching people tripping around with buckles and straps and stuff that would be more appropriate for long hikes.

I liked these because I could always tell people that I just rubbed them down with some Bear Fat Grease so that they thought it was really some kind of authentic local deal . . . . sometimes they remembered the story behind the Snow Shoes better than they remembered the property that was the cause of their donning the footwear !

I did the bare minimum as far as training was concerned, and I kept a few pair of ski poles in the Office too, just in case the party I was dealing with wasn't too steady on their feet . . . . or had imbibed anything that could have lessened their ability to walk.

PS: On;y once did someone drive off and leave the State without returning my snow shoes . . . . now how could you forget a thing like that ?
 

Last edited by Vermont; 11-26-17 at 04:16 PM. Reason: Added PostScript
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Old 11-27-17, 03:38 AM
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OK guys. I have a lot to think about. Thanks.

PD, Your last paragraph probably describes my circumstances most closely. But there are also lots of rocks that I might have to traverse. I weight about 185 # and most likely will not carry anything with me. I'm mainly interested because I want to inspect the property once or twice during the winter months. Kind of let the locals know that it's being looked at and used.

Vermont, that picture you show is what I had in mind but do they even make that type anymore. LOL

A local overstock (warehouse discount) store has about 3 pair of what looks like low to mid end shoes (aluminum with poles) for about $50 to $60 ( I think the original price was around $200). Now that I have an idea of what to look for I'll go back and if they are still there I'll buy a pair. For $60 bucks I guess I can't go wrong.
 
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Old 11-27-17, 04:10 AM
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Since last night, I gave some thought to the events leading up to my decision to incorporate Snowshoes in my services.

I once had some people walking behind me and this Buyer's Wife somehow lost one of her shoes (a regular loose womens shoe, probably not securely tied) down at the bottom of 18" of snow, and her Husband spent 15 or 20 minutes digging around looking/feeling for it. That didn't put them in the mood to buy anything.

And then another situation where I thought I'd rough it over another 18" or so of older snow where a crust of ice that had been put down on top. I had to walk in to a Camp about 1 miles or so in to the woods. I kept stumbling along and breaking through that crust of ice and it would cut my shins so that I was pretty bloodied up by the time I got back to my car. I learned that snowshoes distribute your weight and allow you to float on top of substances like that crust of ice (usually), and I never endured that kind of damage again.

Bear Paw shaped Snowshoes are still available with the leather mesh; but they lave good aluminum low maintenance shoes now with a decent space-age nylon fabric stretched across the weight bearing surface . . . . they work pretty good; but don't convey the nostalgia I liked to employ to get someone to open up their pocketbook.

Here's the kind of binding I was speaking of last night; kind of inner-tube material, and not fancy; but very good for short distances like getting up your driveway:
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Old 11-27-17, 02:12 PM
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I picked up the snowshoes. They're not the best but for the price I can't go wrong. $28.00
Yukon Charlies series 825 green with poles. It'll get me up the hill.
 
  #7  
Old 11-27-17, 04:55 PM
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That sounds like a really good price, and it included Bindings as well as the Poles ?

I always wondered what kind Yukon Charlie wore . . . . now I know !
 
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