View Full Version : wooden vs plastic snowshoes

02-11-2005, 05:13 AM
I've never used the old style, wooden snowshoes. I'm wondering if they collect that big hunk of snow underfoot the way my Tubbs do when the snow is wet. Of corse, the snow sticks to the aluminum, not the plastic, but the wooden ones don't have any aluminum ( or do they?).
Also, does anyone know any good tricks to keep the clump of snow from collecting underfoot? I've heard that cooking spray, such as PAM, does the trick. Does it work? How long does it last?
I doubt the wooden ones would take the abuse that my Tubbs endure because I go off-trail alot and I hit alot of rocks and rugged brush.

spider solo
02-11-2005, 06:13 AM
I have different types of shoes ..some wooden and some aluminum etc.
So far I have the best luck with a wooden shoe woven with fishing line. It's from a region where Cod fishing was the mainstay of the economy for many years. It is a small modified bearpaw..it is a snowshoe built for use in the snow. It doesn't like abrasive conditions. The guys who used them in the woods said it was not uncommon to go through pair a year. They are feather light and they considered the trade off to be well worth it.
Different sizes for the family. One for mother, father, and one for the kids .(which usually had a bare minimum of framing ) the oldest pair I saw that one fellow was using were about 20 or so years old...as you can imagine he didn't work in the forest...he works in the northern mines and comes home to his family and some "raquette de neige" when time allows.

Down here I have heard different things much as you have..I suppose I would try some Pam spray as much as any thing. Wet snow is my least favorite of conditions..kind of like the bane of snowshoers.

02-11-2005, 07:14 AM
I learned how to snowshoe on an army surplus wooden bearpaw with rawhide laces and a truly terrible leather binding.
I graduated to modified bearpaw with neoprene bindings and laces and an upturned toe. I put on aftermarket aluminum snowshoe crampons.
From there, 2 different pairs of Sherpas(small and medium), and recently, Tubbs.
The Army bearpaws were junk, but I beat the hell out of them and they did some interesting mountains.
The modified bearpaws climbed lots of winter peaks and always worked well, but the Sherpas had better bindings & crampons, and were slimmer and lighter.
And the Tubbs are lighter still and have better bindings and crampons still.

Wooden hiking and climbing snowshoes like Iversons are not high tech and they don't have all the features of the modern aluminum and plastics showshoes, but they are very serviceable and will take an amazing about of pounding and scraping. A big advantage they retain is the neoprene webbing that is easily repairable in the field.

I still keep mine as "guest" snowshoes and a reminder of all the good times I had with them.

02-11-2005, 11:45 AM
I'll give a stab at this, why snow sticks-

I believe its sticking to the crampon. Both my Yukon Charlie 930's and my Atlas 1030's have decking, or similar patches riveted thru on the underside of the crampons. My buddy who got a cheap pair of shoes at Target had a big problem with snow sticking & added plastic to this area - with good results.

Maybe a layer of Silicone caulking - spread thickly would work. Or, as on the keel line of my sea kayak, a sacrificial layer of epoxy & graphite, renewable as needed? Any other ideas out there?


02-11-2005, 11:55 AM
I have a trick that will keep the snow from sticking to your aluminum. First, find yourself a milk-jug. Second cut off a flat part of it, and cut a piece which fits on the flat part of the crampon. Then drill holes to allow the bolts to pass through. Attach the assembly to your crampons. Presto! Anti-bot plates.


02-12-2005, 06:27 PM
I have wooden ‘shoes for the deep snow. Temps affect the snow sticking whether aluminum, steel or wood. I used the wooden ones yesterday and all was fine as long as you don’t dip them in the open water. Then the snow will stick like cement to all parts of the ‘shoe. Keep any snowshoe or crampon out of the water! (If you get them wet clean and dry them with all you got!) For that perfect ‘mash potato’ snow I have used silicone spray or spray on car wax with good success.