How to Make Willow Snowshoes

How to Make Willow Snowshoes
If you need to walk through deep snow, the best way is in snowshoes. The shoes distribute your weight over a larger surface than regular shoes do, which means that you won't sink as much. Willow is an ideal type of wood for making your own snowshoes. It's supple enough to bend and strong enough that it won't break easily.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Willow tree branches Pocket knife 550 cord or twine
  • Willow tree branches
  • Pocket knife
  • 550 cord or twine
Step 1
Collect branches from a willow tree. The branches need to bend easily and not snap. Warming the wood by a fire can help make the branches more flexible. You will need two larger branches to make the frame and smaller branches for crosspieces on each shoe.
Step 2
Bend branches to form a teardrop shape. The frame for your snowshoe should be roughly 6 inches longer than your shoe. To tie the two ends together, lay one end on top of the other to form an X shape and use your 550 cord or twine to secure them. Wrap the cord so that it goes through the middle of the X several times.
Step 3
Attach smaller pieces of willow branches for your crosspieces. You'll need three smaller branches to form the crosspieces for one snowshoe. Lay one crosspiece so that it sits about one-third of the way down from the top of your snowshoe, where the ball of your foot will go. Lay the other two down from the first one, keeping them several inches apart. They will be under your foot and support your weight.
Step 4
Weave more small branches over and under the crosspieces to form a crisscross pattern. If the branches don't stay in place, use your cord to tie the branches in place for reinforcement.
Step 5
Secure the snowshoe to your foot with bindings. Step on the snowshoe so that the ball of the foot rests on the top crosspiece. This position will let you flex your foot while you walk. Tie one side of the snowshoe next to the top crosspiece with 550 cord and run the cord through your shoelaces. Secure it at the other side of the snowshoe next to the top crosspiece.

Article Written By Shiromi Nassreen

Shiromi Nassreen has been writing professionally since 2005. She specializes in travel and outdoor topics, and her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "DISfunkshion Magazine" and Matador Travel. Nassreen holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.

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