How to Attach Snowshoes to Your Backpack

How to Attach Snowshoes to Your Backpack
Snowshoes are the only efficient means of uphill travel in the backcountry. They're also necessary for skiers who are too light to make effective use of climbing skins on their skis. The only problem is, what do you do with those snowshoes once you're ready to ride back down--or if you're a hiker who's wandered onto a section of trail where they're not necessary? Most packs have side compression straps or ski and snowboard holding straps that are perfect for holding snowshoes in place so that you don't have to carry them.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Loosen the side compression straps on either side of the backpack enough to accommodate one snowshoe on each side.
Step 2
Slide each snowshoe down along the side of the pack, inside the compression straps, with the bottom of the snowshoe pointing out and the curved, toe end up. Each snowshoe should slide down far enough that the curved toe sits flush against the top of the pack.
Step 3
Cinch the compression straps down so that each snowshoe is held snug against the side of the pack. If you only have one strap on each side, that strap should sit directly below the front crampons on the snowshoe to minimize the movement of the shoe against the pack.

Tips & Warnings

If you only have one attachment point for the snowshoes--for example, on a pack intended to carry a snowboard--just place the bottoms of the shoes together with both toes pointing in the same direction. Loosen the attachment straps enough to slide the shoes between the straps and the pack, with the curved toes facing up. Snug the straps down to hold the shoes tight against the pack.
If your pack doesn't have any straps suitable for holding the snowshoes in place but has a daisy chain or gear loops along its back, you can improvise straps by running webbing from the hip belt to the daisy chain or between daisy chains (if there are two on the back of the pack). Small bungee cords are also effective for securing your snowshoes between daisy chains or between a daisy chain and the side of your pack; just place the shoes against the pack as described earlier, and then stretch the bungees between two points on the pack to hold the shoes in place.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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