How to Build Snow Shoes

How to Build Snow Shoes
Walking in the deep snow can quickly tire a person out--not an ideal situation when in the middle of the wilderness. In addition, deep snow can soak the lower part of a person's body, causing coldness and numbness. The solution? Snowshoes. And they're not too difficult to make, either. Here's how.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to Build Snowshoes

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cords Knife Branches (live)
  • Cords
  • Knife
  • Branches (live)
Step 1
Obtain seven cords or strips. These can be anything from rope or wire to bungee cord or strips of your own clothing. It's best if the strips are at least 8 inches long.
Step 2
Obtain a live branch or sapling. Use a knife to cut it off of the tree or shrub. You need a live branch because you are going to bend it quite a bit. You'll want the branch to be about half an inch thick and at least 3 feet long, if not a little longer, and very pliable.
Step 3
Bend your branch so that the ends cross, with about an inch of extra branch on both sides. Use one of your cords to tie the branch ends in place in their crossed position. Your branch should now resemble a teardrop in shape, with the connected ends at the top and the rounded end on the bottom.
Step 4
Gather five additional branches. Take the thickest of them--preferably at least half an inch thick--and break it into three pieces, each long enough to span the teardrop from one side to the other side. Snap the other branches into pieces, too, with some long enough to span the width of the teardrop and others long enough to span the length of the teardrop.
Step 5
Use your cords to tie the three thick branch pieces, spanning the width of the teardrop, into place, lashing them on both sides to the sapling. You should now have a teardrop-shaped sapling and three thick branches lashed to it across the width.
Step 6
Weave the other branch pieces (the ones long enough to span the teardrop lengthwise) under or over the three branches and the sapling. Next, weave the remaining branch pieces (the ones long enough to span the teardrop across the width) over and under the branches already in place. You should now have a teardrop spanned by three thick branches across the width, plus a number of other branches across both the length and width.
Step 7
Finally, set your foot, in its shoe, into the middle of the teardrop, with your toes pointed toward the rounded side and your heel facing the pointed side. Use one of your longer cords to lash your shoe to the three thick sticks spanning the teardrop's width. Once your shoe is firmly tied on, your snowshoe is complete.

Article Written By William Jackson

William Jackson has written, reported and edited professionally for more than 10 years. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, high-level government reports, books and online. He holds a master's degree in humanities from Pennsylvania State University.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.