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Period correct snowshoes
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Greenhorn
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Hello the Camp! I am a F&I period reenactor. I have become very interested in taking part in the several primitive biathlons. They use snowshoes. I am interested in info on the type of snowshoes that are most F&I period correct and possible suppliers. I would also be interested in what is available as source documentation for this info. Don't want to make any costly purchases in haste. It is so much better to mess up after thinking things through. Thanks to any and all that can help me with this info. Beegum
 
Posts: 44 | Location: Springfield, MA | Registered: 16 February 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of Newoodsrunner
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quote:
IP
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Posts: 461 | Location: SW Okla | Registered: 02 September 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
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HUH!
 
Posts: 109 | Location: NH | Registered: 05 July 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
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Sorry no idea what the post from the other is about
quote:
Originally posted by beegum:
Hello the Camp! I am a F&I period reenactor. I have become very interested in taking part in the several primitive biathlons. They use snowshoes. I am interested in info on the type of snowshoes that are most F&I period correct and possible suppliers. I would also be interested in what is available as source documentation for this info. Don't want to make any costly purchases in haste. It is so much better to mess up after thinking things through. Thanks to any and all that can help me with this info. Beegum
 
Posts: 109 | Location: NH | Registered: 05 July 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
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Originally posted by Newoodsrunner:
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IP
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HUH??????
 
Posts: 109 | Location: NH | Registered: 05 July 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Have you tried doing a "search" for "native American snowshoes"? I just did and quite a lot of information came up.

Original shoes were made with rawhide webbing. That stuff got wet and would stretch and sag. The user often had to stop and tighten up that webbing. They were a p.i.t.a!

Originally the style of snowshoes varied somewhat between one indian tribe and another. Basically the short "bearpaw" shoe is used for hunting and manuevering around in tight places among trees and brush. The longer snowshoes are better for traveling, the long "tail" on most designs helps to keep the shoe "tracking" straight.

Although I'm now retired here in Tennesse and have no further use for snowshoes, my old pair still hangs in my barn. Mine are the long kind, about 3 feet long, with a tail. Good shoes, I got around the Adirondacks of New York and the Upper Peninsular of Michigan quite well with them. My shoes are wood framed, but the webbing is some kind of synthetic material that does not stretch when it gets wet.

There used to be several guys in up state New York and elsewhere in New England who made snowshoes the old way. I don't know if any of them are still around.
Making snowshoes is time consuming, but it really isn't very difficult.


Know what you believe in. Fight for your beliefs. Never compromise away your rights.
 
Posts: 1261 | Location: Cherokee Land, Tenasi | Registered: 06 January 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Greenhorn
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Thank you for your info. I had heard of the stretching problem. We make some compromises when we recreate our historical impressions. Sooo I will probably settle for artificial sinew and a good wooden frame...a reasonably accurate, well made, pair at a reasonable price. This may be alot to ask. I will look under the search topic you suggest. Guess what I really want is to talk to any F&I reenactors who uses snowshoes in his impression. Thank you for help and letting me know what you have used. Phil K/Beegum
 
Posts: 44 | Location: Springfield, MA | Registered: 16 February 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pilgrim
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I am reading the book about Robert Rogers during the F&I War: Brumwell, Stephen. White Devil: a True Story of War, Savagery, and Vengeance in Colonial America. About 1/3 of the way through the book, the Rangers are heading for a confrontation with the French at Lake George in 1759 and there is a detailed description of the large snowshoes and how they made them.
Ron
 
Posts: 62 | Location: Golden, CO | Registered: 10 October 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Free Trapper
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hello beegum,
try and get the book the snowshoe book by william Osgood and leslie hurley
it is a fairly good book on snowshoes and snowshoeing even has a section on
makeing your own pair.

or if your interested I`d be glade to let you have the book I have, as I am getting to the age where I`m no longer interested in doing much outdoor winter treks any more beside`s the winter`s up here in Alaska are getting way too mild to really need snow shoes any more. no kidding here it is feb, is basicly gone and we only have two or so inches here on the kenai.
and that's in small patches out under the tree`s.

anyway if your interested drop me a line to my e-mail at 1953gunner@gmail.com
 
Posts: 196 | Location: kenai peninsula alaska | Registered: 09 April 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of Notchy Bob
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I have no first-hand experience with snowshoes. I live in Florida.

However, I ran across this book while rambling around in cyberspace: Making the Attikamek Snowshoe, by Henri Vaillancourt. The author is probably best known for his birchbark canoes. I first heard about him around 40 years ago, and he is still at it. His products are not cheap, but the quality is reportedly top notch. I don't know if he makes snowshoes for sale or not, but it looks like this book would tell you what you need to know.

I was hoping to get one of his crooked knives, but they are now up around $200.00 and I can't justify the expense.

Good luck!

Notchy Bob


"Should have kept the old ways just as much as I could, and the tradition that guarded us. Should have rode horses. Kept dogs."

from The Antelope Wife
 
Posts: 333 | Location: Florida | Registered: 24 May 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Thanks Bob. Good link. Vaillancourt is one of the names that I couldn't tnink of. He has been around for a looong time.

Remember that when wearing snowshoes you have to walk like you have a stick up your butt. Those extra wide shoes shown in the link, I think, would be quite a stretch. Ouch! My shoes are about 10" wide and 3' long.
Snowshoeing takes getting used to. The inside muscles of your thighs get a workout they are not used to. Like riding a horse all day when you are not used to it - sore!

Up in the Adirondacks back in the winter of '86 I got the tail of my right snowshoe caught on the top of a bush. I tripped and fell. The snow was about 5' deep and soft. I could not stand up again because I couldn't reach anything solid to push myself up. I just kept floundering in the snow, until I rolled over to a tree and pulled myself up on that.


Know what you believe in. Fight for your beliefs. Never compromise away your rights.
 
Posts: 1261 | Location: Cherokee Land, Tenasi | Registered: 06 January 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Ojibwa style. Unless you're a runt or never pack anything you may want them about 12 X 60 inches. Make them yourself if you want them to be period correct. Not as complicated as you might think. If you don't want to split and bend you can get a kit, then throw away the synthetic lacings that come with the kit and lace them yourself with rawhide.
 
Posts: 507 | Registered: 14 August 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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I wanted a pair of bear paw snowshoes, but when I started to research snowshoes, I found out that I weigh too much for that style. Old time Indians must have been skinny. I average 225 lbs. and I figured that if I was still capable of carrying a full pack I would have to use a toboggan for my gear. As of right now I am trying to repair mine, the mice got to them. It seems that Mr. Murphy's law lives in my back pocket. Last time we had enough snow to use them I had to have both knees replaced. Go figger.
 
Posts: 353 | Location: Pocono Mts. in PA | Registered: 12 June 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of NWTF Longhunter
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I'm a big guy so these custom shoes are 13" X 65" made by the Iverson company in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. They are the Algonquin style with ash frame and rawhide webbing. Leather bindings. I've used snowshoes with rawhide webbing for years with no problem. The maker seals the rawhide with varnish. That will eventually wear off and when the rawhide starts to sag you coat them with linseed oil. When that drys the webbing will tighten back up and be as good as new.

I've heard that Iverson is out of business now I don't know for sure, you might find them on line.

 
Posts: 797 | Location: Michigan | Registered: 29 April 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
Picture of NWTF Longhunter
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Another place to get traditional snowshoes is Northwoods Wilderness Outfitters. Their wooden shoes have a "poly lace" webbing that looks just like rawhide but is stronger. I talked to them just the other day and they have shoes in stock ready to ship. This link gives the different styles and prices. The Algonquin style isn't shown but they have them in stock

http://www.northwoodsoutfitters.com/page.php?ID=162

This is Risdon, the man who makes the snowshoes holding a pair of his Algonquin style shoes

This message has been edited. Last edited by: NWTF Longhunter,
 
Posts: 797 | Location: Michigan | Registered: 29 April 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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a close up of the Risdon shoe with the poly lace. You can see how much it looks like rawhide.

 
Posts: 797 | Location: Michigan | Registered: 29 April 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
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The problem with modern constructed wooden snowshoes is the toe hole is too big. They are designed for wear with boots, which I find are more difficult to walk in than moccasins. If you can find a copy of W. Ben Hunt - The Complete How-To Book of Indiancraft; includes full instructions for wooden or woven snowshoes.


"touch not the cat without a glove"
"Much of the social history of the western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. . ." Thomas Sowell
 
Posts: 143 | Location: South of the Arkansas, on the slopes of St. Charles Peak, Colorado territory | Registered: 25 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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The problem with modern constructed wooden snowshoes is the toe hole is too big. They are designed for wear with boots


My winter moccasins work just fine in my shoeshoes



 
Posts: 797 | Location: Michigan | Registered: 29 April 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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My winter moccasins are bulkier than my thinsulate insulated Bean boots.
 
Posts: 507 | Registered: 14 August 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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If you want to go primitive stay away from synthetic lacing. It does not look the same and you'd hate yourself for it. If you're serious.
 
Posts: 507 | Registered: 14 August 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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