A "shoe pack" has three seams IF we are talking about the same thing, front top, rear heal, and side. Here is a photo of a shoepack from Arrow Moccasin that is very much like the ones I've seen folks fashion. They call theirs the Ligonier Moccasin. This is also very similar to the pair that Mark Baker makes in one of his how-to videos.
It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
Posts: 3843 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004
Bearbelch, Welcome too the fire, on the women of the fur trade page there is agreat tutorial on making sideseam wintermocs. I used it to make a pair of hair on bison sideseams for both me and the wife.If you use bison be sure it is not an alum tanned hide,will not hold up.Learned that one the hard way. http://womenofthefurtrade.com/home.php What part of Colorado do you call home? Woodman
Yes, the shoe pack I was thinking of is the same as the one in Baker's book. I was planning on following the instructions but not sure of the weight of leather to use or sources for this leather. I would like to have something that will be warm for winter trekking or the occasional winter rendezvous. My timeline and location is late 1830's around Bent's Fort or what is now Colorado. I will check out the sites listed above and Woodman I live in Arvada. Thanks for the feedback.
Posts: 6 | Location: Colorado | Registered: 11 August 2011
I'm going to be a crab: how common were these shoepacs historically? I'm somewhat aware of heavy winter moccasins made of buffalo with the hair on the outside BUT...if truth be told..the subject of winter footwear is a difficult one. Snowshoes have been noted by mountain men. I've wondered whther just larger moccasins (plain old side seams)with blanket liners were worn. The big question for me is that such footwear is slippery- how did they get around in the snow? I don't have an answer but I think there is too much made of the Ligonier or shoe pac style.
To keep from slipping in moccasins in snow, take 1/4 inch dia hemp rope and wrap it around the moccasin covered foot over the instep a couple of time about an inch apart, then back around the ankle and tie off in front of ankle.
I used to wrap rope or chain around the runners of my dogsleds that way, too, when going down steep slopes.
The forest is a wilderness only to those that fear it, silent only to those that hear nothing. The forest is a friend to those that dwell within its' nature and it is filled with the sounds of life to those that listen.
Posts: 526 | Location: Bitterroot Valley | Registered: 23 October 2004
Bubba as far as I know with Buffalo hair mocs the hair goes inside much warmer. Two pipes I am still researching the best way to tell the difference between alum tanned and new method the two most common commercial tans for hair on buffaloe. Of on atrip this weekend where I will see some folks that could help me answer that question.
That makes sense about the hair on the inside. Many moons ago in my youth I wore moccasins with snowshoes and the deal was to wear so many socks that foot warmth didn't warm up the outside of the moccasins enough to melt snow and wet the moccasins. BUT, once I took the moc's off the snowshoes- I was always slipping around.
Bearbelch, Seeing that you have picked 1830’s western fur trade as your period, the most common style of moc’s for the mountain men of the area and time would be the side seam or the pucker vamp. Were there other styles in and around the Bents Fort area, yes. But if you never made moc’s before the side seam is the best to master and is easy to make in camp. In my years of use for winter footwear I use them only. I recommend you to follow and use the pattern that the WFT site that Woodman told you about. Good detail and works. I make an inner pair from hair on deer, elk or buffalo. Make the pattern a good 1” larger to allow for the hair inside. Don’t make them tight like you should do for summer moc’s. Winter you need some air room for insulation and wiggle room. Then make an outer pair to slip the hair on pair into, out of a good heavy elk hide. This way you can dry the outside pair and it gives you layers. Always remember there is no such thing as waterproof moc’s! I also made side seam blanket moc’s a pair for sleeping in and another pair to swap out with the hair on pair if they get wet. I have also found that buffalo hide just doesn’t seem to hold up that well long. It is very grainy. I hope this helps you.