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DIY Snowshoes

Eager to get out and explore a winter wonderland? Caught in a pinch on the trail in deep snow? Whether it’s a fresh dump of snow in your backyard or local park, or a snowshoe route, you can make your very own snowshoes using nature’s resources around you!


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Materials Needed

  • 2-3 Feet of Rope and Twine
  • 3 long Sticks (that come to your chest or a little higher), cleaned of leaves and branches
  • 2-3 Evergreen Tree Branches
  • Knife or Axe, for cutting

Safety Tips

For Parents and volunteer Scouters: Knife Safety, Axe & Saw Safety  

For volunteer Scouters: Knives, Axes, Saws, Stoves, Lanterns And Other Camping Tools Standards


Building Phase (30 minutes):

  1. Cut two of your tree branches to be about chest-high. Using cordage, tie the tops of the sticks together. Bend the tops of the sticks into a ‘v’ or ‘u’ shape and use more cordage to lash them in place.
  2. Placing the tied sticks on the ground. Find the center balance point of the sticks. Use your blade to mark where your first crosspiece will go—three inches above the center balance point. Mark the placement for your lower crosspiece, which will be placed two inches behind the balance point.
  3. Take your third remaining stick and cut the two crosspieces, then lash them securely to the frame to create weight support.
  4. Pull the bottom of the framing sticks together and lash them, completing the frame.

Scout Tip: Use clove hitch knots for your lashing technique.

Assembly (20 minutes):

Using your evergreen branches, stuff the frame and secure the branches in place with additional cordage.

Use your remaining rope to make a bight around both sides of the top crosspiece. Next, use three overhand knots with the same rope to secure the top of your foot into position. Take both running ends from the top overhand knot, create an ‘x’ under the arch of your foot, and round up to your tie off at the front of your ankle.



Congratulations, you’ve completed your snowshoes! After trying them out, take a beat to reflect on the activity—what worked, what didn’t, and were there areas for improvement?


Find activities like this and hundreds more on Scouts Canada’s Activity Finder! 

<i>Photo Credit : Dan Wowak, Coalcracker Bushcraft</i>

Photo Credit : Dan Wowak, Coalcracker Bushcraft

Winter Survival

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