We’ve gotten some snow on the homestead over the last few days. The weather band says more is on the way—possibly a lot more. I finally got around to a job that’s been waiting for my attention for almost a year: repairing one of my snowshoes.
I broke it last winter when we were tracking a moose on the southern edge of our property. The day was not particularly cold, no less than 18° F, but the plastic thong lacing on my back deck broke. I also lost three of the four rivets that held my toe basket in place, causing a total blow out on that foot.
I spent too much time that season trying to find the plastic lacing to repair the shoe. There used to be a lot of modern-style snowshoes that featured laced decks, but I suddenly realized that they’d become rare. I assume this is because the lacing breaks easily.
I cast around for some kind of line to repair the shoe, and eventually settled on parachute cord—or paracord, as it is commonly called. I also got a rivet gun and some pop rivets to replace the lost fasteners on the toe basket.
After that, it was merely a matter of procrastination. I’ve been rotating on a short list of ongoing projects lately, making a bit of progress on two or three of them each day. The snowshoe repair job got put off every day unitl last night, when I buckled down to it.
It turned out to be simple. The lacing pattern is far more basic than some snowshoes I’ve seen. I laced it up, tightened it well, then secured it with a couple of good knots, and seared the frayed ends. Then I tacked the decking back together in the proper places using pop rivets backed with washers.
It looks good. I have yet to test it; that will come if the snow develops. But I expect it’ll hold just fine.
This is the most used of my four pairs of snowshoes. My favorites are the old-style wood and sinew modified bearpaws. They’re trusty, beautiful, and simple. However, in some conditions, and especially if it’s icy, I’m trail hauling, or pulling the pulk, I like the modern snowshoes, with their improved claw grips. I have a secondhand pair that needs some of its lacing replaced as well, and this pair I just put back on the active list. I like its bindings the best, particularly the toe basket.
My “best” pair is the one I have yet to try out. These are the pair of fancy MSR Lightning Axis I won from REI in a Haiku contest. I never got around to trying them out last winter; they’re still new in the box! I’m procrastinating on the decision to use or sell them even better than I did on getting around to the repair job on the other pair.