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Discussion Starter #1
After this weekend's pure hell of walking into my spot with the snow/ice, was thinking about snowshoes. Does anyone use them? Are they worth it?
 

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I have a set of atlas snow shoes, they take some getting used to. You will need poles too, as it is pretty much impossible to get up on them if you fall without poles. If you do get a set, calculate what your total weight would be with all your gear and buy accordingly. Walking in them takes some getting used to, but it sure beats post-holing and getting snow in your boots
 

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If your snow is deep enough to seriously post-hole, they work. We use the little aluminum frame jobs. Like satch says, there is a learning curve... you have to walk kinda bowlegged so you don't step on the inner edges. If you're just finding the going difficult because of 8-12" of snow, forget it... it's just harder to walk but the snowshoes probably won't save you much, if any energy.

Something like these work:
http://www.amazon.com/Chinook-80006...UTF8&qid=1454345191&sr=1-1&keywords=snowshoes
 

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if you have a ton of snow theyre worth it. we use them for predator hunting here when there gets to be 2 ft of snow or more...really nice if you need to go a good distance
 

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They are worthwhile if the snow is deep. I would say anything deeper than about 10" or a foot. I have a pair and every once in a while I have to use them. Not often though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What about on snow that has melted and refroze? The snow was about a foot or so deep with some higher amount. The top few inches was frozen over and every time I took a step, I broke through it. Would the snowshoe help in this case?
 

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youll probably still break through, depending on how froze it is. the snowshoes are going to help you not to sink in as far.
 

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If you're walking on top of ice, the cleats on the bottom will keep you from sliding backwards on hills. If the crust isn't thick enough to hold you, then you can do a lot of tripping pulling them back out through the crust. If you have logs under the snow, you can step on them with just an edge of the shoe, and go down. Getting tangled in branches under the snow also happens. I bought a couple sets of Tubbs for my son and I when we had a blizzard up to our waists. When it was powder, we still sunk in over our 18" boots, and up to our knees in places. In a few days the snow compacted enough were we didn't need them. They've not been used since. Think that storm was in the early 90's. Not worth walking in them for hunting if the snow isn't at least knee deep. Noisy too, if they are the solid platform type. Not sure how the string type sounds.
 

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I got a pair of the aluminum frame design well over a decade ago and have used them about 10x over the years......but never for hunting. There is certainly a learning curve and I found that my legs typically are a bit sore the next day because of the bow-legged gait that is required which is very different from your normal walking stride. However I find them fun for taking a walk when the snow is deep enough just for the sake of being out and imagining I am in Alaska rather than west MI. Most of our big snowfalls happen after the first of the year when hunting season closes, so I have never even had the opportunity to ponder taking them out with my bow. I am guessing that getting a deer out on snowshoes would be a "challenge"...:wink:
 

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The last pair of snowshoes that I bought was over 40 years ago, so I'll stay away from brand names, but the same principles apply. I'd lean towards a pickerel (narrow and long) vs. a bear paw (teardrop shaped). You lose a little stability, but you gain ease of forward motion. If you haven't been on bearpaws for some time and go out for a few hours on them you'll wish you didn't and will feel it in your upper inner thighs for the next week.

I weigh about 150 w/o heavy clothes and my shoes keep me from punching through most of that crusted over snow. My shoes on bare ice are pretty much useless for grip, and if you think that they might give you a little margin of safety walking on thin ice, you'd better think again. That in itself is a separate story.
 

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There's a reason why they have been around for so long. We got a pretty good dumping as you know. I have some Red Feather "sport" style shoes. They worked ok as I was trudging through 2+ feet, but that is what I have so I run what I brung. Keep in mind you will need the appropriate size shoe to hold your weight on top of the snow. Also look at the bindings.......mine are great with running shoes or light hikers but pack boots are a bit fat for an ideal fit in my bindings. Maybe try EMS or Campmor to actually see them in the flesh and maybe find them on sale.
 

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I have a set of atlas snow shoes, they take some getting used to. You will need poles too, as it is pretty much impossible to get up on them if you fall without poles. If you do get a set, calculate what your total weight would be with all your gear and buy accordingly. Walking in them takes some getting used to, but it sure beats post-holing and getting snow in your boots
That's the truth. Years ago after a lot of snow, I bought an Ojibwa type of assemble-them-yourself kit from Country Ways and enjoyed weaving the laces myself to make them. I went with the Ojibwa after researching snowshoes and found that these pointed type snowshoes were the easiest to walk in the woods or brush with over the rounded front type.

http://snowshoe.com/index.cfm?pageid=280
 

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I went with the Ojibwa after researching snowshoes and found that these pointed type snowshoes were the easiest to walk in the woods or brush with over the rounded front type.
I've owned about every style of snowshoe made except for the Ojibwa and I will have a pair. I think the design is the most practical of the bunch but they tend to be the hardest to find. Personally, I wouldn't mess with snowshoes unless there was close to two feet of snow on the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If you're walking on top of ice, the cleats on the bottom will keep you from sliding backwards on hills. If the crust isn't thick enough to hold you, then you can do a lot of tripping pulling them back out through the crust. If you have logs under the snow, you can step on them with just an edge of the shoe, and go down. Getting tangled in branches under the snow also happens. I bought a couple sets of Tubbs for my son and I when we had a blizzard up to our waists. When it was powder, we still sunk in over our 18" boots, and up to our knees in places. In a few days the snow compacted enough were we didn't need them. They've not been used since. Think that storm was in the early 90's. Not worth walking in them for hunting if the snow isn't at least knee deep. Noisy too, if they are the solid platform type. Not sure how the string type sounds.
The terrain I am in is all pretty flat. From our recent snow, then melting, and refreezing at night, I was breaking through on almost all my steps. There were stretches here and there were I didn't break through and was thankful for every one of those steps. I was thinking than the snowshoes would help in this particular case. After reading about them a bit today, they don't see to be the miracle I was hoping for.
 

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It may depend on the shoe you get. I'm 250, and with a 40 lb pack on i only sink a couple inches in fresh snow. My shoes are 36" long though, and rated for 300+ pounds. They also have a floating suspension system and crampons built in, and i can walk up snow banks that are close to vertical with them.

I don't know if you have an REI close to you, but they rent snow shoes, it's not too expensive. You could try them out that way and see if you like them. You could also just rent then when you need them and not have to have the initial investment.
 
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