Workshop: Snowshoe Lacing, 11 Nov., $150/175

S. Johnson on a pair of snowshoes in Alberta.

Have you ever admired the snowshoes on the wall of a lodge? Would you rather have something a little more traditional than the modern plastic snowshoes? Are you looking for a crafty gift for that hard-to-shop-for outdoors person? Reserve a place now in our upcoming snowshoe-lacing workshop. You’ll get a full snowshoe kit (frames and lacing), an instructive booklet, and time to learn the ropes from an experienced snowshoe lacer.

Workshop Details

Snowshoe frames being bent after steaming.

This workshop will run from 1:00–5:00 p.m. on Nov. 11, 2017 at the Low Technology Institute. We’ll be lacing Ojibwe and Green Mountain bear paw shoes. In the four hours, you’ll learn the basic knots and patterns and get time to work through a few sections of lacing. This will be enough experience for you to finish the job on your own at home (following the illustrated booklet provided to you). Light snacks and warm beverages will be provided.

The price is $150 for members and $175 for nonmembers (memberships start at $35/year) and you can RSVP with a deposit through our square store or by emailing We will also sell kits at $150 (order here).

Unfinished Ojibwe snowshoes.

The snowshoes will be made of bent ash wood and will come in two styles: Ojibwe and Green Mountain bear paw. Ojibwe shoes are the best all-around shoes, with a pointed nose to go through brush, a long body for straight tracking across open fields, and a large displacement to float you well above the snow (“medium” [11 × 54 in] for someone weighing between 125 and 200 lb and “large” for those 200-250 lb [12 × 60 in] with gear). Green Mountain bear paws are smaller, easier to pack, and more maneuverable but provide less float than the Ojibwe style (10-×-36-in ovals, appropriate for up to 200 lb) (see example here). We’ll use flat nylon cord instead of rawhide: it is longer lasting and better wearing. Once laced, the snowshoes are covered with three coats of marine-spar varnish (not included).

Hanging shoes ready for varnishing.

The workshop will be taught by Scott Johnson, who has been lacing snowshoes since the sixth grade.

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