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Re: [AT-L] snowshoes

On Mon, 14 Oct 1996, Jennifer Delia Sawyer wrote:

> I'm looking for some expertise about snowshoes.  Never had 'em, never wanted
> 'em...not sure what I'd do with 'em.  So what do y'all know about brands,
> styles, etc.?  I'm definitely price-sensitive...need to stay under $180.
> What kind of special stuff will I need to affix them to my pack or is there
> something else you do with them when you're not wearing them?  Looking to do
> some 2-3 day weekend adventures this winter.  

I have personally only used Sherpas backpacking, and have had a lot of 
luck.  I think their patenet ran out a couple of years ago, so just 
recently there are tons of brands on the market, most pretty good, I'm 
told (Tubbs, Redfeather, Atlas).  Some are geared for sports (like 
snow-jogging - I think it is a Colorado thing) so make sure you get one 
with solid bindings and enough flotation for your weight + pack (they are 
usually rated).  Generally larger surface area means it will support more 
wieght, but is more cumbersome (especially in thick brush).
Another thing to look for is crampons - both uner the toe and behind the 
heel, they can really save the day on steep terrain (most of the new 
brands have them).

There has been a real craze about the new MSR Denali Llamas.  They seem 
to have all the right features, plus you can get and add-on piece for the 
back that attaches to give more flotation (in open terrain or with a 
particularly heavy pack, for example).  I think they are priced very 
competatively, but tend to sell out really quickly (I have never 
actually seen one in a store, just the empty racks and sometimes the 
attachment!)  I really could not remember what the prices of any 
snowshoes are, but I had the impression for most we were talking between 

Good luck, enjoy the snow!


PS - you can usually find a way of strapping them to your pack when you 
are not wearing them (the kind with the decking tied to the frame 
(Sherpa, Tubbs) tend to be a little easier than the kind where the 
decking material is rivitted around it (Atlas), but you can usually be 
creative.  I just saw in the LL Bean catalog a pair of collaping ones 
(they looked like they were made by Readfeather, but that is just a 
guess) where the frame comes apart and slips out of the decking!
Jeffrey Mosenkis         MAPSS Student          University of Chicago
              *Freelance Joking Avunculate For Hire*