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Antique and Vintage Snowshoes
I f you've ever tried wading through thick snow then you would appreciate an ancient invention — the snowshoe. Akin to strapping tennis racquets on to your feet, the snowshoe redistributes your weight over a larger area, meaning you don't sink as far into the snow. The earliest evidence for snowshoes comes from central Asia, dating back to over 6, years ago.
From Europe to North America to Asia, people began using snowshoes over 4, years ago out of a basic need explore new territories and to find food in the winter. With vast regions of the world snowbound for much of the year, hunters looked to emulate successful winter travelers like the snowshoe hare, whose oversized feet enabled them to move quickly over deep snow. In areas like central Europe, historians have discovered snowshoe-like tools, with the use of large leather flats and round wooden blocks, but the traditional webbed snowshoe design was developed and thrived with Native Americans. The great success of snowshoes for winter travel was first observed by European explorers with Northeastern tribes such as the Huron and Algonquin, which led subsequent trappers, hunters, and surveyors to adopt snowshoes as their own. Some of the earliest snowshoes were over 7 feet long which, though unwieldy, were helpful in navigating through very deep, powdery snow. Snowshoers looked to the naturally efficient design of animal paws and began modeling their snowshoes after animal prints they found in nature.
To snowshoe in the most beautiful winter surroundings gives the body and soul tremendous well-being. The simplicity of practicing this sport makes it the easiest of all winter sports, because if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Of all inventions, because this is one, created by mankind to move in the snow, no other object can be as simple and efficient at the same time. That is probably why we had to wait 8, years for a significant technological revolution that is the arrival of aluminium and composite snowshoes, equipped with crampons in the s. The historical account of this phenomenal invention will be based on the North American history, mostly located in Eastern Canada, thus richly documented.