There are many ways to attach a snowshoe to your pack, although some are more convenient and energy efficient than others. To ensure your snowshoes do not become a burden or hindrance, you might need to take them off and attach them to a backpack at some point. How can you conveniently carry snowshoes in your backpack when hiking?
You can safely and conveniently carry snowshoes using the side compression straps compressor of your backpack, the front panel, attaching snowshoes with a bungee cord, under the top lid, or using horizontal straps. Any of these options you choose will work well.
For packs with a side compression strap feature, lash the straps of your backpack against the snowshoes (with the snowshoe crampons facing out) to secure them.
Although the side pockets of your pack get covered by the snowshoes, this method of carrying snowshoes is one of the safest and most convenient because attaching one snowshoe to each side keeps the weight close to the body and distributes the weight evenly for balance.
Packing snowshoes with the side straps of your pack also ensures that the shoes do not interfere with the main compartment of your backpack. No extra gear is required.
This method makes it difficult to decide how to place the snowshoes. For example, if the snowshoes are set with the crampons facing outwards, they could get caught in vegetation or the branches of trees.
Also, facing the shoe inwards (especially if it has bulky bindings) could damage packs with lightweight materials.
Carrying snowshoes with the front panel of your backpack is another method you can use to attach snowshoes to your pack if there’s no other way possible. This method is the least comfortable, in every expert hiker’s opinion.
If the front panel of your pack is not already occupied with ice axes or any other gear, slip the snowshoes into the front opening with the bottom/tail of the shoes first. Then secure the top of the boots by buckling the panel in place.
Attaching snowshoes to the front panel of your pack could be inconvenient because the weight could pull you back and make you fall, especially when climbing slopes and peaks like white mountains.
The front stash of your pack could also get damaged by the shoe crampons. The cleats can also punch through the body of your backpack if you fall.
On the flip side, this method prevents snowshoes from interfering with the pack’s side pockets and main compartment. It also prevents the snowshoe crampons and loops from getting tangled with trees on the trail.
You can use a bungee cord to hold snowshoes if the compression straps of your pack are not long enough.
Pass the bungee cord through the daisy chains or conveniently located compression straps, then through the low point of the snowshoe bindings (to prevent it from moving up and down) and to the other attachment point (compression straps or daisy chains).
This method is quick and easy but interferes with easy access to your side pocket and main space.
Backpacks with top lids that are large enough can use this method. It is fast and perfect for short-distance hiking where you have to take off your snowshoes.
Pack other gear into the larger compartment of your backpack and buckle. Nest a snowshoe pair with the crampon of each snowshoe facing each other. Place them on top of the main part and strap the top compartment over the snowshoes.
This idea works for all kinds of snowshoes and bindings. It’s also easy and secure.
The most notable pitfall here is that it is more difficult to access the larger compartment of the pack as you can’t get to the main part of your backpack without first removing your snowshoes.
No one wants to buy snowshoes and have them damaged in a few months. To ensure that your snowshoes last through many seasons, here are a few helpful tips for maintaining them.
Inspect and clean your snowshoes regularly, especially before putting them away after each use. Check for tears, cracks, and splits and mend them as soon as possible to prevent them from worsening.
Also, check for missing or damaged binding components and replace them accordingly.
Apart from routine care during winter, it’s essential to thoroughly maintain the snowshoes at the end of the season. Here are a few pieces of advice you should consider.
- Wash thoroughly in plain water. Although water can damage your snowshoes, leaving dirt and snow (especially snow with salt content) will hurt them even more.
- Avoid washing with detergents or soap.
- Do not soak your snowshoes in water. A quick rinse in plain water will do.
- Dry snowshoes thoroughly at room temperature immediately after washing.
- Keep your snowshoes away from heat and moisture.
To keep your snowshoes away from the reach of rodents and your pets, store them away from the ground. Storing them away from the ground also prevents mold from growing on them.
When putting your shoe away for summer, ensure you dry them thoroughly and store them in a cool and dry place that is well ventilated. Also, avoid over-exposing your snowshoe to sunlight.
There are different ways to do this. You can attach snowshoes to backpacks by using the side compression straps compressor of your bag, the front panel, connecting snowshoes with a bungee cord, carrying under the top lid, or using horizontal straps.
Secure them tightly to prevent them from falling off the trail.
You can travel with hiking shoes in your carry-on or checked baggage. See
To pack your snowshoe, wrap them in cardboard and keep them intact with duct tape or bungee cords. Put the snowshoes last on top of your gear with the teeth up. Remember to take a roll of tape to use again on the return trip.
Attachment points are important details “snowshoers” and ski lovers must look out for in backpacks. Attachment points help to store additional gear easily when not using it.
A few attachment points you should look out for include; a daisy loop (which can be used to attach a pocket to store other stuff like crampons, ice axe, ski skins, etc.), shock cord, compression straps, lash tabs, etc.