Snowshoe bindings

I’d mentioned earlier that after years of wanting, I finally caved and got a pair (well, two actually) of the surplus magnesium snowshoes that never seem to run out of inventory at the various surplus dealers.

The bindings that come with them are, to put it mildly, challenging. Oh, if you get good instructions you can suss it out and get them the way you want them but isn’t there a better way?

Might be.

Some research showed that these bindings were recommended for this sort of thing so I went ahead and ordered a set. The instructions were NOT terribly clear, but between YouTube and some comments in the reviews on Amazon, I got it figured out.


Bottom line: You will want to use different screws. I used 1.5″ 10-24 with nylon locking bolts and a couple washers on either side. About $1 at most hardware stores. The guy in the video cut away some of the wires that were in the way and then cable clamped the loose ends. Maybe that works for him, I dont like the idea of cutting anything. I used some safety wire to pull the webbing wires apart where I needed more space.

Getting in and out of these bindings is a breeze. Highly recommend. If the weather would just cooperate, I’ll take these things for a hike up in the hills but right now we’ve got rain and virtually zero snow on the ground. But, February us usually our winteriest month, so who knows.

7 thoughts on “Snowshoe bindings

  1. “Never seem to run out of inventory” made be they made a lot in the Cold War.
    Sorry it just popped into my head (well there is a lot of room and it is getting very lonely in there on its own).

  2. I haven’t used that style of snowshoe in quite some time, but from what I remember and from what I’m seeing here the best place for the original bindings is in the garbage. The replacement bindings look like they should work well.

    The first couple times you use them you might have retighten them after hiking in them for 15-20 minutes.

  3. Forgive my stupidity as I don’t live in snowshoe country, but why the long ‘tang’ on the rear of the snowshoe? I get it if you’ve made them from branches yourself, but it just seems to be a holdover solely for aesthetics sake.

    • On “teardrop” snowshoe the tail serves two functions: it stabilizes the shoe to keep it from twisting on your foot, and also acts as a counter-weight so that the toe naturally crests deep snow. [From Google as I had no idea (nothing new there) so looked it up.]

  4. Watching your project with interest, as I have a coupla pairs myself, but I have to drive a couple of hours to snow, even in winter, from here in the wintry depths of Disneylandia By The Sea.

    Learned the .mil bindings at Bridgeport back in the day; they work, but they aren’t great. Just lowest bidder cheap. Oh, and they’re white. Ish.

    But the second pair I got was sans the bindings, and my back-of-my-mind project was taking the wires out completely on that set, and redoing the platforms them with some white Kydex skins riveted to the frames instead. Assuming I can get sheets that big without too much hassle.

    Just like the ones made by the cool kids for $300/pr.

    At that point, some (better than milsurp) bindings for my v.2.0 would be a good thing.

    And for those who didn’t know better, the tails aren’t just a cutesy holdover from when Hurons were making them out of birch saplings or whatever.

    They’re there to keep a guy from falling on his ass with an 80 lb. ruck going up and down gradients. Most movement for the .mil is Point A to Point B following the leader and mule-laden, so the PITA to pivot with the long tails is of secondary importance.

    If you’re not in a long gaggle of your friends, and not carrying a gutbuster ruck, the new ovals are much more turn friendly, I’m sure.
    And for only $300.

    IIRC, my surplus ones were originally something like $30/pr. from Sportsman’s Guide, in the late ’80s-early 90s. The second pair was about the same for cash, no bindings, at a swap meet or fun show, I forget.

    Then I just need to work on better bindings for the milsurp cross country skis.

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