Zombie Apocalypse Survival Skills part…I don’t know… maybe 5?

Oh, it’s been a while. Late August was the last time I wrote a post. The blog silence wasn’t because I wasn’t crafting, but due to limited acess to the computer. I’ve recently (mostly) sorted out how to post from my tablet, so things should get back to semi-regular posts.

Am not going to bother with a catch-up photo post as I got out of the habit of taking photos of what I was working on and my just listing all the stuff I made would be very, very boring without the visuals. Instead, I’m going to tell you about my adventure a few weekends back as it was recent enough that I can actually remember some of the details…

My Mum and I made what can best be described as our annual trek to The Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough for yet another one of their traditional craft workshops or as I like to call them: Ways I Build my Zombie Apocalypse Survival Skills. This year, they offered one of the courses I have been listing on every course feedback form they ask you to fill out for the past 5 years….

SNOWSHOE WEAVING!!!!

When the course was first offered it was on a weekend that my Mum (who is also my ride) was unable to attend, so I was super happy when they offered it again & my Mum was free (I don’t drive & Peterborough is a bit hard to get to via public transit for a weekend course).

We arrived bright & early for our 8:30 am start & once everyone arrived things got moving. The instructors were Dave & Kai owners of Lure of the North, who taught the Winter Moccasin course my Mum & I took about 2 years ago. We were run through the 3 styles of frames they had brought; Huron, Bear Paw & Ojibwe and given the benefits & drawbacks of each design. I did a cursory bit of research about snowshoe designs before going to the workshop and fell down a bit of a rabbit hole as each style is specific to the winter conditions and type of travel they would be used for. The Ojibwe, for example, is best for long treks along open/flat areas as their ski like design will have the person essentially “skiing” along the snow.

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Mum went with a traditional Huron frame to replace the pair my Grandad had that were lost. I chose the Bear Paw as I preferred the smaller frame size & it is the best design if you are tromping through wooded areas as you are less likely to end up bridging & snapping your shoe between two logs. Also, unlike the long tailed models, you can back up with the Bear Paw as the weight is evenly distributed & the back end won’t get stuck in the snow. For klutzy me, these are all important factors.

305Snowshoes were woven with rawhide that was specifically treated to withstand the rigours of snowshoeing. The processing of rawhide for specific uses is a complete post unto itself that would really only be of interest to me & various experimental archeologists, so we shall move along… My point being, all the commercially processed rawhide that is on the market now is not of a high enough quality to be used on snowshoes that will be used for actual snowshoeing. If you are looking to fulfill your Rustic Cabin Chic decor, go wild & use the crap rawhide….

Good rawhide being non-existant, we were given the choice of 150lb fish line or nylon webbing. The fish line was harder on your hands to weave, but would not require maintenance when complete. The nylon was way easier on the hands when weaving, but would require yearly applications of varnish which is the same treatment for rawhide woven snowshoes. Only two of the classmates chose the fish line. After watching them struggle with it I was glad I went with the nylon webbing.

With our frame & weave material chosen, we all got down to business.

307By the end of day one, everyone was a bit achey from working hunched over our frames.

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My Mum & her end of day 1 progress…

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Day  two went much faster & I had completed my snowshoes by mid afternoon.

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Other than 2 errors I noticed after I was done, I am super chuffed with my snowshoes. I need some more varnish to finish them off, then  I am all set for what I have heard will be a snowy winter!

Dave & Kai had some of their other DIY kits for sale, I may have come home with a little something to keep me busy while I wait for the snow to get deep enough to use my snowshoes…

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