Walk a Mile in Snowshoes Before Judging Winter Racing
Story by Heather Ray
Photos courtesy of Prospect Lions Club and Riveredge Nature Center
I got cabin fever … and the only prescription is more snow. Because when it comes to that cooped up feeling that sets in shortly after the holidays wane, there is only one cure: to buckle into some snowshoes.
For thousands of years, humans have used devices shaped like rackets as footwear to traverse across deep, powdery snowfields. It’s hard to say who invented them first, as historical records present evidence of simultaneous discoveries in different regions of the globe. So let’s just say, at multiple points in time, people figured out that distributing your weight over a large flat device would prevent your feet from sinking in the snow, a term now called “floatation.”
Such contrivances were originally crafted from wood frames and hide netting. They were utilized for voyaging, hunting, trading, and even marching into war (e.g. the Battle on Snowshoes during the French and Indian War in the 18th century).
Over time, their elongated designs, which some say stretched up to 7 feet long, evolved to mimic the paws of animals that travel with ease … Read More