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The History of Snowshoeing | Duluth Pack

The History of Snowshoeing

The beloved winter hobby of snowshoeing has a deep history that may not be known by the everyday outdoor enthusiast. This activity has evolved from a form of transportation and survival years ago, to now a fun hobby and exercise to partake in when the ground becomes covered in snow.

About 6,000 years ago, the snowshoeing concept was brought to the surface in Central Asia and was later presented to the Midwest by migrating ancestors of the Native Americans. Snowshoes were the first form of technology created to walk across the snow without completely sinking many inches. This invention was a necessity for many reasons, but particularly to get from one hunting ground to the next when the ground was covered in deep snow. Without this creation, hunting and transportation in the winter months would have been near to impossible many years ago.

It wasn’t until the 1970’s that snowshoes became more recreational in use rather than for survival, employment, and general transportation. The original wood and rawhide craftsmanship evolved into neoprene, vinyl, and aluminum by modern-day manufacturers to suffice the given times and demand. The advantage of using these new materials in place of the original was that they lasted longer and did not stretch out when it got wet with snow. This was a crucial adaption in the evolution of the snowshoe.

Without the help and knowledge of our ancestors, we would not have this innovative technology that has now become a beloved hobby throughout the entire winter world for travelers, hunters, and everyday outdoorsmen and women. Now that you know some history, bundle up and enjoy the snow!


Happy snowshoeing, friends!