The History of Snowshoeing

As it turns out, snowshoeing was not another case of humans trying to entertain themselves.  Though that is its primary function today, this wasn't always the case. Over 4,000 years ago, people started to make some form of snowshoes out of some interesting materials. But first, let's get to the why. Why did these people need to travel by foot in the snow? Mostly because Blue Apron and Amazon hadn't started delivery service yet. So, in order to eat, indigenous people made snowshoes. After watching animals successfully navigate the fluff, they made their own "paws" to get around and search for food more effectively. The early snowshoes are said to be made of *ash timber frames and untanned cowhide webbing or "babiche." They could strap them on to their feet and search for food. 

By the 1900s, people were no longer relying solely on hunting to get their food. It was at this time that the "sport" of snowshoeing came into prominence in places that experienced heavy winters. Certainly the materials used to make snowshoes have changed quite a bit over the years, but the idea remains the same: stay on top of the snow. If you're a collector, you can buy these vintage snowshoes on Etsy! 

Today we use snowshoes to get to places you wouldn't be able to get on foot. You can snowshoe a butte and ski down. You can snowshoe to the middle of a dense forest to cut down your Christmas tree. You can run in snowshoes and jump off rock outcroppings. The possibilities are endless. And best of all - it's just for fun. You don't have to search for dinner out there.

Our favorite way to snowshoe? With beer. But who's surprised? This is Bend. We call it Shoes, Brews, and Views Snowshoe Tour and it's everything you would imagine this type of tour to be. We bring the beer and snacks out to the middle of the forest for you to enjoy. You can feel just a little like an early adventurer, searching for food. Except not totally. We'll taste beer from Cascade Lakes Brewery and soak in the amazing views. And if it's snowing while we're out there, lucky you! Enjoy the flurry of white surround you and experience nature at its best and brightest. Seriously. It's so much fun!! 

photo by: come we create

photo by: come we create