Maintaining and Storing Your Snowshoes
By Chris Gorski
In terms of snowshoes, a little maintenance and care can go a long way. By taking a few extra steps after each use, and a little additional care before you end up storing them for the summer, you can ensure the life and continued performance of your favorite pair of snowshoes.
In general, snowshoes are a very low maintenance piece of equipment. However, here are a few things you can do to keep your snowshoes in top shape. Before heading out, always be sure to inspect your snowshoes for loose screws in the frames and bindings. If you do find any, be sure to tighten them before you hit the trail. These screws have a tendency to loosen, especially after the first few uses. Next, you will always want to check the decking. The decking can crack or rip if you hit something sharp. A hole or rip and the decking can significantly decrease the snowshoes ability to float and shed snow. If the deck does rip, a little nylon adhesive tape or even duct tape will do the trick. It might even be a good idea to carry some with you while you are out. After you come in out of the cold, always be sure to wipe your snowshoes down before putting them away. This will keep your snowshoes from potential rust or damage from sitting water. Finally, if you have used your snowshoes a significant number of times, you may want to get your crampons sharpened. Although this is by no means necessary, you find that a sharpening will greatly increase your traction and grip.
Although snowshoes are pretty durable, don’t just throw them in the garage after you are done using them for the season. Before you store them for the season, be sure to thoroughly dry and inspect your snowshoes. This will prevent any mold from growing and make sure they are in working order for next season. Next, be sure to store them in a dry place that does not get a high amount of direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause the decking and rubber bindings to fade and even possibly crack of exposed at high intensity’s for long periods of time. Finally, many snowshoes come with a case. If yours did not, this may be a wise investment. By leaving your snowshoes in a case, this will protect them from insects and rodents who love to chew and destroy plastic items which are stored for long periods of time. Additionally, a case will keep all sunlight off of the decking and bindings. Taking these few extra steps will help ensure the life of your snowshoes.