Make Your Own Snowshoes!

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CPVC pipe snowshoes are about as simple as it gets.

And since many hikers tend to think of their sport as doable in only three seasons, we thought we’d start addressing snowshoeing.

Yup, your stance is a little wider. And the trail can be harder to find. (You can find our article on orienteering and using a map and compass here: ) But you are outdoors! In Nature!

The instructions we have for you came from the archives of Boys Life magazine, a great source for boys and girls – lots of ‘how-tos’ in there. So if you like to do things on the cheap, or you have a child that would like to learn how, this is a great article. The link is at the bottom of the page!

Happy hiking and See you on the snow!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (makes one pair)

  • 1 six-ounce can of CPVC clear cement
  • 2 pieces of ¾-inch hot/cold CPVC pipe, each 10 feet long (Although they look alike, CPVC piping will work better than PVC because CPVC tends to be a bit more flexible and less likely to crush. Schedule 80 is recommended.)
  • 4 ¾-inch CPVC pipe tees (they’re shaped like the letter “T”)
  • 20 45-degree-angle CPVC elbows (they’re shaped like elbows)
  • 200 feet of ¼-inch hollow braid poly rope
  • Bungee cords, rope, Velcro or other materials to hold snowshoe to foot.


  • Yard stick or measuring tape
  • Hand saw, hack saw or PVC pipe-cutting tool
  • File or sand paper
  • Clamp vise or an extra set of hands
  • Flat work surface


1. Cut 10-foot-long pipes to lengths. (You should end up with 26 cut pieces of pipe.)

2. Using a file or sand paper, smooth  the cut edges.


3. On a flat work surface, start building the front section of the shoes following these steps. The shoe is built in two halves; start with the front half and glue the pieces in place as you go.

Front Half:

1. Put one 45-degree-angle piece of piping on each end of one 4-inch piece of pipe.

2. Put a 3-inch pipe into the open end of both angles.

3. Put another 45-degree angle on the open end of each 3-inch piece.

4. Put a 1 1/4 inch pipe into both angles.

5. Put 45-degree angle pieces onto the 1 1/4 inch pipes. Angle should face up slightly.

6. Put one 6-inch piece into each of the angles.

7. Put one T-angle joint onto the end of each 6-inch piece, then connect with 8-inch pipe.

8. Set this half aside so the glue can harden.

Back Half:

1. Put 45-degree angles on one end of each 18-inch pipe.

2. Put a 3-inch piece into each angle.

3. Put 45-degree angles onto both 3-inch pieces.

4. Connect the 45-degree angle pieces with a 1 1/2 piece of pipe.

5. Connect the back and front halves of the snowshoe together and let dry for 24 hours.

Lacing the Shoe

Use an eye splice to start and end all lacings. Weave the rope back and forth around the pipe in an over-under pattern to create lacings.

Keep the lacings in place by using CPVC cement where laces meet the pipe.

Attach to foot (boot or shoe) using bungee cords, rope, Velcro or other materials.

cover image and article from



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