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  • Looking for suggestions

    Looking for suggestions on models and manufactures of snowshoes for my needs. I'm a Wildlife officer in Fairbanks, Ak area. I would use them for checking trap lines, SAR's, and bring them with on snow machine. Dressed with my winter gear I would weigh around 220-230 lbs. Fairbanks doesn't get the crazy snow they do else where in the state. By the end of winter we will generally have 4 feet on the ground. I was considering the Iverson modified bear paws, 13x35 in Neoprene. Thanks for any input.

  • #2
    Not knowing anything about your neck of the woods, I will say the modified bear paw is a good, all around snowshoe. I've used them for years in the Catskills & Adirondacks of NYS and have always found them to be the best all around shoe for the conditions I encounter. You can turn around in the woods without too many hang-ups and there's enough length to make them trail worthy when you've got long distances ahead of you. I'm sure others may not have had the same experience but for me, if I could only have one pair of traditional snowshoes, the modified bear paw would be it.

    For what it's worth, I weigh in around 210 lbs so with a day pack I'll be between 230 and 240 lbs with gear. My shoes are 10x36 and they provide plenty of flotation for my needs.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time....be well.

    snapper

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    • #3
      Originally posted by wbednar View Post
      Looking for suggestions on models and manufactures of snowshoes for my needs. I'm a Wildlife officer in Fairbanks, Ak area. I would use them for checking trap lines, SAR's, and bring them with on snow machine. Dressed with my winter gear I would weigh around 220-230 lbs. Fairbanks doesn't get the crazy snow they do else where in the state. By the end of winter we will generally have 4 feet on the ground. I was considering the Iverson modified bear paws, 13x35 in Neoprene. Thanks for any input.
      I would consider a set of traditional pattern snowshoes (bear paws are good all around style) with the monoline webbing. They are available from a number of places. When it comes to snowshoes there is no substitute for floatation. So get a bigger size than you think you would need.

      Cheers

      Brian

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      • #4
        I am always surprised how many off-trail snowshoes we sell to AK. Please check us out www.snowshoe.com

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        • #5
          I second www.snowshoe.com

          I have a pair of alaskans, they've held up very well.

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          • #6
            Thank you for all of the information. I agree, traditional snow shoes are the way to go. I think the alaskans might be too long for my work needs. I think they would be difficult to maneuver in stands of black spruce where i find many of the trap sets that I check.

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            • #7
              I started with Iverson GreenMountain's (9X30) with neoprene. As I've aged and gained weight I've started to use my snowshoe.com Ojibway (12 X 60) more often. In my location when cutting trail in brushy areas I appreciate the upturned pointy toe. As for maneuvering in tight spaces. Observing, thinking through options, planning movements. I don't seem to notice to many issues with length. Like the floatation.

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              • #8
                Got my first Alaskan snowshoe experience last March as a volunteer for the Iditarod. Incredible place, Alaska is! And the people I met and have become friends with are even more wonderful than the place itself. Truly special.

                If you’ve not made your selection already, it looks like the Iverson model you’ve selected would be a good solution for the needs you’ve stated and a nice balance between the strengths of a few difference shoe patterns (although I’d concur with the above advice of considering a bigger shoe/more flotation than you may need, especially when factoring in unforeseen additional gear weight.) Since you’re potentially covering lots of miles, the tails on the shoes you’re looking at will help them track better, reducing fatigue. Also, one of my favorite benefits of traditional snowshoes is that they afford you a TON of binding options, both modern and traditional, which is good if you’re needing something specific for your SAR cases, for example.

                (For what it’s worth, I can vouch for both the overall applicability of the bear paw design (and the kits from Country Ways [a sponsor here] that I built mine from, although they’ve a rounded heel) as well as the Ojibwa pattern (which I laced with heavy saltwater mono line). While I find the bearpaw more maneuverable in general, I wear my Ojibwa shoes more because they cut through brush better and provide me more flotation.)
                Last edited by 4estTrekker; 12-27-2020, 09:09 AM.

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