Lampwick Harness for Snowshoes: A simple and bush-savvy method.
Whether you prefer traditional or hi-tech snowshoes, knowing how to make your own binding is important in the case of a broken buckle or strap. However, this is the binding I use all the time and for good reason--it is the most practical binding I have ever tried. The method I will demonstrate here needs only to be tied once a season and allows you to bind your foot to your snowshoe without exposing bare-hands to the cold. Moreover, this system allows your snowshoes to go-on and come-off fast and with little effort. Note however, this binding works best with Mukluks.
Attain a 3-4 foot piece of lampwick (available from some hardware stores in longer lengths) or in an emergency, a piece of cloth, leather or natural fibre rope you make yourself
Place the ball of your foot upon the junction of babich (leather webbing) and the toe-hole. Now place the centre of your lampwick over the toe of your footwear and measure the length of lampwick required to allow the toe of your footwear to enter loop. This loop should also limit your footwear from entering the loop beyond your toes.
Insert lampwick around babiche at two points that together are no wider than your footwear and at the edge of the lampwick and toehole of snowshoe.
Next, wrap the lampwick ends around this loop from both ends until they meet in the centre.
Place your foot into toe-loop (the loop should not allow your foot to enter beyond your toes). Now place the ends around to your heel and make a permanent knot. If you have boots other than mukluks, the tension of the lampwick needs to be greater before tieing the knot.
Putting on your snowshoes
I will let the pictures demonstrate this process. One point I will mention here is that it helps to place your free foot upon the snowshoe to hold it in place. This process is reverssed to remove snowshoes.