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How to Attach Snowshoes to a Backpack

How to attach snowshoes to a backpack

I’m often asked about the best way to attach snowshoes to a backpack.

There are basically two ways: You can attach them to the sides of your pack (top photo) or hang them off the back, either stuffed in a shovel pocket, as shown below or just attached using shock cord to the back of your pack.

How to attach Snowshoes to a Backpack

Personally, I think its best to way to carry snowshoes is to attach them to the sides of your pack so that they’re positioned just over your hips. This gives you much better control over the weight and keeps it close to the plane of your core muscles, which are surprisingly strong.

Attaching them to the sides of your pack requires that you have compression straps or shock cord loops running along the front edge and back edge of the sides of your pack, so you can slip your snowshoes under them. Unfortunately a lot of the packs produced by Osprey, Gregory, or Deuter, don’t provide these attachment points, unless you buy one of their heavier high end packs.

The reason I don’t recommend hanging snowshoes off the back of your pack is that they will pull you off balance and will feel a lot heavier. However you can get away with using a shovel pocket on packs that have them, if the main compartment of your pack is not full. I did this for years with the predecessor of the REI Flash 50. It wasn’t elegant, but it worked.

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4 comments

  1. you can strap em to the top if yr pack has a rope strap or lid

  2. Perhaps there is a niche business for someone who wants to add strong loops and shock cord to our favorite packs. Let the manufacturers catch up later. In a suit I'm a 41 extra long which is hardly made any more. My tailor makes of the rack look perfect!

  3. Depending on the pack, under the lid is a good option. My wife always uses this method and it’s actually easier than straps. I generally go this way now too unless I’m going with a small, light pack or if I’m really loaded.

  4. I have that same REI flash backpack and was MSR snowshoes. I have been doing the same thing with them but I was worried that the traction in the snowshoes would damage the pack. Glad to see I am not the only one doing it this way.

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