Snowshoes help us walk on top of the snow instead of sinking
into it. But how do they do it?
Stand on a soft bed or pile of pillows (without shoes on). See
how far you sink.
Now, place two tennis rackets or a wide board over the bed or
pillows. What happens?
You don't sink as far into the pillows or bed because your
weight is spread over a larger area. This is exactly how snowshoes
How do snowshoes work?
Snow is actually very fragile. It is made up of tiny water
crystals that cannot hold much weight, so when you step onto snow,
you sink into it. If all your weight is concentrated on a small
area, the snow is not strong enough to hold you up.
Snowshoes are flat and wide. They help you spread you weight
over a larger area. This means that there is more snow supporting
your body weight, so you don't sink as far into it. This is called
"flotation". Snowshoes help you to float over snow!
Snowshoes in action
Does one pair of snowshoes fit all?
Heavier people will need larger snowshoes as they have a greater
weight that they need to distribute over the snow.
Were the designers of snowshoes inspired by
The snowshoe hare was named because it has big feet that act
just like snowshoes.
Snowshoe hare - check out the
It has large feet compared to its body size, meaning that it
doesn't sink into the snow. This is great news for the snowshoe
hare as it can snow all year round where it lives!
Find out more about snow HERE.
When it snows why don't you try making your own snowshoes?