Traditional snowshoe maker, c. 1900-1930
Plains Ojibwa performing a snowshoe dance. Drawing by George Catlin
16th century depiction of Swedish traveler with both horse and man wearing snowshoes
Teardrop snowshoes and Bearpaw snowshoes in the Gatineau Park
Canadian couple snowshoeing in 1907
Snowshoeing in Kerava, Finland in March 2011
Properly adjusted bindings on two snowshoes of different size. Note use of gaiters.
Underside of a modern fixed-rotation binding snowshoe, showing cleats for traction on steep slopes
MSR solid plastic snowshoes
Snowshoers in Bryce Canyon
Some modern snowshoes have bars that can be flipped up for ascending steep slopes. The wearer's heel can rest on the bar.
A broken snowshoe trail
A young snowshoer with a wild bird
A snowshoer packing downhill skis
Rawhide webbing

Snowshoes are specialized outdoor gear for walking over snow.

- Snowshoe

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External frame, internal frame, and there are bodypacks.

A modern Deuter backpack
Swiss army backpack c. undefined 1960
Integrated bearer (internal) frame
Frameless backpack
A back frame with shelf used to carry loads in the Allgäu, where it is known as a Reff
Two examples of external frame backpack designs dating to the 1860s
Modern frame
Backpack with non flexible composite straps
School bag
Loose carrying
Luggage and backpacks

Ötzi the Iceman may have used one in Copper Age Alpine Italy, though some archaeologists believe the frame found with the body was part of a snowshoe.


Natural mummy of a man who lived some time between 3350 and 3105 BC, discovered in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps on the border between Austria and Italy.

Ötzi the Iceman while still frozen in the glacier, photographed by Helmut Simon upon the discovery of the body in September 1991
Archeoparc (Schnals valley / South Tyrol). Museum: Reconstruction of the neolithic clothes worn by Ötzi
An artist's impression of Ötzi's right shoe
A replica of Ötzi's copper axe
The Ötzi memorial near Tisenjoch. Ötzi was found ca. 70 m NE of here, a place indicated with a red mark (not in this photo). The mountain in the background is the Fineilspitze.

However, a more recent hypothesis by British archaeologist Jacqui Wood says that Ötzi's shoes were actually the upper part of snowshoes.

Racket (sports equipment)

Sports implement used for striking a ball or shuttlecock in games such as squash, tennis, racquetball, badminton and padel.

Squash racket and ball
Racquetball racket and ball
Badminton rackets
Real tennis rackets and balls
Table Tennis racket with 3 different sizes of the celluloid ball
A modern tennis racket, with carbon fiber-reinforced polymer frame.
One of the ways a tennis racket can be held.
A United States tennis racket from the 1970s

This pattern is used in snowshoes.


Snow comprises individual ice crystals that grow while suspended in the atmosphere—usually within clouds—and then fall, accumulating on the ground where they undergo further changes.

Norwegian train plowing through drifted snow
Extratropical cyclonic snowstorm, February 24, 2007—(Click for animation.)
Frontal snowsquall moving toward Boston, Massachusetts
Cold northwesterly wind over Lake Superior and Lake Michigan creating lake-effect snowfall
Freshly fallen snowflakes
An early classification of snowflakes by Israel Perkins Warren
An animation of seasonal snow changes, based on satellite imagery
New York City during a 2016 blizzard, which
 produced local wind gusts up to 42 mph and dropped 27.5 in of snow, breaking the city's one-day snowfall record.
Snow-covered trees in Kuusamo, Finland
Fresh snow beginning to metamorphose: The surface shows wind packing and sastrugi. In the foreground are hoar frost crystals, formed by refrozen water vapor emerging to the cold surface.
Firn—metamorphosed multi-year snow
Snow drifts forming around downwind obstructions
A powder snow avalanche
Snowmelt-induced flooding of the Red River of the North in 1997
Snow pit on the surface of a glacier, profiling snow properties where the snow becomes increasingly dense with depth as it metamorphoses towards ice
Snowfall and snowmelt are parts of the Earth's water cycle.
Traffic stranded in a 2011 Chicago snowstorm.
Winter conditions on Ontario Highway 401 in Toronto due to a snowsquall.
Deicing an aircraft during a snow event
Satellite view of the Indus River, showing snow in the Himalayas, which feeds it, and agricultural areas in Pakistan that draw on it for irrigation.
Extreme snow accumulation on building roofs
Icings resulting from meltwater at the bottom of the snow pack on the roof, flowing and refreezing at the eave as icicles and from leaking into the wall via an ice dam.
Alpine skiing.
Algae, Chlamydomonas nivalis, that thrive in snow form red areas in the suncups on this snow surface
Arctic fox, a predator of smaller animals that live beneath the snow
Trucks plowing snow on a highway in Missouri
Airport snow-clearing operations include plowing and brushing
Swiss low-profile, train-mounted snowplow
Bivouac of Napoleon's Grande Armée, during the winter retreat from Moscow
Finnish ski troops during the invasion of Finland by the Soviet Union
Army vehicles coping with snow during the Battle of the Bulge of World War II.
Norwegian military preparations during the 2009 Cold Response exercise
Navy SEALs training for winter warfare at Mammoth Mountain, California.

Common examples include cross-country skiing, Alpine skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.


Set of outdoor activities that involves ascending tall mountains.

Mountain climbers ascending Mount Rainier looking at Little Tahoma Peak
A climber taking the final few steps onto the 6160 m summit of Imja Tse (Island Peak) in Nepal, 2004
Edward Whymper (1840–1911), painting by Lance Calkin
Edelweiss, a plant associated with mountain sports
Mountaineers, circa 1900
Antique climbing tools
Mountaineers proceed across snow fields on South Tyrol; other climbers are visible further up the slopes.
Granite Park Chalet in Glacier National Park, US
Fixed lines and ladders are distinguishing characteristics of expedition style mountaineering

For loose snow, crampons are less suitable, and snowshoes or skis may be preferred.


Gaiters are garments worn over the shoe and bottom of the pant or trouser leg, and used primarily as personal protective equipment; similar garments used primarily for display are spats.

Hiking gaiters
U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard wearing white canvas leggings, as the part of the Enlisted Full Dress Whites or Blue
Over-the-knee gaiters worn by a Chilean rodeo rider
The Bishop of Lichfield, in Vanity Fair, 1897

Gaiters are worn when walking, hiking, running (especially orienteering and rogaining) outdoors amongst dense underbrush or in snow, with or without snowshoes.


Usually a path, track or unpaved lane or road.

A country track, or fieldway, in Slovenia
Mountain bike trail in the Forest of Dean, England
Trail in the Kruununpuisto Nature Park in Imatra, Finland
Jungle trail inside KLIA Airport
The Natchez Trace is a trail, that was created and used by Native Americans in the United States for centuries, and was later used by early European and Americans.
Hikers and mountain bikers on top of the Drachenfels (Dragon's Rock) in the Palatinate Forest, Germany
Prepared ski trails for cross-country skiing
A combination horse and hiking trail in a suburb of New York City
An urban footpath in Ipswich, Suffolk, United Kingdom, which prohibits cycling
An off-road trail leading into a forest.
Damage that occurred when vehicles left the posted trail at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
A British Columbia Ministry of Forests forest service road in steep terrain at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve near North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
An abandoned mining trail in the Jinguashi mining area in Taiwan
Trail in Kambalakonda Ecopark near Visakhapatnam
Parkland Walk rail trail, Islington, London, England
Swain's Lock on the C & O Canal in Maryland, US
Part of the Northern Walnut Creek Trail, an urban trail in Austin, Texas, United States
View into Fan Tan Alley, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
A walker preparing to leave the Refuge de Bel Lachat, Chamonix, in the French Alps, on the long-distance path GR5
Scotways sign for a Scottish public path
A trail north of Cascade Pass, North Cascades National Park, Washington, United States
A trail constructed under the waterfall Steinsdalsfossen, Norway
Parts of many hiking trails at Mohonk Mountain House include stairway trails
A waterbar in New York's Catskill Mountains. The trail forks right; the drainage ditch is to the left.
Black Hill (Peak District), Cheshire, England, where a stone path was laid across boggy ground
The most common symbols used in trail blazing in the US
Swiss signs: hiking trails in yellow,
mountain path in white-red-white,
Alpine Route in white-blue-white

The Trans Canada Trail can be used by cyclists, hikers, horseback riders, and walkers, as well as cross-country skiers, snowmobilers and snowshoers in winter.

Battle on Snowshoes

The 1758 Battle on Snowshoes occurred on March 13, 1758, during the French and Indian War.

A 1776 artist's rendition of Robert Rogers, whose likeness was never made from life
Detail from a 1777 map by John Montresor. In 1758, the road along the left side of Lake George did not exist. Forts Edward and William Henry are near the bottom of this map.  This battle probably took place somewhere west of the hills near Sabbathday Point.

The battle was given its name because the British combatants were wearing snowshoes.

Trekking pole

Trekking poles (also known as hiking poles, hiking sticks or walking poles) are a common hiking accessory that function to assist walkers with their rhythm, to provide stability, and reduce strain on joints on rough terrain.

A pair of trekking poles
Mountain guide Alice Manfield with a long wooden walking pole in the early 1900s
A man bearing a hiking staff in an etching from William Blake's Europe a Prophecy first printed in 1794. This copy of the etching is currently held by the Fitzwilliam Museum
An impact of trekking poles, scratches left by poles on a rock in a wilderness area

Hikers who take to snowshoes in winter find trekking poles especially useful.

Mountain Safety Research

Tent camping in Sierra Nevada National Park

Mountain Safety Research, or MSR, is a producer of camping, hiking and mountaineering equipment, such as portable stoves, water filters, snowshoes, and tents.