I went for the plain old vanilla, search-engine-findable title because there isn't much information on this topic. The topic of attaching US Military Universal Snowshoe Bindings to the snowshoes.
The problem is the neoprene bindings I've used for years don't last very well. This is my second pair since I made the snowshoes (1996ish), and now these have broken. Duct tape to the rescue.
That was new tape I put on two days ago. Here's what it will look like after a couple of soakings and dryings out. Not really a solution.
Two years ago I ordered replacement bindings. The US Military Universal Snowshoe Bindings were a lot cheaper than the neoprene, and it seems to me that the nylon webbing should last at least as long. Here's what I got for my money.
And here are the directions. Right.
OK. How hard can this be?
Obviously, the toe strap needs to go in this location. However, after two attachments, I realized that the two layers of the strap need to be held together, or they will just slide off the toe of the boot.
Here's how the strap needs to end up. Imagine that the loops on the ends are fastened through the snowshoe lacing. Instead of the long end of the strap being loose, it has to be threaded through the loops below the buckle.
Here it is on the snowshoe. Also notice in this picture that the strap need to be threaded through the buckle from the back (square end) to the front (pointed end). That's the only way the buckle will hold the strap tight. That's an important fact to absorb before doing the other part of the bindings.
The extra length of strap should be folded back over the buckle and threaded through the keeper loop.
Now we have the toe strap on. What about that huge mess of stuff for the rest of the boot? This can help sort it out.
The thing that really threw me was that the side buckles came with the strap threaded like this.
For way too long, I could not figure out how to make this work with attaching them to the snowshoes.
You need to slip the free end of the strap out of the metal loop.
This picture is how it must be threaded. The dowel is just to show how the strap will go around the snowshoe lacing. This way the strap enters the buckle from the back side, and will tighten down properly.
Here it is on the snowshoe, before it's tightened down. You can see the same threading pattern as above.
And tightened with the extra strap folded back over the buckle and through the keepers.
Now we have arrived at the real problem for me. Nobody in the US Military has feet this small. Can you see what's wrong?
The bindings are WAY too big and won't hold my boots tightly. Tomorrow I'll have to sew tucks in both sides of each binding, taking about 3" out on each side.
I did finally find one decent video on how to install these. It confirmed that I figured it out correctly. Maybe I'll make a video of this myself.
I'll let you know how I like them after I get the project done. But now, I can't snowshoe unless I put the old binding back on, or fix these.
In other news: I wrote Chapter 16- FORTY-THREE CENTS in The Secret Cellar, snowshoed, and did a whole lot of promotional stuff related to writing and selling books.
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