The end of the snowshoeing season is once again upon us. It feels like only yesterday we were brushing the dust of our shoes and heading out to the trails, but sadly…it’s time to clean and store your snowshoes properly to ensure they are as good as new for next season.
1. Clean Your Snowshoes
The last day of the winter season is the best time to clean your snowshoes. You might want to put off the task until next season, but doing so could damage your shoes.
- First, wipe down all surfaces with a clean, dry rag. This will remove all large chunks of dirt and sand. Be careful not to scratch your shoes as some larger pebbles can get stuck in joints and holes.
- Next, fill a bucket with mild detergent and warm water. Submerge your rag in the water, and wipe down the decking.
- Last, Take a dry towel, and sponge up the excess water, then hang your snowshoes to dry the rest of the way.
2. Inspect & Tune Up
Check your snowshoes for any signs that they might need a little TLC. Standard wear and tear on the trail means that sometimes things get scratched, torn, or broken throughout the season. If you take good care of your snowshoes throughout the year, you shouldn’t need to make too many repairs at the end of the season.
- Look for loose screws and bolts.
- If your shoes have any leather trim, make sure to check the hide for holes or abrasions.
- Make sure the binding and pivot systems and the bindings work properly.
If you find wear & tear, consider taking your snowshoes in for a professional inspection and tune up with a local dealer.
3. Find a Good Storage Location
Store your shoes in a safe location in your home. The number one factor to look for when it comes to snowshoe storage is climate. Look for a cool, dry place. This can be a basement or attic or closet—just as long as the room doesn’t get too hot or too moist.
Shoes should be kept away from children and pets. Snowshoes come with sharp metal pieces that can easily puncture skin. They are also sometimes made with delicate materials that can easily snap or break. Most people like to hang their snowshoes—as this is easily done—to keep them safe from any disturbances. It’s also a nice reminder of fun times in store for next season.
Finally, snowshoes need to be far away from exhaust or chemicals. This seems like a no-brainer, yet some people forget about this when storing shoes in the garage or garden shed. Make sure your snowshoes are also far from your furnace as your furnace generates heat (and could possibly leak oil onto your shoes).
With these tips in mind…
If you’ve taken care to clean, inspect, repair, and properly store your shoes for the end of the season, getting out on the trail as soon as the snow flies next season will be a piece of cake!