DIY Yowies

Discussion about making bushwalking-related equipment.

DIY Yowies

Postby Joe » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 2:37 pm

Having looked a plenty of photos of yowies, I cant understand their expense. Has any local (Devonport) members got a pair I could have a squiz at? If they are the same as what they look in photos I cant see any reason why something VERY similar could not be whacked up for well under $20. To be honest I really cant see why it hasn't happened yet.

Am I missing something here?

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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Joel » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 6:41 pm

I'm no expert on snow shoes, but as far as I can tell you aren't missing much.
I have a pair, use them a fair bit and they work well but are probably the most over priced piece of plastic available IMHO. If you're around cradle mt at any point give me a holler and you can check them out.
Put it this way, I would never buy another pair unless I lived somewhere that really, really needed them. Actuall, even then I would not buy them.
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Joel » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 6:43 pm

I should add that I'm a little bit of a cheap-o. If I was a high income earner the money would not bother me
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Joe » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 7:40 pm

Talked to a guy tonight who has done a LOT of walking in snow. He has had chance to try pretty much all the shoes available on market due to his occupation, and he rated the yowies pretty low for Tassie conditions. He reckoned that they are very dependant on there being a good crust on the snow and that in the majority of our cases they aren't all that good. Like all anecdotal evidence I would really like a pair to have crack at myself...but at the price there is a LOT that I will buy instead :D

Be a while before im in the cradle area...but thanks for the offer. might see if any of the local shops hire them, a weekend with a pair would be enough to recreate them i reckon.
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Joel » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 7:58 pm

Lol, good call. Worked for many, many years before we all went soft.
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Joe » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 8:31 pm

Its funny...the guy i talked to about snow shoes tonight reckoned that the canadian style wood and leather hoops were still his preference. He was referring to slightly more advanced versions than that link. he did make a very convincing case for them though.
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby corvus » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 8:37 pm

TWF we used these Yowies over the Weekend just gone ,5 of us and they are worth their weight in gold especially for the four who had never used them b4 ,you know where I live so check them out if you like and as to young Joels comments(with respect ) he was not obviously on the Mountain into WFV last weekend .BWT Strollers did the Circuit Dove Lake to WFV and we needed the Snow Shoes 1/3 of the way off the Cradle Plateau all the way to WFV hut (took 6 hours),on the way back the edge of the Cirque heading down to Rodway required Snow shoes all the way to the steep muddy section then back where we did not need them thankfully , over Hansons (7 hrs) 21.5 km round trip .
My walking companions most probably will not purchase Snow Shoes (nor do I suspect you will) however they perform perfectly and cost and weigh less than the US versions but they are really only required a few times here ,the last time I used mine was in Nov last year but I only get up there 7 or 8 times a year .
I guess some pics will be on site soon(as an aside would you use an El cheapo camera, the plastic is a special polymer the design is somewhat unique so easy to put on and remove and made in OZ so no question eh!)
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Joe » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 8:50 pm

corvus wrote:.
I guess some pics will be on site soon(as an aside would you use an El cheapo camera, the plastic is a special polymer the design is somewhat unique so easy to put on and remove and made in OZ so no question eh!)
corvus :)


Not much said here corv....what makes them so good? "Special Polymer" Screams marketing sheite, "somewhat unique" is not particularly commited either. My post wasn't having a go at the precious things though...what I am asking is what makes them so special. to me they look like a cleverly shaped piece of plastic wtih straps on. If this is the case, and it can be recreated successfully for what I suspect will be well under $50 if not under $20 then why not? The price of yowies, I suspect comes from the fact that (as you say yourself) not many people will use snow shoes regularly enough to purchase them. so quantity of sales isnt there and premium price is required for ye olde yowee co. to stay afloat. Good on em...keep the wheels of commerce turning and all that.

Im wanting to have a crack at making my own, purely because I cant justify the expense of the real thing, for the amount of use it would get...so yowie co arent missing out on my sale.

Will take you up on the offer though mate...you about tis weekend?
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby whiskeylover » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 9:17 pm

I'm no expert, but we tried various prototypes and played around with making both snow shoes and crampons. 'Special polymer' is indeed special - lightweight and probably not that expensive considering the time and effort needed to find just the right thing for this purpose - most flexible plastics become brittle with freezing so that they break. May seem ok short term but after a while in the cold and with load on or rough treatment they will snap. Yowies have been just right for our purposes so far. - we haven't bought them , just hired them, but considering buying. If your going to try to make them you need some sort of freeze resistant plastic (?tupperware - the missus won't notice the lids are all missing)
medicinal purposes only of course
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Joe » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 9:35 pm

whiskeylover wrote: If your going to try to make them you need some sort of freeze resistant plastic (?tupperware - the missus won't notice the lids are all missing)


Its funny you should say that because its exactly what I had in mind. Not necessarily tupperware...but freezer proof plastic container lids....they are already flexible, freeze proof, around right size on big ones....It was a toss up between these and heavily butchered tyre rubber.
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby norts » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 9:40 pm

If I remember correctly last time I was at Solitary Hut there was a pair of home made snow shoes there. I think they were made out of aluminium and leather straps.

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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby whiskeylover » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 9:48 pm

All good ideas, but it does appear that the old tennis rackets in your dads shed might come in handy. Seriously, wood actually appears to be the best home made material as aluminium becomes brittle too if it is thin enough to flex (e.g. bike frames) and plastic is hard to work with. If you're into DIY those wildwood survival ones look like the best idea. By the way, the crampons were a bit of a waste too, ours turned out too heavy and not much use - didn't grip real well - should have bought or hired them.
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby corvus » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 10:46 pm

TWF you are so full of it ,when you come on a real walk you can comment :D till then keep to your expertise photos and stuff and update your waterfall site :) don't try and give us advice that you know almost diddly squat about :lol:
Its all to being out there and and I dont remember you fronting ,so look forward to you advising us on our next walk .
On behalf of The BWT Strollers.
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby corvus » Mon 21 Jul, 2008 11:01 pm

TWF I am away all of Sat but front on Sunday to examine the Yowies :)
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Joe » Wed 23 Jul, 2008 12:30 pm

Well excuse me, Oh grand master of all that is walking. It was nearly blasphemy on my account to question such an esteemed opinion. I promise I am severly humbled. :lol:

Now...anyone actually have useful information about DIY SNOWSHOES rather than geriatric ramblings? :twisted:
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 23 Jul, 2008 12:33 pm

You've probably already seen it, but here's the Exaggerator's photo of the Solitary Man's home made snow shoes. Looks like sheet aluminium.
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Speculator » Wed 23 Jul, 2008 12:39 pm

corvus wrote:TWF you are so full of it ,when you come on a real walk you can comment :D till then keep to your expertise photos and stuff and update your waterfall site :) don't try and give us advice that you know almost diddly squat about :lol:
Its all to being out there and and I dont remember you fronting ,so look forward to you advising us on our next walk .
On behalf of The BWT Strollers.


Tell us what you really think there Corvus? ;)

Thems fightin' words there! I propose a challenge, TWF's DIY shoes vs' a pair of Yowies across the snow for a few hours. If it works. the DIY snowshoe will make a great entry in the wiki I reckon! ;)

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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Speculator » Wed 23 Jul, 2008 12:55 pm

taswaterfalls.com wrote:Now...anyone actually have useful information about DIY SNOWSHOES rather than geriatric ramblings? :twisted:


http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/winter/gear/snowshoes/ - Seen that?

If not, then get reading, you've got a challenge to try and win! :P

If so... see above! :P
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Nuts » Wed 23 Jul, 2008 1:06 pm

:D
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 23 Jul, 2008 2:03 pm

Nuts wrote:Apart from the properties of the plastic, they are shaped and moulded with a grip /honeycomb structure underneath.


I would also guess that this would add considerable strength over and above a plain sheet of thin plastic.
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Re: DIY Yowies

Postby corvus » Wed 23 Jul, 2008 8:27 pm

G'day TWF,
Being a "geriatric" with experience I have of course made my own snow shoes and used them in the Northern Hemisphere however as it was over 45 years ago you will need to let my old brain recollect as to the exact design .
I used Willow and leather thongs (bootlaces to be exact)waxed lashing twine and I think ex WW2 web straps and brass buckles ,in fact they were very similar to the ones that are hung up at Waterfall Valley Hut of which I may have a photo if not you will just need to have a wee stroll up there and take your own photo :) or check out l8r 's suggestion .
I am up for the challenge are you :D
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