By Allison Teague/Snowshoe Magazine
Snowshoe historians can only make an educated guess that the first snowshoe designs for walking atop snow predate the earliest rock art drawing depicting a skier that has been dated to around 6000 BC, and is located in Norway. But, based on the logic that one must learn to walk before one slides, it makes sense that snowshoeing predated skiing as a form of winter mobility.
One theory surmises that the ability to snowshoe actually facilitated the three westward waves of migrations out of Siberia into North America, and the eastward migrations into Scandinavia during the Ice Age. The use and knowledge of snowshoe making between 30,000 and 5,000 years ago, represents a vital advantage for winter travel and hunting, and likely explains evidence of snowshoe designs as far south as New Mexico, and east to Scandinavia.