Armed with a pulk sled and your standard backcountry gear, I headed into the bush on a piece of crown-land to look for a Hemlock Grove. Essentially, you want to look for some evergreens that are a bit taller than the person making the ski-shoes. I generally look for an area that has a pocket of little trees. Green bendable trees are required. You can generally find them suckering up around big trees, so therefore there is very little environmental impact when harvesting them. You’ve got to love renewable resources! Measurement and size are a relative thing when it comes to bushcrafting. Objects are generally measured based on; the height of a person, the length of an arm, the length from elbow to finger, and from thumb too extended baby finger. The thickness of the tip of the ski shoe should be finger thickness and the width should be about the distance from your thumb to baby finger when extended.
You will need 10 polls in total to create a set of ski-shoes, use five polls on each shoe. Once you have harvested the trees, cut off all the branches. Removal of all the bark is also a good idea as it promotes quick drying of the wood. I didn’t remove the bark until I was ready for the assembly process.
Once you have all 10 poles cut, you will also need a couple more bits of material. A couple of pieces of sapling the width of two fingers and a little longer than the middle of the ski-shoes will work. Split these two pieces down the middle to create four supports. You will need some sort of cordage made out of either natural materials that you find in the forest, or you can use string or rope. I like to use parachute cord because I generally have lots of it in my backpack. I didn’t keep track but I believe I used about 40 feet of P-cord to make the ski-shoes.