Introduction: Ice Hiking With Homemade Shoe Ice Chains

Some winters we get cabin fever and really need to get out. This winter was such a winter, and when we tried, we found the hike was quite icy. Solution, shoe ice chains. Unfortunately, when one has a large family, commercial shoe ice chains are unaffordable. I priced out each pair between $20-50 US. I decided that they weren't so difficult to make, and headed down to my local home improvement store to obtain some supplies. I ended up spending about $5 US per pair.

Step 1: Observe Commercial Chain Construction

Take a few moments to observe how commercial ice chains are put together. Notice they have an outer ring with cross linked chains. 

Step 2: Obtain Supplies and Get Started, It's Actually Easy!done,

I went to my local home improvement store, purchased about 50 feet of small chain and 10 inch bungee cord packs. Take two of the bungee cords out, and feed the ends together. Once done, use a pair of needle nose pliers to bend the ends together to prevent them from coming undone.

Step 3: Start Attaching Chain

Loop the attached bungees over the boot or shoe you want to fit. If you do this right, it will fit multiple shoe types. Next, starting in the middle of the loop, separate a portion of the chain link a bit, slide it over the bungee and tighten it down over the bungee. Pull the chain down around the bottom side of the boot/shoe and find where the best fit, ensuring to keep the bungee loop even around the boot/shoe.

Step 4: Add Chain to the Front

Keep adding chain by separating the end link, wrapping it over the bungee and crimping it back down tight to the bungee. The front needs to be a bit looser to accommodate different size shoes.

Step 5: Add Chain in Desired Bottom Pattern

Add cross chains in your desired pattern. Ensure when crossing chain over chain to spread links and join them. 

Step 6: If Desired, Add Top Chain to Keep Things Taut

On my chains, I decided to add a top chain to keep things taut. I tightened one side of the chain to the bungee and the other side the link left open to clip on and off as needed.