In a survival situation, you can build your own snowshoes using a pair of 3-foot lengths of green tree branches, as they are more flexible than dry wood, and anything that weaves well and can tie your foot in place. About.com suggests this be tough grasses or roots, strips of cloth, shoe laces or even strips of animal hide.
Bend the branch in the middle and, using the other materials, tie the two ends of the branch together so that it forms a teardrop or elongated tennis racket shape, with the round part facing forward. To fortify the snowshoes, use other flexible branches to create a beam across the center from left to right. Next, weave the strips of cloth or grass across the length and width of the snowshoe. Lastly, secure your booted foot in place by wrapping a cord or string around the toes and tying it to the center cross beam. Walk by raising only the toe end with every step and gliding across the ground rather than lifting the entire shoe.
Snowshoes are an effective and efficient tool for walking through deep snow. They provide a wide point of contact with the ground, enabling one to walk on top of the snow rather than sinking through it at every step.