Any long distance trekker will tell you -- hiking in snow sucks. Countless times did I turn to my hiking partner exclaiming "man, I wish we had snowshoes". Snowshoes just aren't practical for those living out of a backpack. They are bulky, heavy, and gosh darn hard to deal with if you're not using them
Enter Airlite. Built out of the need of snowmobilers who weren't smart enough to bring extra fuel, or were having too much fun to pay attention to the fuel gauge, this was created for emergencies. However, this design is ideal for long-distance hikers. Weighing in a hair over a pound, these guys pack down into nothing, can sit on the bottom of your pack forever, and can be inflated by mouth or compressed air capsules. While it can be inflated solely on breath, they suggest a shot of compressed air to stiffen it up.
Worried about puncturing? Ha. Don't. This bad boy is created from military grade plastic that won't puncture. Throw it in your pack, and this will save you from post-holing up that mountain, and waisting energy falling through snow.
Wish I had this in the Northern Cascades...
Airlite Snowshoe $168