Archive Messages - Pulling Sleds

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Archive Messages - Pulling Sleds

Postby bwca » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:22 pm

1 DBB 2004-01-01 17:00

I've been reading Len McDougall's book "The Snowshoe Handbook" recently (great book). He suggests the use of sleds while snoeshoeing to pull gear behind you. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions about sled use?

--DBB

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Last edited by bwca on Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bwca » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:25 pm

2 webmaster1120 2004-01-02 19:00

My family always used sleds to haul gear in to our cabin near the Boundary Waters while snowshoeing across the lake. We used the cheap red plastic toboggans. They were about four feet long and slid well across the snow. We would tie a string to the sled to pull it, keeping it long enough so it would not interfere with the snowshoes. We would then tie the gear down, tieing it to the handles of the sled.

This worked great when we were on the lakes. Times that we went through the woods, it was a bit more of a challenge as the sled would chase you down hills, or sometimes noseplant into a ridge and start to take on snow.

We often had backpacks in addition to the sleds. The sleds also make a good resting spot for kids that may be along on your journey
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Postby bwca » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:26 pm

2 john_hyde2000 2004-02-13 12:32

I'd also suggest a harness system for pulling the sled. I use a wide belt with wide suspenders attached and an attached webbing loop to equalize the load. Hands-free pulling, allowing you to use ski poles or slurp on some whiskey.

With long ropes, you can get behind your sled on downhills, and steer it- this avoids the heel-banging. I've also seen people thread the rope through thin PVC, a rigid articulation with the sled keeps it where you want it and prevents it from flipping over.

A sled cover helps keep snow out- eliminating wet gear and extra weight. I a use stretch-cord/Nylon cover that tightens with lace-locks. Under the cover I put everything in an internal frame pack, shock corded to the sled, straps facing up. That way you can throw the whole mess on your back if you need to (brushy areas or your sled breaks).

If you're going a long way, and it's warm, go at night. Pulling a sled through slush is exhausting. A little maxi-glide on the bottom of the sled doesn't hurt either. A dark colored sled is nice for drying gear/warming water during the day.
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Postby finnbay » Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:36 pm

I started winter camping on a trip to Thomas back in 1978. At that time we skied and wore frame packs. Just about died. We evolved to finally pulling sleds and skiing with snowshoes strapped onto the sled for going up long inclines (the old winter trail on the Kek back to Thomas had some of these). The best sled I had was a plastic toboggan about five feet long that I framed with conduit to stiffen it up, tacked a tarp on the bottom of the inside and used stretch cord to hold the top tight and gear in with snow out. The key was to keep everything with a low center of gravity. Long was okay as long as the weight was spread out and kept low. Attaching the pull bars was a trick too. On our early sleds we attached them to the top of the toboggan and it tended to dig the front end into the snow. Later models we attached lower and it worked much better. My buddy used to bring his 7 year old with us and he would actually hook two of these up in tandem and pull them both into Basswood.

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I recently came across this photo of the sled I described above.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

http://www.snottymoose.com
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