Dog Sled Information

Dog Sled Information
Dog sledding is a fun and exciting winter activity. Whether sledding yourself or watching a race, knowing how a sled works is essential to understanding the sport. Here's a quick run through their components.

Basket

Sometimes described as the cargo bed, the basket carries gear, people or dogs. Sled bags are typically placed in the basket and used as "backpacks" for the sled.

Runners

Runners are skis or planks under the sled's basket and main carriage. The Inuit and Inupiat Eskimos made runners out of frozen fish. Modern runners are carbon, plastic, or wood and wax.

Footboards

Found on the back, top section of the runners, footboards are where dog sledders, or mushers, place their feet while sledding. Textured rubber or wire is tacked to the surface to prevent slipping.

Brakes

The brakes are either a U-shaped metal bar with teeth on the bottom or a textured rubber mat. They are in the back of the dog sled, between the footboards, and loosely drag between the runners and footboards. The musher steps on the bar or mat to slow and stop the dog sled.

Handles

A U-shaped piece of formed wood or plastic, the handles are on the back of the dog sled and above the footboards. Mushers hold the handles for balance or to rest.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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