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Jager
2008-08-27, 23:26
I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with pulling sleds/toboggans on an extended winter hike? How did it work out? How much could you load/pull comfortably?

Regards,
J.

cool breeze
2008-08-27, 23:30
Are we talking about the AT?

Jager
2008-08-27, 23:39
Are we talking about the AT?

Nope, just hiking in general. I'm certainly not thinking of 5 months of winter hiking!

:afraid:

Regards,
J.

MRH
2008-08-28, 00:13
If you don't find the answers your looking for,,, check out http://forums.kifaru.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=cfrm
Alot of those guys use sleds hunting and fishing.

GGS
2008-08-28, 12:14
First, let me state that I have almost zero "experience" pulking.

But I did do an experiment last winter. I loaded an overstuffed backpack onto a kid's plastic sled and tried to hike 1/4 mile from the car and camp. The sled was very easy to pull. The problem I had is it was top heavy, the snow was deeper than I expected and I didn't have snowshoes, so the sled kept nosing into the postholes I was making and tipping over.

The experience helped me realize how great it would be to have one of those full sized coffin-shaped toboggans. Not to mention snowshoes.

I have the book "Snow Walker's Companion: Winter Camping Skills for the North". In it they use toboggans and can put up to a couple hundred pounds in them.

oldsoldier
2008-08-28, 14:00
I did it for a 4 day trip in the Pemmi wilderness in NH. It worked out pretty good. We had homemade sleds made of the following:
cheap sled from a hardware store
a tarp
nylon rope (the cheap yellow kind)
2 4' lengths of PVC pipe, like 1/2" or so
old waist belt from a backpack
cheap biners, like the keychain ones
All told, minus the tarp & waist belt I had, I think we built them for less than $20. We poked some holes in the front on the sled, ran the rope through it, slid on a pipe on each length of rope (this was for stability), tied a knot with a loop at the end, snapped a biner in the loop, then snapped those onto the belt. Then, we placed the tarp in the sled (open, of course), placed all our equipment in that, wrapped & tied it down. We found out in short order that REVERSING the waistbelt was more comfy (wider pulling area).
All in all, the system worked OK. I estimate we were each pulling between 40-50 lbs. We overpacked, but had nothing on our backs with the exception of small daypacks for jackets, snacks, water, small stuff. The rigs worked fairly well, pulling through knee deep snow. They do flip though; you can tighten the rope, and limit this, but, well, it still flips. But, you simply flip it back, and its fine. You can definitely pull more than you can carry, thats for sure. We also used snowshoes, not skis. You may have to play with the length of the pipes for skis. Of course, you can opt to go without the pipes; the downside is, going downhill, well, the sled gets in front of you, either by you letting it go first, or by gravity. Your choice. The poles provide some stability, and keep it behind you.
Hope this rather winded expalantion helped though!!!

Jager
2008-08-28, 15:29
Great info guys, thanks!!

CGS: I'll look for that book, thanks!

Old Soldier:

Can I ask a bit more about the sled? I was contemplating getting a wooden toboggan, the old style with the curved front. Is that what you used? or something else?

Regards,
J.

Rosaleen
2008-08-28, 19:10
We used to pull our gear into winter campsites on those little plastic sleds. The experienced people ran ropes through the holes all around the sled's perimeter to distribute forces and reinforce the edges. Enclose the gear in a tarp, yes. I borrowed the stretchy net that I had for my car top carrier, finding that worked well to corral the wrapped "stuff." Most of the way we hiked in was flat, so there were no big problems for us. I can see how stiff poles of some sort, hinged at the attachments between the sled an pole and pole and waist "harness" would be helpful. That would help with descents as well as turns. Someone suggested that the poles cross, like an "X" for some sort of extra control, but I do not remember the rationale. The solid plastic sled had a side benefit: We always had a dry spot for putting things down.

Good luck!

Rosaleen

oops56
2008-08-28, 19:16
We used to pull our gear into winter campsites on those little plastic sleds. The experienced people ran ropes through the holes all around the sled's perimeter to distribute forces and reinforce the edges. Enclose the gear in a tarp, yes. I borrowed the stretchy net that I had for my car top carrier, finding that worked well to corral the wrapped "stuff." Most of the way we hiked in was flat, so there were no big problems for us. I can see how stiff poles of some sort, hinged at the attachments between the sled an pole and pole and waist "harness" would be helpful. That would help with descents as well as turns. Someone suggested that the poles cross, like an "X" for some sort of extra control, but I do not remember the rationale. The solid plastic sled had a side benefit: We always had a dry spot for putting things down.

Good luck!

RosaleenI use my plastic sled to bring my wood to the house from the wood pile

Wise Old Owl
2008-08-28, 22:16
First, let me state that I have almost zero "experience" pulking.

But I did stay at a Holiday Inn last winter. .... Ok it wasn't that funny.

Hey here is the truth... there is a reason why the boy scouts hold that klondike derby each year. to teach the kids to build dog sleds. With what ever is available nearby.

The key is to put layers of cold water on whatever is available for skis. Ice is slick. and reduces the friction enough said - I just gave away the big secret.

GGS
2008-08-29, 00:10
Originally Posted by GGS
First, let me state that I have almost zero "experience" pulking.

But I did stay at a Holiday Inn last winter. ....

Now wait a minute! It was NOT a Holiday Inn. It was a Motel 6. I mean, like, have you ever been to a Motel 6? Pretty rustic, let me tell you! And... and... and the heat wasn't working right, and there was this funny smell, and... and there was like this HUUUGE bug in the bathtub, and like OMG...

Hey, at LEAST you have to give me a couple of brownie points for being honest about my experience level!

Seriously, for one who likes to winter camp it's been a big frustration living in mid-Michigan. We don't get any friggin' snow, relatively speaking, none of the campgrounds are open in the winter, and it's a 3 hour drive in any direction to find a forest where one can disperse camp, never mind be able to access it in the winter. Equipment tests that worked OK in my backyard in a few inches of snow failed miserably when I hit the UP and found 3+ feet of snow still on the trail/intended campsite. My little 44" kid sled kept diving in my tracks and tipping over. I came to immediately appreciate how a longer sled would be much more stable on a fresh trail than a shorter one as it would span over tracks and dips rather than diving into them. Plus one can distribute the weight along the length of the sled and keep the cg low rather than stack it vertically. The 60" (5ft) plastic sled would be an improvement but I can see where an 8ft toboggan would be a dream!

Rosaleen
2008-08-29, 00:16
Motel 6s are pretty rustic, compared to the big name chains. No shampoo, just bare bones minimums. There MIGHT be a coin-op machine where you can buy overpriced sample sizes of things you may have forgotten or used up.

GGS
2008-08-29, 00:40
Here is a site that has information on converting a plastic sled into a pulk sled. They also sell the poles and hardware if you don't want to do it yourself.

http://www.skipulk.com

This is a link to a free do-it-yourself book in pdf form. Several designs are shown, from easy/inexpensive to more complex but more stable "X" pole systems with flexible mountings

http://www.skipulk.com/images/pulkbook.pdf

Hope this helps!

kayak karl
2008-08-29, 07:59
I use my plastic sled to bring my wood to the house from the wood pile
i use a cheap knock off 99$ of this kayak for moving small construction equipment and SLEDDINGhttp://media.rei.com/media/708641_2600Lrg.jpg

oops56
2008-08-29, 09:22
i use a cheap knock off 99$ of this kayak for moving small construction equipment and SLEDDINGhttp://media.rei.com/media/708641_2600Lrg.jpg

Where's my boots

oldsoldier
2008-08-29, 14:38
Great info guys, thanks!!

CGS: I'll look for that book, thanks!

Old Soldier:

Can I ask a bit more about the sled? I was contemplating getting a wooden toboggan, the old style with the curved front. Is that what you used? or something else?

Regards,
J.

Sure. It was a cheap, plastic $10 sled, the kind you get for kids. Our setup was quick & dirty, but, given the time, and about an hour, you can make a decent sledge that wont nose dive, if you distribute the weight enough. Drill 4 holes on both of the long sides of the sled, as well as two on the backside, large enough to accomodate yellow nylon rope. thread the rope through these, securing it at the front. This is what you'll string the gear to, cargo net style.
Now, to get elaborate, and minimize tipping & nose diving, get 3 length of PVC pipe, again, large enough to run the rope through. Two cut to between 4-6', and the third one about the span of the sled. Get 2 elbows for the PVC tubes. Get two U bolts, large enough to accomodate the PVE tube.
Now, drill holes on the front side of the sled, so that you can attach the harness to it. Thread ALL pieces of the PVC harness with the nylon rope, THEN glue the pieces together, forming a U. Its easier to thread the pieces on before putting the U together, so you dont have to navigate the bends.
Once that is secure, bolt the short piece of the U UNDER the lip of the front of the sled; this will allow for an upward pulling force, minimizing snowplowing.
My suggestion is to use wing nuts, so you can place the U bolts either under, or on top of, the sled, depending on what you feel like.

Wise Old Owl
2008-09-04, 21:39
Folks towing is hard work - Winter requires a new type of thought.

1, requires bulky warm equipment
2, gas cylinders must be kept warm.
3. Alcohol stoves is out.
4. planning beyond belief is essential
5. Survival depends on getting off the ground at night.
6. Keeping water warm for drinking.
7. understanding frostbite & avoiding it.
I am going to bow out.

Turk
2008-09-05, 21:09
I've done quite a bit of pulking around up here. Just last year I got interested in doing some extended winter hiking and pulking. I am very much still in the learning phase trying to put together a system that works for me.
I have done pant loads of reading on different sleds and how loads are best carried in which types of terrain and the volumes of info there are on flexible vs rigid harness systems.
I spent months looking for a very specific set of criteria for my sled.
This is one of my top 3 fav pieces of gear.
http://www.pelicansport.com/index.php?language=en&utilitysleds=snowtrek45

I cannot say enough good about this sled.


mileage per day is HUGELY influenced by snow/ice conditions and whats on your feet.

kayak karl
2008-09-06, 08:53
I've done quite a bit of pulking around up here. Just last year I got interested in doing some extended winter hiking and pulking. I am very much still in the learning phase trying to put together a system that works for me.
I have done pant loads of reading on different sleds and how loads are best carried in which types of terrain and the volumes of info there are on flexible vs rigid harness systems.
I spent months looking for a very specific set of criteria for my sled.
This is one of my top 3 fav pieces of gear.
http://www.pelicansport.com/index.php?language=en&utilitysleds=snowtrek45

I cannot say enough good about this sled.


mileage per day is HUGELY influenced by snow/ice conditions and whats on your feet.
does it float too? that would be cool :)http://www.pelicansport.com/images/utilitysleds/snowtrek45/snowtrek45.jpg

Jager
2008-09-07, 00:57
That's a nifty lookin' wee unit!! Will the lip allow a bungee to hook under it?

Regards,
J.

kayak karl
2008-10-05, 12:55
I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with pulling sleds/toboggans on an extended winter hike? How did it work out? How much could you load/pull comfortably?

Regards,
J.
found this today http://www.haeadventure.com/sledgear.htm


http://www.haeadventure.com/marksled.jpg

Rick
2008-10-05, 16:20
I built a pulk using my external frame Hipbelt, Rope and 1/2"PVC Pipe along with my Paris Exp Sled back in the mid-90's I used it in the "daks, but discovered several mods through trial and error (PVC Channels down the length of the sled, the Famous X-Design on the lead lines, having someone with a rope behind you to keep it tracking on the plane which you are traveling.
I have found over through experience that even with an incredible well-built Mountainsmith Sled, if you are on crap trail and not at least an old tote Road, The damn thing slides all over and tips over. I find they are best on old logging roads. I haven;t used min in 8 years now, other than to pull wood from the pile to the back porch.

here are some links:

http://www.explorenorth.com/articles/buildasled.html

http://www.wolfgang-reinelt.de/Outdoor/PulkaHowTo/

http://outdoors.mainetoday.com/camping/kish040229.shtml

http://web.archive.org/web/19990127164340/www.lexicomm.com/views/features/sled.html

http://www.skipulk.com/

http://kifaru.net/sleds.htm

I use a Paris Expedition Sled Found here and commonly sold in Hardware stores up north.
http://eragroup.ca/pdf/winterproducts_catalog.pdf

GGS
2008-11-13, 12:46
I've done quite a bit of pulking around up here. Just last year I got interested in doing some extended winter hiking and pulking. I am very much still in the learning phase trying to put together a system that works for me.
I have done pant loads of reading on different sleds and how loads are best carried in which types of terrain and the volumes of info there are on flexible vs rigid harness systems.
I spent months looking for a very specific set of criteria for my sled.
This is one of my top 3 fav pieces of gear.
http://www.pelicansport.com/index.php?language=en&utilitysleds=snowtrek45

I cannot say enough good about this sled.


mileage per day is HUGELY influenced by snow/ice conditions and whats on your feet.

Hey Turk questions about your sled. You have the smallest one shown, right? The Snowtrek 45? Do you find that is big enough?

I was thinking of going with the Snowtrek 60 but that is 24" wide and I am wondering if that will affect its ability to track behind a snowshoer in deep snow...

Any thoughts?

MaineSurveyor
2008-11-13, 17:40
Great info on this topic at this website... Canadian Canoe Routes (http://www.myccr.com)

(Yes, I know this is the second time today I've mentioned this website)

--Mike.

DragonAss
2008-11-13, 19:25
I've used a pulk for years on the north rim of the Grand Canyon and in the U P of Michigan. I finally came up with a design that tracks well and is quite stable. It's basically a Wammo type foam/poly bottom sled with a conduit frame ontop and a pair of cut off cross country skiis attached through the sled to the frame. I use an army surplus pulk harness with 2 semi rigid fiberglass hearding poles that I've threaded and put eye bolts on the end. These attach to the harness and sled and provide enough swivel for terrain flexibility but do really good job at keeping the sled tracking properly. The skis also assist in tracking and make the pulk a lot easier to pull on crusted snow.

hammockhanger
2008-11-13, 22:35
If you need more info on this email Bluebearee Class of 2002 (also the Baxter Manie AT Ridgerunner) You can get her contact info over on Trailjournals.

I know that she does this every winter.

JAK
2008-11-14, 12:18
I got did a winter hike years ago and got dumped on pretty hard and went the wrong way as I trudged out so it was a great learning experience. Mostly I learned my pack was to heavy, so more insulation and food and less other stuff. I tried using a blue foam pad as a pulk. I hauled is a day and a half and then switched back to humping, and discovered the humping was just as good. Since then I've been hauling my daughter alot though, and have learned that plastic sleds are way better than blue foam pads. The fact that a blue foam pad was competitive with just humping says alot though. I was trudging mostly on un-plowed logging roads with 6-8" of snow, so you wouldn't think humping 40# would be that slow but it was. A real sled would have been alot quicker though. Good times though. Trudging is a blast.