Let’s Talk Mushing

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    I’m not a big fan of the panic snaps as they seem to either freeze up so you can’t release them, or freeze up so you can’t latch them. Either way, they tend to provide for unanticipated departures. I’ve heard gun oil can help with the freezing, but I just don’t trust them any more.

    My snub line has a loop on the business end, and I’ve got a short line coming off the main bridal of the sled that has two metal rings on it. It hangs just at the back of the sled bag with a zip tie. I feed a short piece of plastic pipe through one metal ring, the snubline loop and then the other metal loop. When I’m ready to go, i just pull the pipe free of all the loops and Bob’s your uncle, we’re on our way.

    I use a snow hook up front when I’m lining out the dogs by myself and that does help.

    Susan Bragg

    re: Bob’s your Uncle
    Aye, ya, there you go. πŸ˜‰

    re: Panic Snaps
    I’d yet recommend them for those novice mushing where snow and ice conditions are proving the exception rather than the rule. But I’m a horsewoman too, so I know how many real equine and canine emergencies they have also proven themselves in my own life to date, no more no less. Most novice mushers will indeed shy away from Specialty Knots as well as Custom made refined solutions, as well as snowhooks (rear and front). Snowhooks are dangerous too, aye.

    But cool and good to hear of thy own custom solutions now too, Dan. Please keep them coming. I couldn’t believe Kris said the snow was melting already under heavy rains in NE.

    Weird winter in all NA. Alaska seems to have good conditions at the moment. But I bet by time Quest is finished and IRod begins, there will be some more dangerous Ice conditions there coming in off the pacific coast than most will want. For there haven’t been NEAR enough arctic/polair air masses here this year yet to counter the pacific winds. Which is GOOD in one way for my own growing arthritic condition. But in another way, the increase HUMIDITY from westerly and southwesterly air masses here has got me in an increased ‘background pain’ mode this winter too now. I really am wondering how to get myself to a drier airmass finally with as many dogs as we’re yet kenneling, Chinook and Seppala. May never happen given the entire north america economy, but if I could go ‘dryland’ overnight, I would. I could get back on the runners finally myself if we were in ‘dryland’ conditions then, aye.

    Let me see if I can get more of our kids in harness next month even, so’s you can see what they look like.

    Good work, Dan. Thy team looks good indeed…



    Well, for the sake of the teams, I hope novice mushers don’t shy too far away from snow hooks. Nothing more dangerous for a dog than being on a runaway team.

    Nothing refined about my solution- not really even sure it’s actually mine… and at about $3.00 total cost it’s a bit more frugal than a decent quality snap. It’s pretty fool proof, as the friction from the line holds the piece of pipe in place, while the steel rings makes it pretty easy to pull even under tension. It’ll work on scooters and ATV’s too!

    [attachment=0:2qrkznle]snub line.jpg[/attachment:2qrkznle]

    We’re still being teased with the snow. We got quite a bit last week, but it’s in the upper 30’s this week. Snow levels are supposed to drop again for the weekend, let’s hope so

    Kris Holleran

    Thanks Dan – The picture is very helpful. We have no snow and only about freezing days in the forecast. Sigh. . .Kris

    Susan Bragg

    Yeah, you gotta have one or two onboard, but our own snowhook was useless again in deep (powder) snow yesterday too. As a matter of fact, the entire SLED proved useless (no joke ;)! Loose team and all, to boot, aye. We all survived, barely, and the snowhook was useless but came through, the Sled is Junk. The snub, odd but true, once again saved a couple lives. So there you go. (Just some weird karma between me and snub lines, I guess! Honest to gawd πŸ˜‰

    Long story short then, you need one of both on every sled, agreed. One snowhook, one snub. And a strong claw brake or preferably mat, aye.



    Crazy weather – 38Β°on the mt, 50Β° at the house. It feels like it’s post race season- even the dogs are ‘kicking back’. Hopefully they’ll get back into it before our race at the end of the month.

    Here’s a couple of pix of them playing around after today’s run. I’m working on a way to attach our helmet cam to Parkie, for some POV shots…

    Our Husky friends celebrated their 2nd B'day today with a little apres workout romp.

    Posted by Silvertree Chinooks on Saturday, February 4, 2012


    35F here. No snow except the surviving piles in shopping center parking lots. Too many icy patches on the trails for walking, let alone biking.

    Word from Tamworth (Winter Carnival next week) is that they have 3-5″ on the ground – hope it lasts.

    We’re longing for the good old days, like February 2, 2002:

    [attachment=0:38lw5rja]driveway snow-1.jpg[/attachment:38lw5rja]



    Or how about last year when our fence almost disappeared!


    Longing indeed!

    A friend of mine up in Alaska finally got out to run her dogs today. Turns out they’ve had a cold snap, it’s been too cold to run. Today was way warmer, tipping 20Β° so everyone was ready to go.

    Strange weather.


    I just did my first read-through of Let’s Talk Mushing. This is my first attempt to try a post. I totally agree with Dan on the Quick Release. I too am a sailer and use them my boat but I have found them nearly impossible with a taught snub line. I practically have to go bare handed to get a grip and slide the release. I found a rope/stick tie down on Sled Dog Central – innovations: http://www.sleddogcentral.com/innovations/bergemann/rope_stick.htm that I want to make and try.

    I have a question for Susan: You mention putting the snub and claw brake lines under the basket. I run mine under the bridle and over the basket so the lines are outside the runners.

    I have had problems with the claw brake bouncing off the sled. Does anyone have a good holder?

    I would like to make booties. I actually have all the velcro straps and 100 or so and the material. I just wonder if there would be a market. They would definately be less than $2 each. Kay Lee, BrownStone Chinooks

    Karen Schiller

    We would definitely buy some booties from you Kay Lee!

    Kim Kramer

    @BrownStone wrote:

    I just did my first read-through of Let’s Talk Mushing. This is my first attempt to try a post.
    Kay Lee, BrownStone Chinooks

    Hi Kay Lee, Welcome to the Forums!
    Kim Kramer


    Thanks Kim. I think I am going to drive Chester crazy with my questions. This forum is a big leap for me.

    Yesterday I looked into getting booties from dogbooties.com to use as size pattern templates. They may only be $2.50/bootie (which seems high to me when they are mass producing them) but with shipping they came to $5.25 each – really outrageous. I have never used booties on my guys, even though the only places we have to run are Oregon cement (our snow pack), gravel or pavement. The only booties I have around here are Iditarod souvenir discards. Mushers throw them to the crowd. They are too small. If anyone on the forum wants to send me a rectangle (not form fitted like from Rough Wear) bootie that fits their dog and I can take apart, I’ll make you a set of 4 for the price of shipping and testing feedback.


    I’ve got one bootie where the elastic has come off I’m happy to send you πŸ™‚
    Not sure how long postage would take sending it overseas though, but you’re welcome to it if you like.

    I’m loving this cold snap down under at the moment. It’s the middle of Feb, which is generally our hottest month of the year and I’ve already been able to get Esky + scooter out 4 times. πŸ˜€ It’s going to be an awesome winter!

    Question: What helmet lights can you guys reccomend? I’ll be needing a light next season.

    Karen Hinchy

    @Esky the Husky wrote:

    What helmet lights can you guys reccomend? I’ll be needing a light next season.

    Timing is a strange thing- Martin Buser just posted yesterday that he bought the LED LENSER H14 headlight to use in the Iditarod. Comments on Facebook were supportive, and someone else mentioned the Lupine lights were even better, but more expensive. I don’t run at night, so haven’t used one myself, but I figured if it works for Martin it can’t be too bad…. πŸ˜€

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 98 total)
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