Sunday, November 07, 2010

Nordic skiing: how to tow a kid

In a previous life I had one of the earliest english language web pages on skijoring (nordic skiing with your dog). In today's life Kateva prefers running to pulling, and sometimes my kids need a bit of a boost miles from the trailhead.

So now I'm the dog. Call it Skidadding - nordic skiing with your Dad.

I don't need a pulk, I want the kids to stay on their skis. I need a lead and I need a skijoring harness they can wear. That leaves my harness to develop.

I thought of anchoring to my shoulders, but they move too much and that places too much strain on my back. A friend's friend is co-leader of Minnesota's Wilderness Classroom, she suggested adapting a pulk harness.

Ready made pulk harnesses are hard to find in the US, but another Minnesotan, Ed Bouffard, has a web site on building your own ski pulk or mountaineering sled or gear sled. He sells parts for pulks, and provides a free PDF on pulk construction.

Mr. Bouffard advises building a harness using either a Camp Trails replacement backpack belt (alas, I don't think these are sold any more!) or a heavy duty lumbar (fanny) pack with built in shoulder straps. A canvas repair shop can sew on loops made of 3/4" nylon webbing. Carabiners can then be attached just behind the lateral hips loops.

I can then use a nylon loop from the binners to a skijoring lead attached a skijoring harness on a child.

Seems simple enough -- a fun project for the fall. I'll update this post with what I end up doing.

Update 11/8/10: Some products I probably won't buy due to cost, I think I can make something sufficient for my needs.

Canicross is cross country running with a dog ... "Fast for a human is five minute miles over a marathon distance. That is 12 miles per hour. Dogs on the other hand can run 12 miles per hour all day long. Sled dogs at the world championship often run 20 miles per hour for over twenty miles...? (Only true in cold weather by the way. Humans rule in hot weather.)


Marti said...

Hi John. Currently I'm the same thought and I'm very intrigued in the final solution for you and your kid. Ultrapaws for kid and pulk harness for you?

Marti said...
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JGF said...

Hi Marti!

Wow, this is an old post. We never did get around to buying a Pulk - kids got bigger and ski well. I've seen some in use in St Paul.