Mushing Magazine's 2012 Gear Guide
Annual gear and equipment directory, plus musher headlamp review, and story on the use of carbon fibre in dogsleds.
mushing mushing.com The Magazine of Dog-PowereD aDvenTure A l uA nt nn Me A p ui tory eq ec ir d Mushing Magazine November/December 2011 #143, $4.95 U.S. al Eq nnu n pme ui t 011 2 12 e 20 Issu � Annual Eq uipment Is sue 2011 �2012 GeAr GUIDE: 0-0 KicK SleDS A great way to get a smaller team out! We are also making kick sleds in addition to our full line of sprint, racing, distance, freight and kit sleds. Our kick sleds are lightweight, durable and made from hand-picked ash and poly. They come with a drag mat and are great for one-two dogs. Our version is modified from the Norwegian kick sleds. Hook up your dogs and start "kicking" down the trail. They can be made to fold down (if desired). adanacsleds.com Double Driver SleD Not just for tour companies anymore! Adanac is making several styles of double driver sleds. There are great reasons for owning one of these sleds in addition to your racing sleds or "tour" sleds. If you are a musher with friends that always want to go for a "ride"--try one of these sleds. You don't have to pack the friend in your sled bag and they can get the experience of dog mushing. We make double drivers where two people can stand up in tandem. They each have their own upright stanchions, handlebar, double claw brake system, footboards, and drag mat (if desired). These sleds are great for training and great for tour operators. They are built to last using hand-picked ash and polyethylene plastics. alaskatent.com Arctic oven tent � The ultimate cold weather camping tent! With its condensation-free interior and the option of putting a stove inside for warmth, this tent provides a sanctuary from harsh winter conditions. The proven design of the Arctic Oven tent creates a warm and dry interior, allowing your gear to dry while you are comfortably asleep. Steep side walls provide ample head and shoulder room while useable interior space is maximized with open floor designs, convenient storage pockets and utility loops. With 12 models available, we are sure to have your dream tent! These tents are designed and hand crafted by Alaska Tent & Tarp. Arctic oven PiPeline tent The Arctic Oven tent line continues to evolve with tents that excel in various conditions and situations. The newest member of the Arctic Oven tent line is the Arctic Oven Pipeline. This model has a superior weight to space ratio and is great when you're packing your gear into tight spaces, such as a dog sled. The two Arctic Oven Pipeline models weigh less than 20 pounds and are quick and easy to set up. They have superior functionality in high wind situations due to their short profile and the strategic stakeout locations. These tents are designed and hand crafted by Alaska Tent & Tarp. affordabledogsleds.com the Seeley SliDer is a Bare Bones light weight starter sled for everyone who wants to try out dog sledding without mortgaging the house. It is our J-N-A Dasher Model stripped to the main frame. It is very good for teams of 1-3 dogs. It's runners are made of 3/4" High Density Polyethylene with Brush Bow and Handlebar made of 1/2" High Density Polyethylene. The Seeley Slider's bolted design allows for the same great flexibility and maneuverability as on all our sleds. It also allows you to buy the Slider today and upgrade to the Dasher tomorrow by adding a Brake and Footpads. In fact, the day after tomorrow, you could even upgrade to the North Star by adding our steam bent wood skis to the same frame!! And the day after that, you could add the QCR system of runners, an Aluminum Bar Brake and a whole host of other accessories. It can handle them all! Choosing The Seeley Slider is a wise decision. You can start with it small and add whatever you like. The adaptability of the Slider never quits. alaskawarmandkozy.com ShoulDer JAcKetS: These are made from the same material as our leggin's. We put 3 pockets inside so the musher can put hand warmers in these pockets to keep the shoulder muscles loose. If the dog's shoulder muscles start to get sore then this is when we put them on the dogs. They use these when they are at check points resting. They come in many different sizes. Pure Alaska Salmon Dog treats: These are made with only the best ingredients. These treat have no additives or preservatives. If a child gets ahold of one of these and eats it, there is nothing harmful in there. We sell these treats in 2 different sizes 1oz & 8oz. The dogs LOVE them. alpineoutfitters.net PicKet lineS Alpine Outfitters Standard and Truck-Bar Picket Lines are custom crafted to your specific length specifications using 3/16" galvanized aircraft cable, and feature swivel-design drops (you determine length) with Swedish snaps. Our Truck-Bar Picket Line also features a heavy-duty turnbuckle to allow for proper tension adjustment. November/December 2011 alpineoutfitters.net GAnGlineS - Alpine Outfitters' ganglines are all made to standard specifications but can be custom-made to meet your specific needs. With your choice of colors for mainlines, tug lines, and neck lines, our gangline systems are all modular, allowing you to easily add 2-dog sections with ease, giving you the flexibility of increasing and decreasing the size of your dog team using just one basic configuration. Tugs and necklines are finished off with high quality 5/8" bronze snaps. Order in complete 4-dog to 16-dog team systems or in 2-dog add-on sections. Our Cable Gangline System is the same design as our rope ganglines, but the mainline sections are filled with 2,000 pound tensile strength galvanized aircraft cable for maximum strength and durability. Neck lines and tug lines are polyethylene rope but can be ordered with cable as well with the option of cable-filled tug lines upon request. axaeco.se biKe-JorinG AttAchment mechAniSm -Adjustable for all kind of bikes -Avoids the gang line touching the front wheel -Flexible stainless steel design WinterPAD Paw Protection made from Zinc Oxide, Vaseline Malaleuca essential oil, and Thymus essential oil akgear.com AlPine PArKA The perfect winter parka whether you are in the city working or outside enjoying the Great Outdoors. Features include: full hood, fleece lined pockets, insulated outside zipper flap, fleece-lined chin guard and an outside chest pocket. Roomy cut allows for plenty of freedom of movement. The outer shell of the Alpine Parka is Ultrex , a breathable and waterproof fabric. Insulated with Climashield a continuous polyester fiber. Climashield is an excellent insulator in any weather condition. It will not shift or compress even over an extended period of time. Should it get wet, it will maintain its insulating qualities. The Alpine Parka is machine washable. This is a great parka for any winter activity. This parka will keep you toasty through temps down to about -30 F. A full hood completes the protection from winter's cold. Also available without a hood. SKi-Jor beltS For all your dog-related sports from mushing to ski-joring , we'll provide the gear you will need. We make everything to be tough, because its no fun when a piece of gear doesn't work at -40. There are three different styles of Ski-jor belts to choose from. These belts also work great for bike-joring as well. blackicedogsledding.com cAnADiAn KicKSleD A rugged northwoods version of the Norwegian style kicksled is a great sled for beginners with a 1-2 dog team. This Canadian version gives you the look of a basket sled with its solid maple construction and laced seat back and has the convenience of a sled which you can fold up and easily take anywhere. It can also be used without dogs in the traditional Nordic style of kicksledding. Enjoy winter with this affordable, folding sled. A bumper sticker is always a fun way of telling others what you'd rather be doing! See you on the trAilTM bumPer SticKer critterwoods.com critterwoods Snow hook This snow hook has been in production for 12 years. It is a once in a life time purchase where as it is made of almost indestructible material, tempered stainless steel that is lazer cut and tig welded for added strength with a total weight of 3� lbs. You should only have to replace it if you lose it or just want another. The hook itself is made in a way that when pulled from the front it naturally wants to dig down and sets itself. I have got into the habit of just dropping it into the snow and letting it set itself. The best part is it will right itself. As soon as it hits the ground it will dig in and you are stopped. There have been many Critterwoods snow hooks that have made the trip to Nome as well as traveled the Yukon Quest and most of the other major events world wide." Gary Chapman, owner. Mushing Magazine Annual Eq uipment Is sue 2011 �2012 GeAr GUIDE: 0-0 dogbooties.com GeAr bAG - Our new product is called a Gear Bag. It is 36" tall, made out of Cordura, the bottom 1/3 is a vinyl along with the round bottom made of vinyl as well. It is 21" in diameter, has a clear pocket on it with some velcro to keep it shut. At the top it has webbing with a side release buckle and closes like a dry bag would. A very handy bag for moving gear from your sled to a checkpoint or tent. SADDle bAcK hArneSS Constructed with 1" nylon webbing that is padded with neoprene around the neck and chest. Standard design includes 12" of reflective tape. Harnesses are sized by the neck size. Utilizing a side release buckle on one side and a ladder lock on the opposing side these are adjustable in length and in girth. All buckles are covered with a neoprene sleeve. Length is adjusted using a ladderloc at the base of the neck. The unique "saddle" is located on the mid-back of the dog. It allows your dog to pull without exerting downward pressure on the hips or hind legs. This can help prevent hip injuries and strains as it allows for better distribution of the load. Saddle Back Harness are a result of over 6 years of testing and development and have been used by Jamie Nelson in the 2006 Iditarod and John Baker in the 2005 and 2006 Iditarods. Saddle Back Harness shown on Jamie Nelson's 50 lb. dog Ambler. dogpaddlegear.com rAceboGGAn. Stiff, yet very manueverable distance racing sled, The RaceBoggan is a cross between a tobbogan and a raised tobbogan sled. It is very steerable and flexible but still has good longitudinal load support for large loads. A nice compromise between a race style sled and a toboggan. Specifications and Options: Choice of 8' or 9' runners of laminated white ash, Matrax or Rex Runners. Choice of 5' or 6 x 1/4" UHMW plastic bed, 20" width. gattsled.com with new fold down seat. hAnS GAtt hAnDmADe SleDS All sleds are custom built with a choice of either annodized aluminum or carbon fibre stanchions. There are benefits to each, talk to Hans if you would like help in deciding which is the best choice for you. All runners are reinforced with UHMW plastic. Runners come in your choice of heavy weight or light weight for 8 foot runners, all 9 foot runners are heavy weight. Every Gatt Sled is built by Hans Gatt alone. These are racing sleds and are built for the serious competitor, no matter what your actual racing experience may be. Everybody gets the same top quality sled. Gatt designs and materials result in a light weight and extremely durable racing sled. The designs come from Hans Gatt's experience in top level racing. He uses the same sleds that he builds for his customers, other than testing out new ideas each year personally on the trail, ideas which are subsequently discarded or incorporated in the next year's model. Mid distance, 48" bag, Tail dragger specially developed for Iditarod. hilleberg.com hilleberG StAiKA 2-PerSon tent The Staika is all about simple � but simple does not by any means equate to "sparse." Easy to pitch, immensely stable, remarkably spacious, and quite light, the Staika is an excellent "go to" tent for any use where sturdy strength is the high priority. We originally designed the Staika for paddle tourers, who wanted a highly stable, fully free standing tent for handling tricky pitching conditions. Since then, it has garnered a large, loyal following amongst a wide assortment of other adventurers: mountaineers, polar travelers, and ski tourers find it a supremely stable base camp tent in all conditions; bicycle tourers love its simplicity and completely free standing construction; and even regular backpackers find great comfort in its roominess and relatively light weight as well as in its strength and stability. hilleberG AKto SinGle PerSon tent When we first introduced the Akto over a decade ago, we did not know that it would become as popular as it has. Although only slightly heavier than a bivy bag, the Akto offers near-luxury, all-season shelter for the solo traveler � lodging that includes a vestibule and a packed size small enough to fit into a side pocket on many packs. The Akto has true all-season capability, yet its total weight is only 1.6 kg/3 lbs 8 oz. Our tunnel design and linked inner and outer tents makes it very simple and quick to set up, and provides a high degree of stability in all conditions. The Akto is ideal any time you need the lightest weight, all condition solo tent. It is especially good for long trips of any kind, in any season, where light weight is a very high priority. And while it was not designed for extreme use in exposed and/or above tree line terrain, the Akto has proven itself on extended polar expeditions, and so will stand up well to all conditions. November/December 2011 susitnasledandkayak.com ScAnDinAviAn DeSiGneD SnoW hooK. V-shaped center plate, digs deeper as pull force increases. Our hook features a flat handle which is much easier to grab than the round handle that other hooks of this design have. Best hook made for use in soft snow. Never loose your team again from a popped hook! Made out of galvanized steel.Weight: 2.5 lb. GlycochArGe Annamaet GlycoCharge is a canine sports drink designed to aid in the replenishment of muscle glycogen stores following exercise. Glycogen, an essential Glycogen is one of the fuels used during strenuous exercise. Attempts to increase glycogen stores through "carbohydrate loading" in canines have had a negative impact on endurance. Post-exercise use of Annamaet GlycoCharge helps to rebuild muscle glycogen stores to pre-exercise levels. Recharged in 24 hours howlingdogalaska.com SKiJorinG line Our skijoring lines have been the top pulling lines on the market for many years now. Their superior design and durability far surpass lines manufactured by our competitors. Unlike other lines, our skijoring lines have bungee fitted in to a sleeve made out of durable tubular webbing. There is no frying, no wear and tear present the way it is with lines made out of a Poly line. Plus our two dog line features a built in bungee for each dog, which is far superior to a line fitted with one bungee only. Having a double bungee ensures good, evenly distributed pulling power and reduces tangles from dogs not pulling equally. Our skijoring line is also an ideal line for canicross (running with the dog), bikejoring, scootering, walking dogs hands free, dog trekking and as a one dog / two dog sled pulling line. eAr Protector Our Ear Protector is a must for any racing dog that suffers from chronic ear frost bite. Racing pointer crosses are especially susceptible to this condition and will benefit from wearing such protector. The Ear Protector has been designed to stay on the dog's head while the dog is running. It is also suitable as an ear protection for any pet dog with very thin or cold sensitive ears. We also have customers, who bought our Ear Protector to put on their long eared dog (such as Basset Hound) while the dog is eating � to keep the ears out of the dog food dish. Our Ear Protector is made out of 4-way stretch, wind resistant fabric and fits snug on a dog's head. lonewolfsleds.com loneWolf SleDS are designed for incredible handling and flexibility over the roughest of trails! We are committed to building the highest quality, best performing, and most reliable sleds ever! These sleds are light, fast and tough! We offer a unique steering capability on all of our sleds, made possible by our heim joint connector system and floating bed design. We use only the highest quality state of the art materials to manufacture our sleds. Check out our new custom "hot-rod style" sleds and our new Lonewolf sled dog harness November 20th. -Wyoming Stage Stop, Yukon Quest and Iditarod proven � 5 year warranty on all aluminum/chromoly sled chassis and a 2 year warranty on all runners and carbon fibre chassis. -8 standard models to choose from � Choice of aluminum or custom composite runners � Choice of aluminum, chromoly or carbon fibre chassis � Choice of conventional or easyrider style chassis � 100's of color options for powder coating, anodizing and even chroming of all sled parts! � indestructible chromoly brake that mounts with heim joints to allow the sled to flex � Sprint sleds to sit-down distance sleds and everything in between � Look for our "10% off Tis the season sale" from Nov 20 to Dec 20. mainemadedogsleds.com the SteerAble PASSenGer SleD This sled was trail-tested thousands of miles this past winter carrying a payload of 450lbs. per trip (plus driver) and was loaned back to us for demo and picture purposes and required no repairs It is a truly steerable sled with much less effort required with a full load. Our thanks to Neil Beaulieu of Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel for his rigorous testing of all our tour sleds � Laminated ash runners � Bed is 6' UHMW � 1/2" UHMW screw-on plastic runners-last several season � Standard, 2-talon bar brake mtnridge.com mountAin riDGe bootieS What is in a boot? More than meets the eye. Mountain Ridge booties are manufactured here in the USA using quality materials and craftsmanship. Our VelcroTM closure is VelstretchTM, which is the best stretch VelcroTM on the market. After booting your team correctly you can rest assured that the booties will stay on and each closure has our signature blue tab on the end for ease of removal. The booties come ready to use packed in Ziploc bags of 50 or 100. The Standard Green and Ultra-Lite Blue can be mixed as can the sizes to benefit from the quantity discount pricing. Standard Green Booties-The USA fabric is manufactured to Mountain Ridge specifications which makes for a bootie capable of lasting 150 miles or more on snow. Train with the boots you raced with the year before! Ultra-Lite Blue Booties-The fabric is lighter than the Standard Green, yet top 5 finishing Iditarod mushers say it is just as durable. With the tightest and lightest weave on the market they are the ultimate racing bootie! Tough Boots-The dryland training bootie; they are made from the toughest fabric we could find making them the best option for training on dirt. The Tough Boot is also a great option for the pet owner in need of protecting their dog from salt on city roads as they have a waterproof coating. Tough Boots w/Grip-Utilizing the same tough fabric used for our Tough Boots with the addition of a Grip fabric sewn on for better traction and added durability. They too are also used by the pet owner for dogs that need help with slippery conditions outside or inside on surfaces such as linoleum. Mushing Magazine Annual Eq uipment Is sue 2011 �2012 GeAr GUIDE: 0-0 mtnridge.com mountAin riDGe DoG coAtS Our new style of Dog Coat is manufactured with VersatechTM fabric as the outer shell and inner liner making a coat that is highly water and wind resistant without having a noisy coating. The insulation sandwiched in-between the VersatechTM is 200 gram ThinsulateTM for warmth without the bulk. The coats are quiet and very compressible; an added bonus is how much cleaner they stay since there is nothing for dog hair to cling to as it does with the fleece lined coats. The neck opening and belly band are very adjustable utilizing VelcroTM closures. nordkyn.com WenAhA DoG PAcKS This pack has a permanently attached saddle with double cinches, padded yoke, and padding under buckles. These packs come with D-rings for extra tie-down capacity and compression straps that hold the pack securely through the roughest brush and rock. They are made with 500 denier cordura on the top and heavier ballistic material on the bottom for greater abrasion resistance. Delrin side-release snaps on the cinches padded with neoprene. SIZES: X-Small (20-40 lb), Small (40-70 lb); Medium (70-100 lb); Large (over 100 lb). Nordkyn carries other Wenaha models as well as Wolf Pack models. pawtrek.com Our unique scooter design combines adventure, practicality and dog & person-friendly features - from the brushbow with no protruding connecting loops, a handy unobtrusive canvas bag, ample ground clearance and allowance for fork travel, with a lightweight and compact design to make turns easy - meaning you can take the Xplora anywhere. Some Specifications: Anodised Aluminum Frame �Double Rimmed, black anodised, quick-release wheels � Aggressive tires for all-terrain use � 24" x 2.25" front tire � 20" 2.25" rear tire � Removable brushbow* � 24" Adjustable Dampening Forks with 75100mm travel � 160mm Front Mechanical Disc Brakes � 140mm Rear Mechanical Disc Brakes � Quick Adjustment Mechanical Brake Calipers � Tool-less Caliper/rotor alignment � Choice of colors: Alloy Silver Finish, Copper or Black Bottle Cage and bottle � Zippered Brushbow Kit-bag � Front & Rear wheel mudguards *Brushbow is a unique copy-protected feature which ensures the gang-line is kept clear of the front wheel and brakes while providing the optimum pulling position for your dog. New X-Plora model, with front suspension piasweaters.com lobben Winter bootS from norWAy. You will have no more cold feet, and they are light as a sock! Made from boiled and pressed wool, they are breathable so your feet stay dry while the natural lanolin repels water. Dry feet are the secret for warm toes! These boots were invented by Norwegian arctic explorers, and are very popular with Alaskan Iditarod mushers. Treat your toes this winter! DAle St. moritz SWeAter Made in Norway from 100% new wool, St. Moritz is comfort knit with soft, warm merino wool inside. Merino wool is famous for no itching and is one of the warmest wools. The traditional patterns come this year in very dark charcoal grey at the top, with a white mountains and snowflakes design. The half zip allows a perfect fit. dozenbooties.com Porter'S oriGinAl Dozen bootieS was created as a source of affordable high quality dog booties. Proceeds are being used to fund a Yukon Quest attempt by Team Three Dog Ranch. Porter's Original Dozen Booties are available in two fabric types: coated nylon (EZ Booties) and uncoated nylon (Beta Booties). Both fabric types are 500 denier nylon; the choice of material is one of personal preference. Porter's EZ Booties are constructed from 500 denier, 100% nylon Cordura-like material and have a light, smooth nylon coating on the inside. The coated material provides some structure that helps hold the bootie open, making it easier to inset the dog's foot as well as a longer service life. We have literally sold thousands of these booties. November/December 2011 risdonrigs.com trADitionAl SnoWShoeS. Designed by experienced northwoods outdoorsman Gus Gustafson and crafted by master dogsled builder Clyde Risdon. These beautiful traditional shoes are crafted in the old fashioned way - one at a time. We have combined the look of traditional wood and rawhide shoes with our new poly-lace webbing. Poly-lace looks like rawhide but is much stronger with less maintenance and lighter weight. We offer them in four sizes. New! Snowshoe Kits - $160.00 Kits come with sanded frames, all lashing locations marked, easy to follow instructions, and all materials (our bindings & tools) except scissors, lighter, and varnish. "We tested this SPrint SleD for 3 years with Neal Johnson, Ken Chezik, Gary Callaghan, Rob Downey, Jan Bootz-Dittmar and others, before making a production version." -Clyde Risdon. Specs: � 23.5 lbs with bag � 6061 aircraft aluminum stanchions � Runner core shaped and reinforced with graphite � Simplified cable steering. � Runners are removable with the release of 4 pins, allowing for easy transport. � This model can be mailed, saving on shipping costs. skookumbrand.com SKooKum ivvAviK WomenS PArKA (l) men'S vuntut (r) The original innovative and award winning SKOOKUMbrand� Yukon Anorak, the "Skookum Classic" has been tested in some of the world's most challenging cold weather environments, like the Iditarod, the Yukon Quest, the Yukon Arctic Ultra, as well as the British Antarctic Survey. stegermukluks.com Arctic Style muKluKS (left) are perfect for going to extremes. They were designed for major Arctic and Antarctic expeditions and are the favorite of many world-class extreme cold weather athletes. The flexible lightweight upper is neccessary in frigid climates. The aggressively treaded soles are ready to dig in for excellent traction. Arctic Style come with our 9mm woolfelt liner and 2 insoles. These are the same boots worn on most of the Steger Expeditions. camuksTM and camukXtremeTM are the first hunting and survival boots you`ll brag about and the last kind you'll ever need! Steger Camuks have a waterproof foot, Pull-Tight Ankle Strap SystemTM, plus cord lock and strap lock gaiter. They're insulated with a 9mm woolfelt liner, come with three insoles and are the warmest hunting boots on the market. They weigh about half as much as traditional hunting boots and are very... very quiet. Made by Steger Mukluks in Ely, Minnesota. mushingsupplies.com tAiGA - SeAvey hArneSS This harness resembles a traditional collared neck Hback harness and is sized the same as all other Taiga harnesses. The rear portion has been lengthened and fitted with a harness spreader with only loose elastic straps over the dog's back. The allows the traces or "sidestraps" of the harness to ride lower on the sides of the dog's hips, providing a straight line from the point of draft to the load, regardless of terrain or gait. Power is increased, as all pulling is straight forward, not angled. Crabbing is also decreased and harness rub is minimized. The dog's hips are free from downward pressure and the spreader allows the rear portion of the harness to only lightly brush the sides of the hips. taiga Padded collar For the very active dogs that rub their neck hair off from continuous circling on their chains! Standard colors: Red, Blue, Purple and Teal. Standard Sizes: Small (10"-14") Medium (13"-16") Large (16"-20") X-Large (20-24) Jumbo (24-28) Note: These are special sizes which differ from our other collars because of their limited adjustability. Description: Adjustable, with 1-1/2" diameter O-ring, padded with a triple layer of polar fleece. tensquaredracing.com GAmmA SeAl liD Transform your bucket into an easy opening, airtight, pest-proof storage container with the universal Gamma Seal Lid. When attached to virtually any 12" diameter bucket (3.5 to 7.0 gallon), the Gamma Seal Lid provides airtight protection for the contents - excellent for literally thousands of storage applications. The resilient electrometric gaskets keep air and contaminants out, while protecting the contents. Stack ability is also a handy feature! The Gamma Seal Lid is available in white, red, blue, orange, green or yellow (shown). Quantity discounts available when purchasing 3 or more. PolArtec WinDbloc Xtreme muSher JAcKet Features Ten Squared Racing Lifetime Guarantee Designed with musher features in mind: � full zip for easy on and off � other front zipper used for temp control panel � arm pit zippers for added ventilation � front zipper pouch � 3panel hood with drawcord adjustment � draw cord bottom � Polartec Windbloc Fleece for 100% windproof construction � available in 6 colors � worn throughout the entire 2010 Iditarod Race by Sebastian Schnuelle. Mushing Magazine Annual Eq uipment Is sue 2011 �2012 headlamp comparison By Greg Sellentin From filament bulbs to halogen to HID to the current crop of LED lamps, headlight technology has come a long way in the last 10 years. An argument can be made that a good headlamp is, perhaps, the most important piece of safety equipment for running dogs at night. During long distance races, when much time is spent running with headlamps, a clean, bright beam can reduce eye strain and tiredness and a powerful long reaching beam can help you spot trail markers up ahead. � Shown at right are the top 5 lamps tested. All utilize LED bulbs in various configurations. We listed them (from top to bottom) in order of maximum bulb brightness. But brightness is not the only factor in choosing a headlamp, an even, clean beam void of dark spots, with an even fall off near the edges is more useable and eye-friendly than beams that have dark areas. The top three lamps all use rechargeable batteries, and are offered with several different size batteries as listed. Run times listed here are with the battery listed. It should also be noted that although we listed run times at 3 different power settings, most of these units have many different power outputs. Notably, the Lupine units can be programmed to many different settings according to your needs, and the PT Apex Extreme has different power settings for both flood and spot modes. The Petzl Myo uses a lower tech, but effective, method of creating a flood beam, by means of a simple diffuser you can pull down over the lens. � The clear winner amongst this group was the Lupine Wilma. With a night piercing output of 1500 lumens, incredible burn times, several battery choices, programmable power settings and a sturdy build, this could be the last headlamp you'll ever buy. That's good because it costs almost $800 as shown here. It seems as with headlamps you get what you pay for, but it is hard to put a price on the safety of you and your dog team. Lupine user, and Iditarod musher Ken Anderson figures that the initial cost is offset over the life of the unit by not having to buy lithium batteries. Amazingly, Lupine also offers a brighter unit called Betty. Ken used one of these units during Iditarod and Quest last year, and said it was brighter than his truck headlamps! � One other unit that was impressive for its cost effectiveness was the PT Apex Extreme. With a high beam bright enough to run dogs with, and a lower power flood that is useful for dog chores and other slow speed actions, it is very affordable at around $100. � In the photographs of the beams of the various lights, we tried to show the shape, cleanliness and intensity of each unit at its maximum power. To do this, we placed each light in the same place, and locked down the camera also. We used the same shutter speed and aperture settings for the whole shoot, and the images were not adjusted in post production. The white wall was about 50 feet away from the light source. � We want to thank Mark and Connie at Cold Spot Feeds in Fairbanks for helping us with the test--loaning us the lamps, warehouse space and hanging out after hours to play photo-assistants. Cold Spot carries all the headlamps shown here, plus many other styles including their in-store brand, which was the standard for mushers for quite a long time. They carry the brands that mushers want--products that are tried and tested through long, cold and dark interior Alaskan winters. � 10 0 November/December 2011 lupine Wilma 1500 Lumens (max power) Run time max power ( Watts) ........................... hours (. Ah battery) Run time medium power ( Watts)........................ hours (. Ah battery) Run time low power ( watt).................................. hours (. Ah battery) Battery type:.........................choice of ., ., . Ah Li-ion Rechargeable Charge time:.......................................................... hours (. Ah battery) lupine piko 750 Lumens (max power) Run time max power (0 Watts) ........................... hours (. Ah battery) Run time medium power (. Watts).....................0 hours (. Ah battery) Run time low power ( watt).................................. hours (. Ah battery) Battery type:..................................choice of ., . Ah Li-ion Rechargeable Charge time:.......................................................... hours petzl ultra 350 Lumens (max power) Run time max power (0 Lumens)....................... hours ( Ah battery) Run time medium power........................................ hours ( Ah battery) Run time low power.............................................. hours ( Ah battery) Battery type:....................................................., Ah Li-ion Rechargeable Charge time:......................................................... hours ( Ah battery) princeton tec Apex extreme 200 Lumens (max power) Run time max power (00 lumens) ........................ hours Run time medium power.......................................Not Listed Run time low power..............................................0 hours Battery type:.................................................... AA Alkaline or Lithium Charge time:.........................................................NA petzl Myo 140 Lumens (max power) Run time max power (0 lumens)........................0 hours Run time medium power.......................................Not Listed Run time low power ( lumens).............................0 hours Battery type:.................................................... AA Alkaline or Lithium Charge time:.........................................................NA Lumens is the total light emitted by a lamp regardless of the direction of emission. There are two methods being used in the marketplace to state light output: 1. The calculation of the theoretical light output of a lighting system based on the LED-manufacturer's stated maximum light output, and 2. The measurement of the actual light output of a lighting system using a calibrated integrating sphere. Some manufacturers use the first method, which can be deceiving because there are many other factors which contribute to usable light and available light output. It would seem that the manufacturers and products we tested use the second method, as the light output of the units was in close proportion to the listed lumens. Mushing Magazine Mushing Magazine 11 Annual Eq uipment Is sue 2011 �2012 DARK Art of cArbon fibre By Greg Sellentin the LIghTER AND STRONgER? Lately the use of carbon fibre technology in the construction of dog sleds has become more commonplace. Carbon fibre is a material that consists of thin, strong crystalline filaments of carbon. Carbon fibres are used in high-strength composite materials for aircraft, automobile and architectural structures, and in other applications where light materials capable of withstanding high stress are required. It can be used to strengthen existing material, or on its own to produce a lightweight and strong component for a dog sled. � I first saw carbon fibre used for the stanchions on a Norwegian brand OT sprint sled at the 1995 IFSS WC races. Relatively small diameter tubing brought on the response from obervers that it was a ridiculous material to use in such a critical area of stress in a dog sled. But, having been very familiar with the almost mythical, at the time, substance my first thought was, "Ok, here we go again." I had seen the "lightweight arms race" take place in many sports equipment I had been involved with from windsurfing, to racing bicycles. Although the beauty of these lightweight parts and the weight savings were real, the high cost and complexity of manufacturing of such parts tended to drive the cost of participation higher and higher. � Are space-age composite materials cost effective, useful, or even recommended in the construction of a dog sled, or are they overkill and just the latest trend or marketing fad? I spoke with a couple of well known and respected sled makers and the answers were interesting. November/December 2011 O ne of the interesting things about Carbon Fibre (CF) is its failure characteristics. By that I mean that steel, and to some degree aluminum, will flex to a point when stressed and return to its original shape, but if forced beyond that point will result in permanent bending. Steel has the ability to be bent back after this type of stress, aluminum much less so, but CF has a "catastrophic failure characteristic" meaning it will flex to a point and return to its original shape time after time, but if forced beyond that point, will result in splintering or shattering. Granted, if used properly, this material can be very, very tough. Anyone who has watched a 6'4" NHL defenseman wind up into a slapshot from mid-ice can relate to that. H ans Gatt has experience building dog sleds dating back to before he emigrated from Austria to Canada in 1990. He started experimenting with carbon fibre parts in testing on his personal sleds about 4 years ago. Because of the complexity of laying up the carbon fibre sheets and resins, Hans uses, as other sled makers do, an off-the-shelf rectangular tubing which is intended for use as high-end hockey sticks. It turns out that the hockey stick toughness, size and shape are perfect for dog sled stanchions. Hans orders his direct from the factory without logos or plugs, just hollow tubing. "Although I have other options for having them made here near Whitehorse, YT where we have plenty of high-tech sporting industry specialist manufacturers that use CF in boats, bikes, etc, the best product and the most cost effective one was to order these hockey stick blanks." I asked Hans if he has seen any problems associated with the lighter than aircraft aluminum material, and he emphatically said, "No. I used the same sled for 3 seasons, through some very tough Yukon Quests, and Iditarods, and haven't seen any problems. I was initially wary of the cold, but have used it down to 60�F below zero and haven't experienced any failures. It might break in a hard crash, but so will wood. Most of the sleds I build are still made from aluminum. Really the only reason to use CF is the weight savings. It is a lot harder to work with, harder to drill--you have to use a core where the bolts and brackets are attached to it, and it is more expensive." Hans explained. I had one more question for Hans - Is it worth the price difference from aluminum? He explained, "I don't know. Every sled I make is available with CF stanchions as an option, it is an individual choice. I absolutely believe in simplicity, what keeps you out of trouble in a race is most important, that's what counts. The weight savings is quite impressive though, if that is what you're looking for. For comparison, I weighed each a 56 inch or 142 cm Carbon and Aluminum Stanchion. The Aluminum is 602 grams or 21.3 oz, and the CF is 308 grams or 10.8 oz. I find the difference in weight quite significant. For me, if the stanchions weren't available commercially, if I had to have them made specially for sled building applications, it wouldn't be cost effective." Hans finished with. Clockwise from top left: The runners of Cody Strathe's Dog Paddle Designs sled start out as laminated wood. He then utilizes a cloth CF sleeve that is stretched over the runner. Epoxy resins are mixed and used to wet out the cloth. The whole runner is then encased in a larger tube that is heat shrunk around the whole assembly to squeeze out excess resin and air and to conform the CF epoxy exactly to the runner. The laminated wood stanchions are encased in clear fibreglass cloth and resin the entire length, but the higher stress ends are also encased with CF and cured in the same manner as the runners. The Danler Hornet XC-URS sprint sled weights just 17.6 lbs with a snow hook! The sled sells for over $4500 US and is a limited production run. It utilizes CF stanchions and drag mat armature as well as a new aluminum snow hook with carbide tips. This is the sled Hans Gatt used in last year's Quest and Iditarod. It is a combination of CF stanchions and aircraft aluminum. Lonewolf Sleds, long distance tail dragger model uses hockey stick blank stanchions and vacuum bagged CF encased laminated wood runners. K olby Morrison of Lone Wolf Sleds echoes many of the sentiments that Hans does about CF, in that it is harder to work with than other materials. He has been using it in sleds for about 3 to 4 years, and "playing around with it" for about 6 years. He uses a Chinese made hockey stick blank that he orders in .049" wall thickness. He also has not seen any brittleness in cold weather. Kolby estimates that they are as tough as wood, and save 3 or 4 lbs maximum. The cost for all that weight savings? "Compared to wood laminated runners, the extra steps needed to both laminate in strips of carbon fibre, and then to vacuum bag the whole runner in a carbon/kevlar weave adds about $300 to the runners alone." Kolby adds, "I can make a more flexible, yet strong runner because I can rely on the CF for strength and use less wood than a wood only laminated runner. These runners are laterally stiff, and resist warping, but have great vertical shock absorption properties." He added. Kolby traveled to Vancouver, BC to learn the tricks of vacuum bagging CF runners from a downhill ski manufacturer. "In the future, we are going to look into making other sled parts such as brackets and stanchion junction plates out of CF." than what you get when you drive an aluminum or fully CF sled. I wanted to retain some of that traditional feel. Also I'm a wood worker, that is my specialty. I find wood is also really nice to look at, but I wanted to make them stronger without adding too much extra weight, so that they are more useful to mushers who are racing. By using these exotic materials in high stress areas, I can cut down on the sizes of the wood pieces, making the whole sled even lighter. After many seasons of use both recreationally and in racing I've only seen one failure. It was a very hard impact and the wood inside the CF reinforcement area actually shattered but the CF didn't�holding the whole thing together. Because of that I get a little nervous using CF alone. I'd rather make stronger sleds than lighter sleds. The CF/ kevlar combination I use on the runners is actually stronger than CF alone because the kevlar is more flexible, not as brittle as CF, and more resistant to abrasion. I've made them out of just kevlar and they are not stiff enough, and conversely just using CF makes them too stiff." Cody explains. Instead of vacuum bagging his runners, which is a very time consuming process in that you can only do one set at a time, Cody has adapted a heat shrink tubing that he can do many sets at once with. The use of CF for dog sleds is understandably here to stay, and as the availability becomes more widespread, the cost of using it will inevitably be reduced. As for those OT sleds made back in the early 90's with the thin, fragile looking CF stanchions, they are still in use today cruising around the trails in Alaska. � Mushing Magazine C ody Strathe of Dog Paddle Designs uses a mix of traditional wood and high tech fibreglass/carbon fibre/kevlar epoxies to construct his beautiful yet bombproof sleds. "The feeling you get when you drive a wooden sled is different