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November/December 2011 #143, $4.95 U.S.

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Hello Mushing Magazine readers. the following e-publication is the total of the submissions for our Reader Submitted Gear Mods column featured in the November/ December issue of Mushing Magazine. We received so many interesting entries, that we decided in addition to those selected for the print magazine, to publish the rest of them here. The first two pages are the ones that were chosen for the magazine, the rest are new. Thanks for reading. Sincerely, Greg Sellentin Publisher



Reader Submitted Gear Mods / 2011

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Reader Submitted

Gear Mods As mushers we are constantly tinkering with our gear to make it work better and more suitably for each of our unique circumstances. Mushing Magazine asked its readers to share some of their gear modifications. We printed a select few in the November/December 2011 issue of Mushing Magazine (these two pages) And the following pages are all the submissions we received. Thanks to all the readers who submitted suggestions. Harness WRAP submitted by Tanjala Eischens These are made of fleece or all different weights. We use these to wrap around the harness to keep their fur & skin from breaking down where the harnesses are rubbing.

Nature’s Kennel Platforms submitted by Tasha Stielstra Nature’s Kennel builds a platform for each dog so that the barrel can rest on top of the platform rather than lying in the snow. The kennel receives blue and white barrels that can be found from many factories. They use car wash and hand soap barrels. Remember to wash out the barrels before letting your dogs live in them. A barrel can be anywhere from free to $20. They are easy to remove from the platforms, and thus, easy to clean out. Because of the height of the platform, the houses do not get buried in snow. The height of the platform also accommodates feeding and harnessing dogs at a good working level rather than on the ground. Because their house is elevated, it provides shade for the dogs in the summer, and gives them more options of where they can lay. The platforms last about ten years. (Construction details & more from Nature’s Kennel online at mushing.com)

outdoor, portable harness rack submitted by Bonnie Borba Made to hold harnesses and gear when running out of the dog yard. Protects gear from snow and weather. Made from scrap lumber, 5' wide x 7' tall.



Reader Submitted Gear Mods / 2011

Dog house dog-ports submitted by Linda & Mike Herdering We tried many options for giving the dogs shade in the yard during summer months—from umbrellas (see image on right) to carports. We settled on “dogports” and each dog gets a room added on their house for the summer months. They’re upgraded to a doublewide! Such a simple solution to keep them cool—an L shaped wooden attachment that has an underlayer piece of 2"x2" between the house’s lip and it—with two pieces of same to add support between the open sides on the ground. We remove them for winter and simply screw them together for summer time lazin’ on the roof. Since doghouse doors are positioned away

from the prevailing wind--the sunrooms are oriented perfectly for the breeze to pass through on the oh-socool shaded ground.

Concrete water bucket holder submitted by Charles Faucher Hello, here is my stainless steel/concrete bowl holder for my dogs. I use a 1 gallon stainless pail that costs about $10. I can make 9 holders with a 30kg concrete bag. Maybe it costs about $15 each total and it makes a very good bowl holder that the dogs can’t tip over. To make the holder, I take my stainless pail and take off the handle and turn it upside down in a 5 gallon plastic pail. Concrete mix is then poured into the plastic pail and on the back of my stailess pail up to 1.5" past the bottom. If my stainless pail is 8.5" lengh, I put 10" of concrete.

sliding equipment hangers submitted by Jolene Giese I had a small space and piles of equipment. I needed some organization! I came up with a plan using dowel rods and PVC pipe. My hubby was not optimistic but gave me a hand building it. Materials I used (thanks to True Value Hardware store): • 3-48" dowel rods 1¼" in diameter $9.05 each • 3 pieces of PVC 1¼", 40" long $3.49 for 10ft. • 12, 2" cup hooks $2.99 per package of two I cut the dowel rods to 40" to have a “handle” sticking out of the PVC pipe. The most time consuming part of this project is setting the depth on the table saw so you can trim out the track on the PVC pipe. The track should be wide enough for the neck of the cup hook to pass along easily. I used 4 cup hooks per dowel rod 8½" apart. Drill a pilot hole so you don’t split the dowel. The PVC pipe was attached to the rafters using wood screws that had the heads counter sunk into the pipe so the dowel rod can easily slide in and out of the pipe. Depending on the length of your PVC, I used 4 screws so there was no sag in the pipe. The whole project took just about an hour. It’s nice to have the lines and harnesses hanging up. I have hung buckets from the back hooks. The large carabineers work great to gather equipment up to hang with.

Mushing Magazine



SCOOTER HITCH RACK Submitted by Dave Wurts

My mother-in-law wanted a rack for her Diggler scooter to keep it out of the back of the Subaru (leaving more room for dogs). Typical bike racks didn’t work effectively for the scooter, so I built this rack for her instead. The scooter rides fine on the rack both at highway speeds and down bumpy roads. A lock could also be easily incorporated into the design. Material: Steel 1-1/2” receiver hitch, 1-1/2” x 1-1/2” x 1/16” steel tube, eyebolts, and bungee cords.



Reader Submitted Gear Mods / 2011

Total cost: approx $35 Time to build: 2 hours I welded the steel tubes to the hitch, then coated it with black appliance paint. Some adhesive neoprene strips protect the bottom of the Diggler and help hold it in place. The deck of the Diggler is bungeed to the rack through the eyebolts, and another pair of bungees hold the wheels inline so the handlebars don’t flap in the wind.

Dryland Race cart Teemu Kaivola, K-Nine Racing, Finland

Here is my version of personalized dog equipment. It’s not modified or built from scratch so maybe it’s not anything you wanted to your article. This cart is still handmade and I made and personalized it just for me. I won Finnish Championship on dry land competition last weekend with the cart at 4dogs class. Next challenge will be World Championship competition at Borken, Germany.

Here comes some photos of the cart. It took 25 hours to built it and costs were about 1000 euros. It has been made from chrome-molybdenum tubes and some bicycle equipments. It weighs 13kg. Best wishes, Teemu Kaivola, K-Nine Racing, Finland

Mushing Magazine



Nature’s Kennel’s Pooper Scoopers Nature’s Kennel renovates kitty litter BUCKETS to make their pooper scoopers. As a scooper, the kennel purchases miniature rakes from Ace Hardware. The length of the handle accommodates adults, yet the size of the rake easily scoops into the container. Materials Needed: An empty 35 lb. cat litter container, an old broom handle or a 1” x 3’ PVC pipe, two 2 ½” x ¼” nuts and bolts, two 2” wide washers, and a miniature rake. DIY Directions for Pooper Scooper: Cut an arc out of the side of the container to allow poop to be scooped into the bucket. Bolt the pipe or broom handle onto the center of the bottom (will become the side of the pooper scooper) of the container using two nuts and bolts each. Place a 2” wide washer on the inside and outside of the container to prevent it from cracking around the bolt. Time Spent: 10 minutes Total Cost: Maximum of $10

Nature’s Kennel’s Poop Buckets and Lids For poop buckets that keep those pesky flies away while securing a lid that is easy to open and close over the poop buckets, Nature’s Kennel uses sturdy, manageable five gallon buckets. Materials Needed: A used five gallon bucket (there’s no sense in dumping poop into a clean bucket), one piece of 16” x 16” treated plywood, four pieces of 1” x 2” treated wood, recycled bucket handles or a piece of runner plastic, and twelve screws.



Reader Submitted Gear Mods / 2011

DIY Directions for Poop Buckets: Screw the four pieces of 1” x 2” onto four edges of the 16” x 16” plywood so that it creates a lip and ensures that the lid of the poop bucket cannot slide off. Use two screws at each corner. Use one screw at each end of the handle, connecting the handle to the outside of the 1” x 2”. Time Spent: 10 minutes Total Cost: Maximum of $10

Nature’s Kennel’s Posts and Turnstiles The unique turnstiles at Nature’s Kennel prevent wear and tear. Some of them have not needed to be replaced in over twenty years. Their safety and hardiness are their best qualities. They always turn so that the chain does not wrap around the post. The oversized steel plate prevents moisture from entering the pipe, freezing, and thus prohibiting the turnstile from turning. The thickness of the plate allows it to last so long. New pipe can be purchased from a hardware store as galvanized water line, yet bargains can be found at many fencing companies. The steel rod and oversized plate can be ordered from any machine and fabricating company, who will often cut to size. Nature’s Kennel contracts a local welding shop to weld the rod onto the plate. Materials Needed: Two 2 ½” S-Hooks, one Swedish snap (snaps from www.dogbooties.com are recommended), 5’ length of 5/16” chain, one 1 5/8” o.d. 8’ galvanized steel

post, one 3/8” (thick) x 3” x 6” metal plate, one 1” diameter by 12” length round rolled steel solid rod. DIY Directions for Turnstiles: Pound the 8’ steel post perpendicularly into the ground so that there is only approximately 33” above ground. Weld the steel plate close to the edge of the 1’ rod so that they form a “T.” Drill a hole through the edge of the plate that is hanging off of the pipe. Attach one s-hook to the hole. Assemble the chain so that one end has a Swedish snap attached by an s-hook. Attach the opposite end of the chain to the s-hook on the plate. Slip the 1’ rod and welded plate inside the 8’ steel pipe. Time Spent: If all materials are cut and welded, 10 to 15 minutes to assemble Total Cost: $23-$40

Mushing Magazine



Nature’s Kennel’s Nametags Nature’s Kennel provides nametags on the dog house of each of their dogs. Materials Needed: One untreated 19” piece of 2” x 4” dog house (can get five 19” pieces out of one 8’ 2’’ x 4’’), stencils, a router, outdoor paint, an electric hand sander, spar varnish or outdoor grade lacquer, and three ¼” screws per nametag. DIY Directions: Stencil the dog’s name and the last two digits of the year of birth onto the 2” x 4”. Next, use a router to carve out the dog’s name and year the dog was born. Sand the front of the nametags and round the corners so the dog chain does not get caught on the corners. Use outdoor paint to liven up the nametag. Nature’s Kennel uses blue paint for male dogs, red paint for female dogs, and green for the years. Use two coats of paint. Sand the nametag after the paint has dried to remove any blemishes. To ensure that the nametags are protected from

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the elements, put five coats of lacquer on each nametag. Finally, screw the nametag onto the front of the dog house. Remember to screw from the inside of the house so that the finished product does not have any screw blemishes and the screws do not protrude into the dog’s house. Time Spent: Depending on the dry time of the lacquer, two to five days to complete all coats. Cost: $1.60 per nametag

Nature’s Kennel’s Platforms Nature’s Kennel builds a platform for each dog so that the barrel can rest on top of the platform rather than lying in the snow. The kennel receives blue and white barrels that can be found from many factories. They use car wash and hand soap barrels. Remember to wash out the barrels before letting your dogs live in them. A barrel can be anywhere from free to $20. They are easy to remove from the platforms, and thus, easy to clean out. Because of the height of the platform, the houses do not get buried in snow. The height of the platform also accommodates feeding and harnessing dogs at a good working level rather than on the ground. Because their house is elevated, it provides shade for the dogs in the summer, and gives them more options of where they can lay. The platforms last about ten years. Materials Needed: One 55-gallon barrel, six treated 2” x 4”s each 36” long, one treated 2” x 4” 39” long, four treated 4” x 4”s 24” long, two treated 2” x 4”s 50” long, four angled 2” x 4”s (17” on the short edge of the angle and 24” on the long edge), two treated 19” 2” x 4”s, one piece of 39” x 24” x ½” treated plywood, one 5 LB. box of 2 ¼” coated deck screws, one eyelet, 12” light gauge chain, stainless steel bowl, saw, drill, and a router. DIY Directions: At all connections, use three screws in a triangular pattern to ensure sturdiness. • SIDE A- To make one side of the platform, horizontally attach three 36” 2” x 4”s to vertical 4” x 4”s. Attach the first 2” x 4” so that it is flush with the sides and top of the 4” x 4”. Attach the next 2” x 4” approximately three inches below the top 2” x 4”, making sure the ends are flush with the 4” x 4”. Attach the final 2” x 4” three inches below the second 2” x 4”.

• FRONT C-To make the front of the platform, attach the 50” 2” x 4” into the corner of the 1 ½” gap of the 39” 2” x 4” and the 4” x 4”. This will make the ladder on the outside of this side of the platform. The ladder should face inward on the other side of the platform to help hold up the barrel (the ladders will face the same direction).

• SIDE B-To form the opposite side of the platform, attach the 39” 2” x 4” to the 4” x 4”s so that 1 ½” of the 2” x 4” hangs beyond each 4” x 4”. Like the other side, attach the other two 36” 2” x 4”s each three inches apart below the 39” 2” x 4”.

• FRONT D- Attach the other side of the platform (the 36” 2” x 4”) to the 50” 2” x 4” so that it is flush with corners. Next, attach the four angled 2” x 4”s to the corners of the 50” piece and the 4” x 4” on both the front and back of the platform. Make sure edges are flush with sides of 4” x 4”. Continued on next page Mushing Magazine

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Nature’s Kennel’s Platforms

continued from previous page

• MIDDLE SEPARATOR- Finally, attach the last 36” 2” x 4” twenty-four inches from the outside of the 39” 2” x 4” so that it runs from the front to the back of the platform. There should now be an opening of 26” on the platform so the barrel can rest inside of this space. • TOP- To construct the top of the platform, screw the plywood onto the side of the platform where the ladder is on the outside. Router the corners of the plywood so the chains do not get caught. To construct the barrel, cut out ½ of the front of the barrel to make an opening (this is where the dog will enter). Do not cut the opening larger than ½ of the front of the barrel as this allows for an adequate amount of straw to rest in the barrel in the winter and allows the barrel to sit into the platform. Laying the barrel on the ground, drill fifteen 1” diameter holes into side of the barrel that will be facing the ground so that moisture can drain out, the barrels can be easily washed out, and the dogs get a breeze in the summer while in their houses. Attach one 19” 2” x 4” (nametag) to the middle of the back side of the barrel. Use the line on the barrel as a guide. Place the nametag/board so it lines up just under the line if the barrel is lying so that the cut section is at the top of the barrel and the holes are at the bottom. Cut angles on the edges of the other 19” 2” x 4” so that it may fit inside the lip of the front side of the barrel to prevent the barrel from falling through the hole in the platform. Finally, slip the barrel into the hole of the platform. As finishing touches to your platform, screw an eyelet on the outside of the 50” 2” x 4” and attach a 12” chain with an s-hook. Attach an s-hook to the other end of the chain so that you can attach the stainless steel bowl to the chain. Time Spent: 1-2 hours. If everything is cut, it should take about 30 minutes. Cost: Depending on the cost of the barrel, $30-$60

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Dog Composting Station Submited by Marla BB www.hilltownwildernessadventures.com 413/296-0187

The entire structure (labor & materials) cost me a flat $3500.  I will scan or fax 2 additional pages: 1 is a pencil drawing diagram, the other a signed invoice. My Handler at the time gave the builder, Eric Fahey & myself 2 pieces of literature to refer to. One was a Composting Dog Waste Study by the US Department of Agriculture,   the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), & the Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District done in December 2005. Nina Inchardi found this online.  Then she copied a section of “The Humanure Handbook” - Chapter 8: The Tao of Compost. It has awesome diagrams, illustrations, & directions on how to construct the “Humanure Hacienda”. This book gives much detail on a humanure toilet along with helpful tips form Tommy Turd. (It’s a classic in it’s genre.) This outdoor composting system for human waste has been used successfully in Central & South America. So, we put the 2 pamphlets together & adapted the design for canine waste in North America’s New England climate. We basically stayed with the Humanure Hacienda composting system  with some structural changes, like a complete roof since we get more snow & rain, a metal mesh for retaining shape & airation, etc... We also consulted with a composting guru, the guy who invented my human composting outhouse (since we can’t have holes in the ground in Massachusetts)! It uses sawdust instead of water & smells great, the kids

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love going in it, it’s cozy too. The Canine Waste Composter uses straw & also is not suppose to smell. This process of invention had it’s own trials & tribulations, but it got done & I can’t wait to start using the CWC when I move up there in the next few weeks. Plastic bagging my poop & taking it to the dump has not been very environmentally friendly. Besides the bags are heavy (like body bags) & stinky. We’ve had many a moment of bags breaking & falling while trying to heave ho them up over the dumpster & laughing doesn’t help it only makes me drop them:) And you know the dump lady does not want to help me pick them up. With my commitment to building an off the grid Eco-Cabin, I wanted to find a way to not see or smell the dog poop & reuse it, rather than just piling it up. Here in the East Coast of the lower 48, we don’t have the same space or leaner laws to dig poop pits that are far enough away from neighbors smelling them. Tho’ I must admit when I visited Aliy Zirkle’s SP Kennel last week, the poop pit I had been dumping in 3 years ago was totally covered & regrown with grass, dirt, & weeds. Across the path they had taken down trees & dug a new hole that was slowly filling up. So, I’ll let you know how it goes, I mean grows, I mean decomposes! Thanx again, Marla BB

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Dryland Racing Rig Submited by Mcahon Kennel Hello! We got request about dog mushing gears. For dryland races there is difficult to buy race-rig, cause so few build and sell them - so we had to do it ourselves. First one prototype and second and third and ...now maybe over ten rigs to Dr4 class here in Finland. frame made from steel squarepipe and other parts mountainbike, front wheel 26” backwheels from 20” trick bike - more wheel spokes than usual. Next heading to Dryland WC Dr4NB Mcahon kennel; driver Antti Mäkiaho and equipment made by Timo and Ilkka Mäkiaho

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Homemade Dog Sled Submited by Sebastien Wilmotte Hello everybody at Mushing Magazine, If you are interested by my sled for your article about personalized gear... I built this sled 4 years ago and used it twice on Pirena (sprint race) and twice on Sedivackuv (mid distance race with 55 kg of compulsory gear in the sled), both races with 12 dogs in front of the sled. This sled is better on mid distance races than in sprint races due to his size. I wanted to make a sled very flexible, even with a load inside, and I noticed that the brake fastened at the bottom of the stanchion jam the flexibility. So, I mounted it on the transversal bar with two U. I added some pulley on the pulling rope under the basket to make a “power steering”: the sled turn alone when the dogs turn. The runners are Matrax ones and the stanchions are in aluminum. I don’t remember how long I spent to built it but that was a big work with many reflections and tries. That cost me about 1200€ for everything (runners, plastic, bolt...). Sorry for the mistakes in my English, Best regards, Sebastien Wilmotte Fontainebleau, France marie.scoupe@wanadoo.fr

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Cargo Toboggan Dog Sled Submited by Dennis Waite Attached are photos of a sled bag and cargo toboggon I made a few years ago. I make all my own sled bags, gang-lines, dog collars, and am now experimenting with sewing my own harnesses (those are tough without a commercial/industrial sewing machine - but possible).   I use an old 1959 Singer Slant-O-Matic Model 407 I bought on E-Bay. I love the machine as it is geared with all metal gears and while I frequently break needles due to feed problems, the machine seems to have enough power to sew through many layers of nylon webbing or fabric.   Dennis Waite, Ed.D. Director, Phoenix Consultation www.phoenixconsultation.com

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Water Bottle Holder Submited by Nancy Yoshida I took this idea from Vern Halter’s kennel when I was there. If he sent this idea to you also you can disregard mine. These work well to keep water drinkable during a long race. I made mine with a double layer of quilted material. In between the quilting I added a layer if insulating life saving fabric. Inside and outside are covered in Ripstop fabric. Handles added for ease of opening velcro. Side handle so you can secure inside your sled.   Nancy Yoshida

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Gatt Sled Stanchion Modification Submited by Robert Tasso I bought my first new sled from Hans Gatt back in 2008, a top of the line, very expensive, light as a feather distance racing taildragger.  The sled was awesome in every way and I eventually used it successfully at Sheep Mtn., and

at the Gin Gin 200 and Taiga 300.  However, after a few early season training runs with my friend and mentor Jim here in Chugiak/Eagle River, I realized the sled had quite a bit of flex.  I had realized when I bought it that it only had one stanchion per side (on the front part of the sled), whereas Hans’ other sleds were built with the usual two, including his other taildragger model.  My sled had a cable connecting the top of the stanchion near the handlebar to the runners near the brushbow.  With some modifications to my Kondos Outdoors sledbag, I eventually used the cable to help secure my sled bag further to the sled.  The problem, as I saw it, was that if that cable broke on either side, the sled would lose much of its strength and integrity.  I didn’t want to wait to find out.  As much as I know Hans is a top shelf sled builder, I thought I wanted a little less flex and a “backup” should something go wrong with those cables.   Against my better judgement at the time (and that of my friend Jim), I took a drill to my $3,600.00 sled and starting my modifications.  First, I drilled a hole in the aluminum bracket that was located near the back of the 22

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basket.  This bracket already provided a mounting area for the drag, supported the weight at the back of the basket, and had a flexing mechanism already incorporated into it.  Now it was also serving as a rigid bottom mounting point for what would be a second set of stanchions made from UHMW.  My sled bag was black so I went down to CAC Plastics in Wasilla and had them fabricate two stanchions out of black UHMW about 1 and 1/4 inch by 1/2 inch, sanded and cut to the appropriate length.  I then drilled a channel (approximately 2 inch) in the already multifunctional white UHMW bracket Hans installs on the sled near the top of the existing aluminum stanchions.  I used stainless bolts and washers to secure my new black UHMW stanchions to this bracket in such a way that the new stanchions were not rigidly mounted at the top but would slide up and down in this channel I made.  When the dogs pulled hard, the handlebar would go up and the bolt would “top out” in the channel; and, conversely, if I put a lot of downward pressure on the handlebar while driving the sled, the bolt would “bottom out” and give additional stability while also flexing because the stanchions were made from semi-flexible UHMW rather than aluminum, wood, or any traditional stanchion building material.   The stanchion modification worked perfectly.  The sled was more stable yet maintained flexibility, and the increased weight was minimal.  At Sheep Mtn. in 2008, just before the race start, I was walking behind Jeff King as we headed to the start when I noticed he stopped to look at my sled.  He didn’t know me, or that I was behind him, so I just watched.  Eventually I approached Jeff and asked what he thought of the sled and if he noticed anything different.  He asked “so how did it come from Hans?” and “what did you do to modify it?”  I showed him and he seemed generally interested in the “shock absorber like” stanchions I had added.  “I like

your idea” he said as we both got into race mode, eventually adding “how many miles do you have on that sled?”  This was an obvious jab at my limited experience at that time, as I had only run local Nome Kennel Club races while living in Nome prior to that year at Sheep Mtn.  Nonetheless, coming from the man who invented the modern-day sit down sled and many other mushing innovations, I was only too happy to listen to him.  Hans eventually saw my modification and even produced some sleds with a UHMW stanchion (I saw Sebastian sitting on one in a picture accompanying a story on the Fairbanks symposium a year or two later).  Hans said the channel at the top wasn’t really necessary as the mechanism at the bottom already provided flex, but he acknowledged the idea was a good one.   Additional modifications to that sled included additional stainless eyebolts on the taildragger portion for securing bungees; extra holes drilled here and there for the same purpose including to mount an additional bungee to help support the weight of an ice-laden drag (which, on a taildragger is almost never flipped up); and reflective tape for increased visibility.  The modifications were completed over a weekend, total time invested was about 8 to 10 hours, and that included sewing straps (with velcro closures) on the bag and drilling with old drill bits.  Cost for the materials was approximately $75.00 as I got the UHMW from the scrap bin and only had to pay for the forming, and the rest of the materials (stainless steel hardware, bungees, material, etc.) was readily available at AIH and REI.   FYI   I sold the sled to a rookie in the 2010 Iditarod when I thought I was getting out of dogs.  He went on to sell it to Raymie Redington.  I now own and use one of Hans Gatt’s personal sleds (the sled he won the Quest on in 2010 and which he used for part of that year’s 2nd place Iditarod finish).  It’s in good shape, and though it’s not a taildragger, I’m already looking for ways to personalize it.  I’ll be ordering another Gatt taildragger soon. Sincerely, Robert Tasso      Mushing Magazine

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Traditional Komatik Dog Sled Submited by Scott Hudson I am responding to your request regarding articles on Mushing Equipment. My name is Scott Hudson; I am from and live in Labrador. As you may be aware this northern part of Canada has a rich dog sledding history. As a Inuit-Metis person (mix of european and Inuit), sled dogs are a huge and very important part of my past and cultural idenity. I strive to stay connected to my dog sledding past. One way in which I maintain this connection is by building and using the tradional komatik. The komatik is the age old sled used by the Inuit (my ancestors).   The sled is constructed of runners and small individual planks that run across the top. Komatiks are traditionally 6-7 feet long and 2.5 feet wide and take roughly 18-20 hours to construct.   I will forward a pic as well. If interested I can forward additional information.   Nakkumek/Thank-You, Scott   Goose Bay, Labrador

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Dog Sled Pulk Submited by Johanne Sundby When I go on longer trips, I sometimes want to bring along frozen meat or other dog food, that is not so nice to have inside the sled with dry gear and sleeping bags. I have found a cheap commercial transport pulka in plastic (Called a Paris Pulk), normally made for being pulled by a skier -  that is ideal for that purpose. The snag is to attach this plastic sled / pulk tightly to some small hooks at the back of your runnes so that it doesn’t bounce around.  I can send a piscture of the pulk. If the meat melts inside this shell, it doesn’t matter...... PS: There is one called Fjellpulken Transporter, too, which may be used. It is produced by the Norwegian company Fjellpulken, which usually produces child carrier pulkas. Johanne Sundby Norway

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Cable Drop Lines with Swivel Submited by Diana Miller Hi you two, Darn, have been too busy.  I wanted to send Phil Selover’s cable drop lines.  Have never seen them duplicated and they are really super.  I wish he would make them to sell.. So maybe next year.  Actually we sold most of our equipment  so I had to go find these on a truck that he made them for.   so maybe next year.  If I can convince him to make a few sets, we can advertise in Mushing. Sending just a few photos anyway.  Dogs never tangle unless you let the snaps get old and they are easy to replace.  Also very safe. Am sending a photo or too anyway.    I was going to take some better pics. Have a good winter. Diana Diana Miller Bakavi@comcast.net

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Adapted Clothing Layer Submited by Lewis Elin This isn’t as much modified as it is adapted.  In order to create an extra layer of insulating air that also ventilates the moisture via the chimney effect without bulk and weight, I wear a bullet-proof vest T-shirt over my base layer.  This is a nylon or polyester mesh T-shirt with thick vertical ribs spaced a couple inches apart on the front and back.  The idea is that the ribs channel the moisture for the upward air to move out at the neck.  It’s not perfect, but it does work. Lewis R, Elin Chicago, IL

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Reader Submitted Gear Mods / 2011

Steel All Terrain Dog Sled Submited by Craig Kendall Hello Mushing Magazine,  My name is Craig Kendall, Im 32 years of age and I work as an anaesthetic nurse for the NHS.  I live in Parkgate, North West United Kingdom. I breed Alaskan Malamutes X Siberian Huskies (huskamutes) with my two dogs Jack and Mya. Jack is a black and white Alaskan Malamute and Mya is a red and white huskamute. The picture ive sent is with one of last years pups “Molly”. I feel that the cross works better in the warmer weathers in England. I usually run my dogs on a bike or scooter just for fun but in the winter of 2010 we saw a lot of snow where I live so it was to dangerous to run the bike or scooter so I decided to make a sled, but it had to be cheap and effective as times are hard and money is tight. I had some old pieces of metal tubing lying round in the garage and with the help of the internet printed of some pictures of sleds to help my design. The most difficult part to build was the front as I didn’t have the equiptment to

bend the tubing. Instead I used the back of a car seat. A porche 911 car seat to be precise. I also used elasterplast bandage from work on top of foam from the car seat as grips on the handle bar. At first I used wooded runners but they damaged easily so I cut up a plastic patient patslide that we use to transfer patients from trolley to operating table( this was an old one that was being thrown out of course). The plastic runners where fantastic and when people where struggling to get their cars to the shops in the snow I whizzed past with my new sled and dog team. All in all my new sled didn’t cost me a penny(or a dollar). The metal tubing was just lying round in the garage, the porche car seat was given to me by a friend who was just interested to see what I would do with it and the elasterplast and patslide was being thrown away so I recycled it. Just wish we got a bit more snow in Parkgate so i could use it a bit more. Happy Mushing and HIKE,HIKE!!!!!!!!!

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White Ash Homemade Dog Sled Submited by Bob Ducey I made this sled using white ash.I also used a black umhw handlebar and brush bow.I bolted all of the components to angle to make it easier to replace parts. It has qcr runners,air bob footboards,bar brake,and a flip up drag mat.It took 1 day to build,with a total cost of $400.00.I got the majority of the parts from Adanac sleds,great people by the way!I designed and made the flip up drag.I used a marine grade oil for the finish.I had a lot of fun building this sled!

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Reader Submitted Gear Mods / 2011

Have a gear modification you would like to submit? Please email us photos and an explanation to info@mushing.com. We’ll update this e-publication regularly.

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Reader Submitted Gear Mods / 2011

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Mushing Magazine Reader Submitted Gear Mods