The magazine of dog-powered adventure
L A U N T N N A PME I Y U R EQ ECTO R I D Annual Equipment Issue November/December 2012 #149 $4.95 U.S.
Gear Guide SuperDogs Eddy Streeper
Long Term Gear Review Ryan Anderson Media Review
Sled Dog Photography Lobbens & Mukluks Training & Kennel Software
Beginner Basics Off the Trail Vet Check
Annual Equipment Issue
GEAR GUIDE 2012 adanacsleds.com COMPLETELY PADDED COLLARS Our design for 24-7 movers in the kennel. These collars are regular full circle or limited slip collars that are completely fleece padded with the same adjustment you are used to with our collars. These collars have ended collar rub in many kennels already using them. Works great.
HEAVY DUTY QUICK RELEASES Are you tired of your slip knot not slipping when you are ready to go? Forget about the little panic snaps or quick releases like you find for horse leads. When you need a strong, solid quick release, our heavy duty release is superb. It can be used with two separate ropes or it can be tied right into your existing snub line at a convenient position whether on a 4-wheeler, cart, or sled. It is made of heavy welded steel, with a pull rope and it won’t release prematurely. Once you use it, it is doubtful you will ever go back to the lighter ones, pull sticks, sailing snaps, or slip knots.
ARCTIC OVEN TENT – Arctic Oven Tent – The ultimate cold weather camping tent! With its condensation-free interior and the option of using a stove inside for warmth, the Arctic Oven tent provides a sanctuary from harsh winter conditions. The warm and dry interior allows 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. The simple construction provides a quick and easy setup experience in any condition. These tents are designed and hand crafted by Alaska Tent & Tarp.
Special Advertising Section
ARCTIC OVEN PIPELINE TENT Arctic Oven Pipeline Tent – When you need a lightweight tent that will pack into tight spaces, such as a dog sled, airplane or raft, the Arctic Oven Pipeline is the perfect choice! The newest member of the Arctic Oven tent line boasts a superior weight-to-space ratio at less than 20 pounds and more than 65 square feet of space. The simple tunnel design provides an easy setup experience in any condition and features superior functionality in high wind situations due to its short profile and strategic stakeout locations. These tents are designed and hand crafted by Alaska Tent & Tarp.
DOG JACKETS: Dog Jackets: These are made of windproof, waterproof and breathable material and insulation. They weigh approx. 8 oz each. Size range from SM-XL
SCOOTER NOODLE The Alpine Outfitters’ Scooter Noodle keeps your scooter line away from your front wheel; helps prevent tangling and accidents. Easy to use, just run your scooter line through the Scooter Noodle. Nylon webbing clips around your handlebar and suspends the Noodle over your front tire; it is easily adjusted to your desired height and angle. Available in Blue, Orange, Yellow and Red.
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.
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 3½ 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. 28 november/december
cudosrigs.co.uk CUDOS RIGS QUADRIGA Handles as well as the tried and tested Cudos rig, but with so much stability and braking power that running 8 dogs is now a viable option. Frame: Fabricated from 316L stainless steel, acid pickled and mirror polished by hand after fabrication. STAB footrests as standard. Front suspension and steering: Independent anodized alloy wishbones mounted on Powerflex polyurethane bushes Air shock absorbers with oil damping, adjustable preload and rebound damping • Cartridge kingpin bearings Rod end bearings used throughout the steering linkage • Cartridge bearing Aheadset • CNC alloy MTB 4 bolt stem • Cudos Stainless steel handlebars in a choice of heights Wheels and Brakes: Sturmey Archer XFD Cartridge bearing hubs all round • Alex DA22 20X451 (1 1/8”) aero profile double skin rims as standard, with a choice of tyres. Optional Alex Z1000 20X406 (1.75) rims and tyres Double cable brake levers, each operating a front and rear brake
dogbooties.com X-BACK HARNESS - The Dogbooties.com X-Back Harness is a result of over 6 years of testing and development and has been used by Jamie Nelson in the 2006 Iditarod and John Baker in the 2005 and 2006 Iditarods. Nancy and Roger Johnson’s teams used these in the 2006 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.
dogpaddlegear.com SHERPA SLED This sled can haul it all.. The Sherpa was inspired and designed after sleds used by the arctic expolorers of team GoNorth. These sleds are built to haul large loads over rough terrain. Whether on a trans-arctic expedition, caribou hunting trip, or for everyday use on the trapline, these sleds are tough. Specifications and Options: Laminated white ash runners 3” tall and 2” wide with .5” UHMW screw on runners and 8’, 9’ or 10’ UHMW plastic bed, 20 - 28” width. Optional vertical handles for more turning power with large loads. Rope sides to help hold and lash large loads.
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.
hilleberg.com SAITARIS Hilleberg’s innovative, spacious, exceptionally strong self-supporting tent built for the toughest conditions. Our new Saitaris is the tent to use anytime overall strength and stability are the most significant priorities. It is ideal for exacting base camp use, especially in high mountains, exposed or above tree line terrain, and arctic environments. It is also an excellent option for particularly demanding mobile journeys in exposed and/or relentlessly harsh conditions. At the same time, the Saitaris is appropriate anytime roomy comfort is important. The Saitaris’ Kerlon 1800 outer tent fabric, 10 mm poles and dome construction unques-
gattsled.com CUSTOM SLEDS
tionably make it the exceptionally rugged tent it is, capable of handling both heavy wind and snow loads. But the Saitaris’ design is what truly sets it apart. Its innovative pole system puts two lengthwise poles, in full pole sleeves, across the tent’s peak, and two side poles in three-quarter length pole sleeves that lay across both lengthwise poles. The lower portion of the side poles are fastened by clips, and all four poles are secured by the same adjustable pole tensioners found in our tunnel tents, imparting the proper pole tension for optimal structural strength. This system makes for an extremely robust, extraordinarily roomy dome tent that can be set up without difficulty by one person, even in bad weather.
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. Talk to Hans about custom sleds or designs. Every Gatt Sled is built by Hans Gatt alone.
Annual Equipment Issue
GEAR GUIDE 2012
Special Advertising Section
howlingdogalaska.com LIGHTWEIGHT HARNESS This is the ultimate racing harness! We have recently improved this popular harness by using even lighter, softer and wider HD designer webbing. Plus the harness now features reflective patches – a feature required by many distance and mid-distance races. The Light Weight Harness is the perfect fitting harness for any athletic racing sled dog. Howling Dog had designed this harness to fit both pointer crosses and Alaska huskies. This harness is also suited for lean Siberians and other “racy” looking breeds. The Light Weight Harness is made out of one inch wide lightweight, extremely durable tubular webbing, Specially constructed breastplate design minimizes harness turning and under arm harness rubbing. Closed cell soft foam padding extends along the harness’ entire length for added comfort. Great value for the price! Product details at www.howlingdogalaska.com.
ASTA OIL Howling Dog is now offering Astaxanthin, one of their bestselling supplements, in a new liquid form. The liquid properties of this supplement make it easier to store (the product is more stable), and easier to dispense amongst individual dogs. Astaxanthin, a naturally occurring carotenoid pigment, is a powerful biological antioxidant. Supplementing this revolutionary antioxidant will make dogs run farther and faster by minimizing lactic acid build up in their muscles. Its supplementation minimizes the old “tying up” syndrome. Performance of dogs increases. Supplementing Astaxanthin to working and racing dogs is highly recommended by top canine nutritionist and top open class musher Arleigh Reynolds. Howling Dog Alaska is currently the only place in the US offering this product. Product details at www.howlingdogalaska.com.
HIGH TECH BELLY BLANKET ARCTIC SERIES: Belly blankets are made of THERMA STRETCH POLARTEC® - windproof and water resistant - slick finish on outside so snow does not stick to it - fleece inside for added warmth Belly blankets have Velcro straps for adjusting the girth.
CAN AM RACE SLED Ideal sled for mid-distance, stage and long distance races This sled can be dis-assembled for more economical shipping Sled Specifications: Stanchions with carbon fiber sleeving Bed length 54” and 60” with 8’ runners ; 72” bed length with 9’ runners (special order) Aluminum runners (Matrax)
Sled width 20 1/2” (outside to outside of runner) Handlebar height-adjustible 34”-40” above footboards Bar brake with independent, lift-up spiked drag mat
mtnridge.com MUSHERS FIRST AID TM Mushers First AidTM is 25% Emu Oil; a deep penetrating (Trans-Dermal Carrier) packed with Omega 3-6-9 and other fatty acids to give the skin nutrients as well as elasticity, it is naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and healing. Emu Oil with its anti-inflammatory and healing characteristics is used for its ability to deeply carry and enhance the healing properties of the herbs and essential oils that are also in the product. All natural Mushers First AidTM is designed to easily penetrate the hair and skin to reach the affected area. It reduces inflammation and promotes rapid healing of joints such as strained wrists and shoulders; it is also extremely effective in healing open wounds, punctures, pad slices and fissures. Use from head to toe on joints or cuts, one product will heal just about any injury and works very well under Wristwraps and Therapeutic shoulder vests. Mushers First AidTM will aid whatever ails your canine athletes!
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 siderelease 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. 30 november/december
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!
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.
prairiebiltsleds.com SNOW HOOK Our customers were asking for a good snow hook, so we decided to produce one. Our experience with farm tillage tools allows us the knowledge to produce a hook with the correct angles and shape. The tines of the snow hook are laser cut from high tensile steel for optimum strength and perfection. The hook is designed to set and hold and the fins on the tines keep it from pulling through the snow. Lightweight and balanced for easy handling and can be easily released from a tree or post under pressure. This hook will right itself when dropped. Capable of holding large dog teams. Powder coated in black for lasting protection.
NITRO 60 PRO New for the 2012-13 season: The Nitro 60 Pro. It’s the Nitro 60 beefed up. We beefed up the Nitro 60 a bit. To make this sled perform at its maximum level, we gave it a stronger frame design; Larger rear frame tubes, frame rails with load supports and heavy duty shock absorbers. These added features allow carrying more gear while still maintaining the well known performance that makes the Nitro so popular. As a bonus, we added ball joints on the upper pivots for smoothness, runner inserts for longevity and 88cal. brake points for maximum stopping ability. It doesn’t get any better than this. For the best dog sled equipment on the market, see us at prairiebiltsleds.com.
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.
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. Camuks™ and CamukXtreme™ 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 System™, 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. mushing magazine
Annual Equipment Issue
Long Term Gear Review
he following products were used by myself and friends over the course of the past 6-12 months or more . Some were sent to
us as promotional items, others I purchased. Using quality gear can make our jobs a lot easier, keep us safer and warmer and allow us to concentrate more on what matters... the dogs. Please keep in mind, the opinions expressed here are just mine and your experiences may or may not be the same. Through this long term gear review, I hope to give you some purchasing knowledge, but encourage you to do your own research also. If you make or distribute gear related to mushing and cold weather outdoor pursuits and want to have that gear reviewed, please send an email to: email@example.com. GS
Darn Tough Socks
By Greg Sellentin
Men’s Mountaineering Extra Cushion
I have somewhat cold-sensitive feet, so I’m always looking for a good cold-weather sock. This is one of the better ones I’ve found, and it is one beefy, warm sock. Darn Tough Socks, out of Vermont is committed to making the best socks in the world, and I’ve yet to find a pair better made than these. Using a combination of Merino Wool, Lycra and Spandex, these are the most dense and durable socks I’ve seen. Darn Tough offers an unconditional lifetime guarantee on each pair. All last winter, spring and this fall, I’ve worn the same pair two to three times a week, sometimes without washing... gasp... and have only begun to wear through on the back of the heel. I have an oddly shaped heel that rubs pretty hard against all my boots, so someone with a more normal shaped foot might not have this problem. They have lasted about 4 times as long as my second favorite socks from Cabela’s. They are very warm, wick moisture well, and pricey, but still a value if you spend lots of time in cold weather boots. darntough.com
Bogs Arctic Roamer It’s hard not to laugh at boot manufacturers’ temperature rating claims. For instance, this Arctic Roamer model from venerable rubber and neoprene boot maker Bogs, is rated down to -65°F. I seriously doubt anyone from Bogs has ever experienced -65°F. Most mushers haven’t. Having said that, for a boot of this type-waterproof, rubber and neoprene, it is a pretty warm boot. I wore my pair last winter down to about 0°F while moving around and was comfortable, but the true test of a boot is how warm they keep your feet just standing on the sled runners, or sitting on an ATV for hours, which is even colder in my opinion. These boots have 1000 gram Thinsulate insulation and molded rubber soles and uppers. At 16" high, they are quite tall and interfered with my leg movement, as well as being tight around my calfs. I decided to do a little modification and cut the uppers off just below the lacing eyelets. I love the idea of a simple, slip on and off, warm boot, and these now fit the bill. They are more comfortable, and lighter, and I found I just don’t need all that height on the leg. For me, they are this fall season’s “go to” boot of choice for me while I ATV train for up to 2 hours at a time at temperatures sometimes as low as the single digits. Because these are made of non-breathable fabric, I do leave them in front of the woodstove at night, and they are perfectly dry the next day. They would also be good if you have cold sensitive feet in warmer, slushier snow conditions. bogs.com
Arctic Oven Pipeline Tent Last year I traveled by snowmachine just behind the dog teams during Iditarod. I camped alone along the trail and in checkpoints. All along the trail, there was one brand of tent that outnumbered all others probably by 10 to 1: Arctic Oven. Each Arctic Oven is made by hand in Fairbanks, Alaska, and is a unique design of special breathable, and somewhat insulating inner tent fabric called Vapex™ and the outer is 4oz. urethane coated oxford nylon. This new lighter and more packable “sister” tent to the more famous full size Arctic Oven tent was designed for cold weather camping and comes in two sizes. It is perfect for traveling by dog team, snowmobile, boat or car camping, albeit a bit too heavy for backpacking. At the time of testing, the tent came in versions with and without a stove pipe jack. I chose the one without, and used a portable Mr. Buddy-type propane heater. The Vapex™ fabric allowed all the moisture from the propane combustion to vent, leaving absolutely no condensation on the interior of the tent. I was simply amazed. The new versions of this tent all come standard with a stove jack. These tents are not inexpensive, but for a handmade in USA product, that will literally last a lifetime, it is an incredible value. There are two size options each with different vestibule lengths. I can’t recommend this tent highly enough. alaskatent.com
Here in Willow, Alaska we have about 10 days per year where wearing some sort of traction on the bottom of your boots is helpful. On a few of those days, when it is really icy, it can be downright hazardous to work in the kennel without using YakTrax™ or even better these MICROSpikes®. Kahtoola makes serious mountain climbing equipment and it is pretty evident that these result from trickle-down technology. They are basically mini-crampons that you can walk around in. Built with robust chromed chains and a really flexible, durable rubber elastomer material that easily stretches over shoes and boots and stays on securely, these should last a very long time. Traction? You could probably climb a vertical ice wall with these. They make YakTrax™ look like toys. Overkill? Not if you don’t want to fall or if you don’t want to keep replacing lower priced units with inferior rubber. I’ve used these for 2 winters now and there is absolutely no wear and tear. My wife used YakTrax™ and had gone through at least a pair per year. I recommend them highly. Just don’t wear them on your hardwood floors. kahtoola.com
Zero DC Fastback Harness
Non-Stop FreeMotion Harness
Another non-traditional harness design, the Non-Stop FreeMotion harness is designed to allow a customized fit for individual dogs and an unobstructed breathing area for chest expansion. Choose the size harness that fits the neck of your dog, then use the quick adjusting buckles to get the perfect length of side strap and overall length. All dogs are built differently and this design addresses that. The side straps also have sections of elastic that expand when the dog strides. The top of the harness has a typical webbing attached to the neck that lays between the scapula blades, but the webbing that has most of the pulling force extends all the way to the neck padding to more evenly distribute force. Mainly designed for skijoring, canicross and bikejoring, the design also works for regular team situations. (Non-Stop makes a more traditional x-back style harness also) I’ve been using this design on some of my harder to fit dogs that fall between sizes in my regular harnesses. I’ve found that I set the adjustments at certain lengths and don’t change them often. The quality webbing materials and waterproof padding really held up through the rigourous touring season. I loaned one to a friend of mine last summer and he won’t give it back. He likes it so much, he even used it during Iditarod 2012! non-stopdogwear.no
Sorel Intrepid Explorer
This thoroughly unique harness solves the problem of sliding too far to the left or right on the dog’s chest by a completely different method than the standard and traditional x-backs, h-backs or split chest variety harnesses. Utilizing wider fabric, not webbing, pleats and darts, the neck, and breast sections conform to the shape of the dog and absolutely will not shift to one side or the other. This is where this harness excels. The part that I’m not sure of is the area behind the front legs and the back straps—designed for a higher attachment point when skijoring than when attached to a sled. There seems to be a bit of pressure downward on the hips when the tug line is attached low. I do see quite a few of the smaller sprint dog teams from Europe using these, mostly 4-dog teams, but most of the time they are used for skijoring and canicross. I’ve used mine on various dogs throughtout last winter, through the summer tourist season in Skagway where the rain and dirt can destroy gear quickly, and they have really held up. When my standard harnesses cause rub spots on some dogs, I change to these for a while. A well made product from the Czech Republic, they are available in the U.S. from skijornow.com
Lightweight, breathable, modular, and warm: all the things you want in an extreme cold weather boot. Using polyurethane and rubber in the sole and near the bottom of the boot, and a waterproof fabric on the gaiter section, Sorel has tweaked what is generally the best way to construct a cold weather boot. The base insulation is a 13mm heavy felt boot, but there is also a 13mm felt and polypropolene “melt down” midsole footbed that can transfer dreaded heat-robbing moisture away from the insulating layers and into the bottom of the boot. This is probably one of the best cold-weather boots in this price range, comparable well to the popular Cabela’s Trans-Alaska series. It is the only boot I use in extremely cold conditions. sorel.com The two midsoles at left insert under the felt boot, and the one to the right goes into the boot. There is also insulation in the bottom of the outer boot itself.
Annual Equipment Issue
GearNews The gear listed on this page has not been tested or used by Mushing Magazine. The information was gathered from company press releases and web research. We encourage our readers to do their own research on these products before purchasing.
Petzl NAO headlamp Petzl’s NAO Headlamp is of a new breed of “intelligent” headlamp that utilizes self adjusting beam intensity depending on different lighting needs. Petzl calls their technology “Reactive Lighting.” How it works: There is a sensor on the front of the headlamp, that reads how much light is reflected back to the headlamp and adjusts the output to suit. This can also save battery life, as only the sufficient amount of power needed is used. Use: You can have the headlight on high (300 lumens) running dogs at night and tilt your head down to look at, or into your, sled bag and not get blasted with light and the resulting momentary blindness. Tech: A lithium Ion battery (best in cold conditions) is rechargeable and has an integrated USB connection for charging from computers or autos with a simple adaptor. There is also an optional belt kit for the battery, which is almost mandatory for headlamps in cold conditions to prolong battery life.
GoPro Hero 3 The newest version in the wearable, mountable helmet camera market is market leader GoPro’s HERO3. Smaller lighter and touted as twice as powerful, the wi-fi enabled HERO3 has a processor that is twice as fast as the HERO2. Other features include: • Professional quality HD video & 12mp stills. • Live video preview and remote control via built in wi-fi utilizing smartphones and tablets. (GoPro app necessary) or with the remote control (non-video preview). • Time tested, rugged, waterproof housing. • Compatibility with all existing GoPro mounts. • Compatible with LCD, battery, and other BacPacs from older versions. • Many resolution and frame per second shooting options. • Some resolution settings include ultra wide, medium and narrow focal length options. • Special features such as photo burst, time lapse, and simultaneous video & photo. Editor’s notes pertaining to mushing use: • Of all the wearable cameras on the market, GoPro by far has the most extensive and flexible mounting systems. They range from attachment points to gear, body, helmets and more. • The medium and narrow focal length options are super important when trying to video your team using a wearable camera. Ultra wide-angle lens settings are great for snowboarding and other single participant action sports, but using such a wide setting usually only reveals your wheel dogs. Using a narrower (longer) focal length can make for a better view of the dogs in the front of your team. There are drawbacks such as more apparent camera movement and the necessity of more accurate framing, but the wi-fi and smartphone preview capabilities can help with this. We are eagerly awaiting our GoPro HERO3 test unit for long term review. 24 november/december
Sled dog and cold weather outdoor gear guide.