Scootering and Sledding Gear
|Purchasing gear is often a very confusing issue for urban
mushers. There are SO many options and the selection
to choose from is so vast!
Not to worry...here is a break down of the primary components. If you
need assistance with your selection, e-mail
You can also purchase Alpine Outfitters harnesses, lines,
collars and other gear through
Bakery San Clemente - many items in stock - call them at 949.218.3364 or
send them an
|Probably your most important decision...there are many
great manufacturers out there. The majority of our group runs with
Diggler Scooters www.diggler.com for
many reasons...since this is a big decision, your best bet will be to ask
people with different scooters their opinions at an event!
NOW...Check out the new
|Another decision! Here are just a few links
to great outfitters:
There are many different harness designs, each have benefits depending on
your dog's specific needs. Many urban mushers use the traditional
x-back harness design.
How can you check to see if the x-back harness
fits correctly on my dog?
|Scooter Lines, Tugs, Gang Lines, Neck
Lines, Skijor Lines, Tow Lines - what do I need?
Scooter lines, tow lines or even skijoring lines are all
fashioned in the same way: there is a center line, which includes a
portion with a built-in bungee for shock absorption and then it splits off
into 2 separate tug lines (usually 3 - 4 feet long) so that you can hook up
two dogs to your scooter.
a single line with a loop on one end that attaches to the main line
and a brass snap on the other end which attaches to the harness
Neckline: a short line with brass snaps on each end that attaches
to both dogs at the collar (so they run together). Speaking of
collars, we insist on using either a limited-slip collar or a
full-circle collar - NOT a choke collar when running our dogs. Limited
slip collars prevents a dog from backing out of their collar but they are
prevented from being 'choked' during the run if their dog partner suddenly
decides to put on the brakes during the run. The company's listed
above have really nice selections of collars with large D or O rings to
easily attach the neckline - you can even have your phone number or your
dog's name embroidered on the collar.
an optional attachment that fits under the dog to both
sides of the harness - prevents 'backing' out of the harness.
Bridle: the means by which the scooter (main) line attaches to the
scooter. Most often, people use a locking carabineer attached to the
scooter for quick and easy attachment/detachment purposes.
|If you are looking for a package:
Alpine Outfitters carries a 6-foot two-dog line, a neckline, and a nylon
webbing scooter attachment (which you can wrap around the scooter's stem and
it comes with a D-ring, through which you can then loop the scooter line
through...All this for $35.
Black Ice sells their own 2-dog scooter "tow line" for $28 (http://www.blackicedogsledding.com/page14.html)
but from reading their description, I am not sure what kind of scooter
attachment they include so you can hook up the line to the scooter. Also, I
do not think they include a double-neckline for attaching two dogs at the
collar (normally costs between $4 - $5).
You can also buy a two-dog
skijoring line, and this is readily available from a bunch of other
online outfitters such as Nooksack Racing, Cold Spot Feeds, etc, as well as
both Alpine and Black Ice. Skijoring lines tend to be a little bit more
heavy duty and are also longer --- usually 8, 10, 12 or sometimes even 14
feet long. They may or may not include a neckline and definitely do not
include a scooter attachment.
FYI, you can buy a scooter attachment from Alpine and I think the
cost is $8. However, you can always fashion your own scooter
attachment by wrapping a piece of nylon rope around the stem or
simply by looping the scooter line around the stem. It's not as easy
to take it on and off or not as clean-looking but it does save you a
couple of bucks.
Regarding the length of the scooter line: the longer the line, the less
control you have over the dogs and more chances you have of running over the
line with your front tire, specially if the dogs are not keeping the line
tight. The standard length of Alpine's scooter line is 6-feet but I
personally prefer using an 8-foot line (you can request that they make one
for you at 7 or 8 feet). Since my dogs do go in bursts of speeds, the extra
length gives me more time to react in case I have to swerve or suddenly hit
the brakes. It also makes for a less steeper pulling angle. Note that the
reason skijoring lines are generally longer is because the skis extend
further up front than a bicycle's tires AND also because skis don't have
brakes (other than your butt or face) and so the extra length gives a
skijorer some extra reaction time.
BTW, a true gangline is for use with a sled or cart for a bigger dog team.
However, you can fashion your own scooter line (which is what I've started
doing as well) from different gangline components, making it a modular
system to which you can add more dogs, vary tugline lengths, etc.