Sunday, September 2, 2007
Fall Training Preparation
It's still too warm here in central Minnesota to begin fall training. This begins early in the mornings when temps dip below 50 degrees F. It is time, however, to take inventory of gear and add where needed, repair and replace ropes and give the four wheeled cart a once over to make sure it is in proper working order so we're ready to hit the trail.
This weekend was spent making new sets of cart/sled ropes for the fall and winter; gang line ropes, tug line ropes, attachable neck line ropes, neck line ropes for double leaders, snow hook ropes, quick release ropes, leader section ropes. That should do it.
Three different sizes of polyethylene ropes are used for our freight style mushing; 1/2" for the gang line, quick release lines and snow hook lines, 5/8" for the tug lines and leader section ropes and 3/8" for the neck lines. The rope sections being placed at the back of the line and closest to the cart/sled need to be made a bit longer than the other sections to minimize the downward pull on the wheel dogs' rear ends. Fids are used to make the ropes. Brass clips are needed for the neck lines and tug lines to attach to the dog's collar and harness loops. Each set of ropes then requires a bungee set with a carabinier on either side and a safety line attached to each carabinier just in case the bungee ever breaks. This bungee is used to take some of the shock of the load away from the dogs. Different strengths of bungee are used depending upon the number of dogs and the weight of the load hauled.
There's one project that can be crossed of the list.