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Making a Pulk and need to find right sled
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Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
The right pulk sled for tight trails on 12/18/2010 08:06:15 MST Print View

Personally I too find the Jet Sled Jr. and the Paris Expedition Sled to have too square of a front that constantly gets hung up on brush and trees. When using a pulk on tighter trails (SHT for example) I think the rounded front Paris Glad a Boggin would be a good sled.


One thing to add:

If you're looking to use a pulk sled on any type of hiking trail that runs through forest I would strongly suggest you get a sled no wider than 20 inches, preferably 18 inches. Sleds wider than 20 inches; especially ones with square fronts; tend to get caught up on any and every tree trunk and brush you will come across.

Now if you're going to use your pulk for C.C. skiing or open mountain travel then the wider Paris Expedition and Jet Sled Jr. will work great.

Edited by chadnsc on 12/18/2010 08:15:17 MST.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Re: Paris Expedition Sled at REI on 12/18/2010 11:10:45 MST Print View

Bill, you are right. I just ordered a Paris Expedition sled from REI. It's on backorder but I expect to have it in about 3 weeks.

Also, to clarify: I know exactly what type of hiking I'm using this for and it is NOT bushwhacking so I don't have any problem with it hanging up on tight trails.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
HMMM, THANKS FOR THE CLARIFICATION, enjoy on 12/18/2010 12:27:33 MST Print View

:)

Bill B
(DrPulk) - F

Locale: Oregon
Pulk sled and thick brush on 12/18/2010 12:35:06 MST Print View

Thanks to Jason, Chad and David for your comments about sleds that go through brush better.

You may want to watch the unedited video that I used for my "Design" video on YouTube. Take a look at the first video (Fawn Lake) in this album:

http://vimeo.com/album/6327

I also have videos of my earlier designs. The "C.J. Way" video shows my sled back in the PVC pipe and eye bolt days.

I'm not sure that any sled will work very well off trail through thick brush. In Oregon I take sleds way off trail a lot, but most of the brush and downed trees are covered by snow, which can be over 10 feet deep.

My friend on the Fawn Lake trip did pass too close to a downed tree branch at full speed. He caught the branch between the pole and the sled. It stopped him cold and he fell over, but he wasn't hurt, and the rope attachments and sled weren't damaged. Unfortunately, he wasn't interested in doing it again for the video. :)

The biggest problem I've had with sleds is getting them to follow you around corners on tight trails, sliding down side hills, and rolling over. Crossed poles and aluminum angle runners (or runner) help prevent these problems. Also, a wider, longer sled is best to prevent rolling since you can keep the load lower in the sled.

In a lot of my videos, I'm following a narrow, broken trail that's not wide enough for the sled. It may look like the sled is dragging a lot, but it's not. The side lip of the sled slides easily against the edge of the packed snow. Frequently, the other side rides up on top of the snow. The only "problem" is that the lip scoops snow into the sled. This isn't a big deal with the Paris sled because I pack it so there's no room for snow to accumulate.

On my last trip, I was really impressed with how well the 5.5 foot Beast went around corners with the crossed poles. It handled a 90 degree sharp turn with ease. On the video, the camera on my back turns with me, so the sled was out of the frame during the turn.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
pulk on 12/18/2010 17:56:41 MST Print View

I disagree about the comments about only using the Paris sled in open terrain. I use it on forested trails (I'm in the Rockies) and don't have any problem with it hitting anything. It follows right behind me even when skiing fast downhill (I put fins on for downhill). I find that if I don't walk into a tree, it won't either. :) Bushwacking may be another story but I haven't done that so far. But if I did, I'd generally seek openings rather than plowing through the bush.

Great pulk David!

Edited by rlnunix on 12/18/2010 18:02:57 MST.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
The right pulk for you! on 12/20/2010 15:49:14 MST Print View

I'm glad that your sled works for you on your ski trails Randy. Diffrent width sleds for diffrent hikes / trails. ;)

Edited by chadnsc on 12/20/2010 15:50:41 MST.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Trails on 12/21/2010 11:14:40 MST Print View

Thanks! But just to be clear, they are hiking trails covered in snow that we backcountry ski and snowshoe on. I'm not sure what constitutes a ski trail outside of some kind of groomed runs. But you're right. Whatever works best for each person and their application.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
The right pulk for you on 12/22/2010 16:22:15 MST Print View

Yeah where I tend to hike (Superior Hiking Trail) is cleared to about 18" on the ground. The trail itself has a great deal of steep, but short up and downs with many sharp turns (steep and sharp enough that you can't ski on it).

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
modify on 12/24/2010 05:38:10 MST Print View

Chad,

That's some tough hiking for pulling a sled.
Huh, if you go with a more narrow sled, it will be prone to roll-overs. I may have to ponder this a while.....

Here are some of my thoughts. If you could heat bend the front so that it had more of a point, like a snow plow that breaks in the middle. You may need this to be both from the side to side and top to bottom. That way when you encounter a snag, you can push through instead of banging straight into it.

Move your trace attachements from the top to 1 inch in front and 1 inch down from the frtont of the sled.

shorten the sled for tight turns and the up and downs.

Shorten the traces to less than 6 ft for greater control and a tighter turn radius.

Or, skip the trails and make your own.

Have fun,

Dave

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Narrow pulk sleds on 12/25/2010 12:37:09 MST Print View

Thanks for the tips Dave!

I've found when using a narrower sled (20"or so) you'll have to pack your sled to keep the gear low. Also when using a narrower sled with snowshowes the sled tends to track in the snowshoe tracks rather well. I don't know how well the narrower sled would work when c.c. skiing as I'd think you'd want the wider Paris style sleds for that.

As for pole length I personally like a length of 54 inches in order to help make tighter turns.

Gary Rath
(MudisFun) - F

Locale: PNW
Making a Pulk Sled on 12/22/2011 15:27:12 MST Print View

This was an informative topic to read.
I just finished my own pulk sled and made some changes to fit my needs.
I tried to come up with some new ideas and Im pretty happy with the results so far.
I did go with the Jet Sled Jr. and I don't think it will give me any issues where I go.
I chose it because of its good reviews for going over things and durability.

Pulk Sled with built in rain cover.

Here is also a short video on some stuff I did to it.
Would love your opinions and ideas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t1WikmQ-yk&context=C3a1a6f6ADOEgsToPDskKecP3NILJTaJlm3quZRIPC

Edited by MudisFun on 12/22/2011 17:17:41 MST.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
nice on 12/22/2011 16:56:20 MST Print View

Garry,

Nice sled. I like the integrated cover. This will keep out the snow and the nasties and wont blow away in the wind. The only issue I've seen with the ski-pulk type attachements, is that they can catch on brush and fall off.(the little retaining pin deally whop) Just carry a spare and you should be fime. That sled is heavy duty and should last a few years.


Dave

Edited by dmgoody on 12/22/2011 17:18:09 MST.

Gary Rath
(MudisFun) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: nice on 12/22/2011 17:02:27 MST Print View

I could add the wire that attaches them to the pulk just in case I guess.
But the pins I found have pretty good overlap and I find them a pain to remove sometimes. That and the rubber washer/spacers in the brackets hold them a bit better as well.Mount

Edited by MudisFun on 12/22/2011 17:06:01 MST.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
yes on 12/22/2011 17:16:48 MST Print View

I like the rubber washer idea. It's funny. We are planning to go on a big pulk expedition in January with 12 others and my friend and I just went over our pulk and harness modifications over lunch this past Tuesday. I guess you could call it lack of snow fever.

One other thing we do is that we unroll our foam sleeping pads and place them on top of our gear - in a loose accordion style- before putting the cover on top. This does two things - 1. protects the gear while not curling up. 2. gives us a comfy place to sit - with snowshoes on while we eat our lunch (on top the pulk that is) Looks like you have plenty of room to bring whatever you need.


Enjoy,

Dave

Edit to add - It looks like you trace attachments are riveted on. you might want to bolt these on with a bit of strapping on the inside. This will be your most stressed jount.

Edited by dmgoody on 12/22/2011 17:23:01 MST.

Gary Rath
(MudisFun) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: yes on 12/22/2011 17:21:11 MST Print View

Yeah i'm dying to get out as soon as I can.
I mainly added the rubber washers in so when I turned it made the brackets hit on
the nut not on the ball joints knuckle. Seamed like a safer route.
I did glue them in place so I didn't lose though's

Another thought I had is to make other accessories for where I put the camera mount.
Maybe a waterproof bag that can hold things like compass, map, lunch or other things I might want easy access to without having to open the gear up.

Edited by MudisFun on 12/22/2011 17:23:37 MST.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
easy access on 12/22/2011 17:27:12 MST Print View

my friend put a heavy duty short zipper in front(running right down the middle), so he could get his lunch and small bag with his de-icing kit and safety rope.

We mounted a sled cam (duct tape and short pole) on our last trip and had fun watching the video - good idea on the mount

Dave

P.S. this might get you stoked:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKwhGzmybqo

Edited by dmgoody on 12/22/2011 17:31:39 MST.

Gary Rath
(MudisFun) - F

Locale: PNW
Back into the woods on 12/23/2011 20:00:18 MST Print View

Looks like i'm going out New Years weekend.

Gary Rath
(MudisFun) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: yes on 01/10/2012 12:07:23 MST Print View

Dave

Though's are not rivets, they all have washers and nuts on the underside.
And there is a fair amount of material the way I put it together.
With a 60 lb load I have seen no Issues.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
heading out on 01/12/2012 20:13:54 MST Print View

Glad things worked out for you Gary. How did the camera mount perform? Was the footage choppy or fairly stable?

Heading our for a weeklong sled trip tomorrow - yes, and we are getting a blizzard - too cool.


Dave

Gary Rath
(MudisFun) - F

Locale: PNW
Headed out on 01/12/2012 20:29:43 MST Print View

I tested the camera mount out facing the 2 people behind me and it was smooth and clean,
worked really well. My skeg worked way better than I expected it to as well.

I just changed how the poles attach to the belt, I wasn't fond of the webbing/carabiner method. Now I can attach the poles with the belt on with easy and its stable and stong.
I will post more on that after this weekend.
Im headed up onto Hood for the weekend in the morning.