What to Wear Dog Sledding

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When going dog sledding, it’s essential to dress appropriately to stay warm, dry, and comfortable in cold and snowy conditions. Here are some recommendations for what to wear when dog sledding:

Layering:

Base Layer: Start with a moisture-wicking base layer close to your skin. This helps to keep sweat away from your body, preventing you from getting cold. Long underwear or leggings are a great choice.

Insulating Layer: Add an insulating layer to retain body heat. Fleece or down jackets work well for this purpose.

Outer Shell: Wear a waterproof and windproof jacket and pants to protect yourself from snow and wind. This outer shell should also be breathable to prevent overheating.

Pants:

Opt for pants that are both waterproof and windproof to protect against snow, sleet, and wind. Look for materials such as Gore-Tex or similar breathable, waterproof fabrics.

Snow pants or overalls (bib pants) can be an excellent choice for dog sledding, especially in snowy conditions. These pants extend higher on the chest, providing additional protection against snow entering your clothing.

Footwear:

Choosing the right footwear for dog sledding is crucial to ensure warmth, comfort, and safety in cold and snowy conditions.

Select insulated, waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry. Look for boots with insulation materials such as Thinsulate, PrimaLoft, or similar synthetic or natural fibers. Waterproof materials like Gore-Tex or similar membranes help keep moisture out.

Opt for boots with soles that provide good traction on snow and ice. Rubberized or lugged soles with deep treads help prevent slipping, especially when walking around sleds or on slippery surfaces.

Choose socks made of insulating materials that provide warmth without causing your feet to overheat. Wool, especially Merino wool, is an excellent choice for its insulation properties and moisture-wicking ability.

Consider the thickness of the socks based on the weather conditions. In colder temperatures, thicker socks or a layering strategy with a thin liner sock and a thicker outer sock can provide added insulation.

Consider wearing high-cut or knee-high socks to provide additional coverage and insulation for your lower legs. This can help prevent snow from entering your boots and keep your calves warm.

Head and Neck:

An insulated hat or knit cap made from materials like fleece, wool, or synthetic insulation is crucial for providing warmth in cold temperatures. Ensure that the hat covers your ears to protect them from frostbite.

Protect your neck and lower face from the cold wind with a neck gaiter or scarf. Protect your eyes from the glare of the snow and wind. Goggles can be especially useful if the weather is windy or if you’ll be sledding through blowing snow.

Gloves or Mittens:

Selecting the right gloves for dog sledding is crucial to keep your hands warm, dry, and comfortable in cold and potentially wet conditions. Mittens generally provide better warmth, but gloves offer more dexterity.

Choose gloves or mittens that are both insulated and waterproof. These will provide warmth and protect your hands from snow, sleet, and moisture. Mittens generally provide better warmth as they keep fingers together, sharing warmth.

Additional Accessories:

Consider bringing disposable hand and toe warmers for extra warmth, especially if the temperatures are extremely cold.

Apply sunscreen to exposed skin, as snow can reflect sunlight and intensify UV exposure. Protect your lips from wind and cold by using a moisturizing lip balm.

Backpack:

Carry a small backpack to store additional layers, snacks, water, and any personal items you might need.

Remember that temperatures can vary, and conditions may change throughout the day. It’s crucial to be prepared for the specific weather conditions you may encounter during your dog sledding adventure.

Always check the weather forecast for the day and adjust your clothing accordingly. Additionally, consult with the outfitter or guide organizing the dog sledding experience for any specific recommendations based on their local conditions.

Sources:
“Dressing For Dogsledding is Easy.” Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, dogsledding.com/clothing-for-your-wintergreen-trip
“What Do I Wear for an Alaskan Dog Sled Tour?” Trail Breaker Kennel, trailbreakerkennel.com/2021/01/28/what-do-i-wear-for-an-alaskan-dog-sled-tour/

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