Kicksledding with kids?

11:41 p.m. on December 27, 2011 (EST)
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Is there anyone out there who could share their kicksledding experience? I'm not in so much for mushing dogs as pushing my kids around as an incentive to get them out of the house. It sure looks fun but I would be grateful to hear about actual experiences.

Any insights about running Silverton kicksleds would also be most welcome.

2:35 a.m. on December 28, 2011 (EST)
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I have a Maine made kicksled which I really like. http://www.mainemadedogsleds.com/Recreationalkicksled.html

It took a little while to train my dog, but once she got the hang of it we had a blast. It does take a little effort on the riders part because you really do need to help the dog out a good bit. It is a whole lot of fun and would be an awesome experience for your kids. Start training your dog now on walks with commands, it will make your life much easier.

7:18 p.m. on January 6, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks for your response - I had asked because Amazon has some Mountain Boy Sledworks Silverton Kicksleds available for super-low prices.  Now they have a 25% additional discount, so the basic model costs $187.50 with free shipping, instead of $320 retail.  I had been concerned because the reviews give reports of unreliable packaging. My order arrived yesterday and the UPS driver almost didn't deliver it.  It turns out the steel runners ship in a 6' long box that gets pretty beat up but the runners were fine.  The wooden seat and handlebar were packaged in a separate box and all the hardware was intact and held in place with shipping materials.

Now all we need is another good storm...

If anyone else is interested, check out

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OVDT12 and

http://www.mountainboysleds.com/silverton_kicksled.htm

you can also roll your own with the instructions here...

http://www.patrickdanforth.com/build/spark_bu.htm


kicksled.jpg

7:25 p.m. on January 6, 2012 (EST)
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PS: These sled dogs are more likely to get carried than pull their weight...
DSCF0096.jpg

7:46 p.m. on January 6, 2012 (EST)
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Make sure to have a snow brake! Once a dog really gets into it sometimes they wont stop for anything, especially when they are untrained in the art of sledding. They are easy to make , or you can buy one. I just use a tail end of a broken tow chain, its like 3 links and the hook part of it. Basically it just needs to be something with a little weight to it that will create alot of drag. When your ready to stop you just kick the brake off the sled and in short order you will stop. I have seen people use everything from a commercial snow brake, to a claw hammer, chain loops, etc. Just tie it off with a light utility cord.

http://www.affordabledogsleds.com/snowhooks.htm

Also waxing the rails helps alot. I use beeswax, but there are tons of cheaper waxes you can use. Just buy a block from a crafts store and melt it yourself and rub on. A well waxed rail will run much smoother and be easier for you and the dog(s)

Aso, make sure the dog has a pulling harness, also called a X back or cross back harness. You can get them for cheap from main sledding supply stores online. DO NOT use a regular harness on a dog for pulling, it is easy for them to get hurt as it doesnt distribute the weight appropiately. http://www.affordabledogsleds.com/harnesses.htm

Most importantly have fun!

August 28, 2014
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