Pulk sleds

Posted by: bluefish

Pulk sleds - 01/20/14 06:54 PM

My wife and I went up Mt. Greylock, the highest mountain in Mass. today, and as we passed a shelter, I was telling her how I wanted to come back and stay overnight soon. As the road to the top is closed, it's basically a 2500' gain in 6.5 miles up the road if you wish. I thought a pulk sled would be ideal, as I always have a problem with sweating beneath my pack in the winter. I always get by with a change of shirt, it's just annoying and a little uncomfortable at times to change in below zero wind chills . I always hike cold and wear wicking base layers , it just happens, even when I use external frame packs.
Has anyone used a pulk sled and have any comments or sugestions?
I used an ice fishing Jett sled once into a shelter on a lake, but that was very flat, easy terrain and I didn't use any type of harness, just a pull rope.
By the way we had a great hike with light snow, she wore micro-spikes, I used my antique SMC 10 pts. Was icy in spots, but not much for snow. We left the snowshoes in the car. The weather was so warm last week, bear tracks were all over the place, as they came out of hibernation for awhile!
Posted by: jimmyb

Re: Pulk sleds - 01/20/14 10:28 PM

Glad you had a nice hike at Greylock. We are about an hour 1/2 from there and have been to the Mtn many times. We have stayed at most of the shelters there. If you don't like the idea of using the road there are various ways up to shelters or to the BPers campground. We have parked on the Western side of the park at the Haley farm area. There are 3 trails in from there. Also on the Western side of the park off rt 7 there is the roaring brook trail. For a quick overnight the BPers campground isn't a bad place to stay. There is plenty of downfall wood for a nice fire. In the last few years they have added bear boxes to all the shelters we were at. The only thing is I cant vouch for the roads into these parking areas in the winter or if the trails will be useable. We usually go in the spring or fall just before the snow comes. You can get a lot of info on the States Greylock reservation web sight. If you need any local knowledge I would be glad to help if I can.

Posted by: bluefish

Re: Pulk sleds - 01/21/14 08:18 AM

Jimmy, I'm even more local, as we live just north of Bennington. We've done most of the trails on Greylock and stayed at 2 of the shelters. We parked at the Notch Gate just to be easy yesterday. I was hoping someone had some experience with a sled, but I may have to go elsewhere for that info. Money Brook Falls is starting to freeze up again. It'll be impressive after this week being below every night. 20 years ago, I played music in Bascom Lodge on Fri. nights to entertain the thru hikers. It's a great mountain, but I shy from the crowds in good weather and have lots more wilderness to the north of me.
Posted by: jimmyb

Re: Pulk sleds - 01/21/14 10:28 AM

Sorry I couldn't help with the sled. Agree the mtn. can get busy at times. We will do a day hike up there in the busy season now and then but like you will head to less traveled trails to get away.

Posted by: hikerduane

Re: Pulk sleds - 01/21/14 11:05 AM

A few I bp with here in Kalifornia use one now and then. What I see is you need a trail that does not slope much as you go up or down. If there is a side hill, even with a rudder, sometimes the pulk will still slip and may tip. Tough going in deep, fresh snow two. Try and see if it is for you.
Posted by: bluefish

Re: Pulk sleds - 01/21/14 01:56 PM

Duane, I have a couple of places that are very nice winter spots that have closed roads for access. Pretty easy. I can readily see off camber trails would be brutal. I found a plan to take my Jet sled and add pvc conduit poles and the harness from my old Jansport D2. Thanks for the reply. If it works I'll take some pics and report back for at least amusements sake.
Posted by: DTape

Re: Pulk sleds - 01/21/14 10:11 PM

While pulks really excel on flat even terrain like frozen lakes, they can be used in not ideal situations. Sometimes almost necessary albeit not ideal. I have used them along the continuum from the ideal frozen lakes in the Adirondacks for enjoyable lakeside camping to almost bushwhack conditions bringing in 100+ pounds of roofing materials and tools for lean-to repairs.

We use half-inch fiberglass poles attached to the sleds and then waist belt. You want minimal give, and cross the poles to help with tracking. Never had one flip, even on serious side hills. the crossed poles help with this too. The biggest issue with the pulks is not uneven terrain or hills (though obviously uphill is harder). The biggest pain in the keister is blowdown and/or other obstructions when you must unhook and then lift or carry the pulk over something and then reconnect. Once or twice is no big deal, but it can be tiresome when the trail isn't cooperating. Deep snow can also be real tiresome. Once it took me 3 hours to go 7 tenths of a mile breaking trail through 3 feet of snow and dealing with bent over spruce trees obstructing the trail every 15 feet. On the return trip it took half an hour.
Posted by: TomD

Re: Pulk sleds - 01/22/14 02:50 AM

I have used a sled in Yosemite on relatively flat ground and also on hilly terrain on a different trip. First of all, it depends on the sled. Mine was a kid's sled and not that well suited for hauling gear because of the rounded bottom, as I learned the hard way. I used PVC poles clipped to it and the waistband on my pack. That worked really well. A better sled is the Paris Expedition or similar sled with a flat bottom. The Paris sleds are orange. You can buy all the hardware ready made or make it yourself from stuff you'd find at Home Depot, which is way cheaper.

I used my sled with snowshoes and skis and for me, in spite of the problems, it enabled me to camp alone with full winter gear and an expedition tent and not try to carry a really heavy pack, which I can't do. well worth trying.

A good source of info is www.wintertrekking.com The members of that site make toboggans, pulks and sleds of all kinds. Lots of posts on them.
Here is a site that sells sled gear - www.skipulk.com