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#10029 - 09/14/04 10:50 PM Sled/Pack Frame Combo
gardenville Offline
member

Registered: 09/07/03
Posts: 587
Loc: Remember the Alamo - Texas
I made this sled/pack frame and the two pack bags attached. The Sled part was made out of Aluminum and a little wood. The Sled part weighs about 3 pounds. The large pack bag is about 5900cu inches and weighs about 10oz. The pack straps and the smaller bag add about 6 or 8 more ounces.

I made this sled/pack frame last fall for a winter/snow hike I had planned but then there was no snow. Maybe this winter.


Edited by gardenville (09/15/04 09:42 PM)

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#10030 - 09/15/04 08:07 AM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: gardenville]
alanwenker Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 812
Nice workmanship. I've thought of something similar only in reverse - attaching a plastic sled to the back of my internal frame pack for patches of snowless ground.

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#10031 - 09/15/04 08:38 AM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: gardenville]
altadude Offline
member

Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 524
GV:
Beautiful!!! clever idea.......

A number of questions:
1. With the runners, it looks like pulling it in the fluffy powduh would be more difficult than a regular kids sled? In New England hardpack the runners would be OK--i.e. pulling the pulk on ski mobile trails.......
2. the ropes need to attach to your body? are you using a fanny pack? what about the PVC tubing or poles to keep the sled from catching up to you on the downhill?
3. How durable is the pack part? at least in my limited experience and skill, the bag takes a beating against vegetation, rocks, etc. when it is being pulled....
4. how comfortable is the pack on your back?

A

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#10032 - 09/15/04 09:12 AM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: alanwenker]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I also do the plastic kids sled think. Good for trudging or skiing with light to moderate loads and easy to throw on the back when you can't drag it.

I can see the runner sled being better for longer trips with heavier loads, or when the snow isn't so deep and powdery but you would still rather drag something than carry it; like a canvas tent and portable wood stove, and food for a week or two, or Bambi's mom. Even in deep snow with as small a group as 2 or 3 the snow might get trampled enough for a runner sled in the rear and it can be as much work breaking the trail as hauling the sled. A long tobogan might work better in most conditions but can't be carried. A runner sled might also work better on a ski trail or skidoo trail. I should also mention that it is an option to place Rudolfe in front of the sled rather than on it.

I enjoy a good trudge and always wanted to try the canvas tent and wood stove thing.

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#10033 - 09/15/04 10:52 AM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: altadude]
gardenville Offline
member

Registered: 09/07/03
Posts: 587
Loc: Remember the Alamo - Texas
Quote:
GV:
Beautiful!!! clever idea.......

A number of questions:
Q-1. With the runners, it looks like pulling it in the fluffy powduh would be more difficult than a regular kids sled? In New England hardpack the runners would be OK--i.e. pulling the pulk on ski mobile trails.......

A-1. This is a very good question and one that will only answer itself someday. I gave this question a lot of thought. How do I really think I will use this sled/pack the most. My test ground for the sled will be a cross-country ski place in Maine. I am sure I will be able to pull the sled on the groomed trail with little effort. I will also be able to get off the trail and see how it works in different types of snow. I made the runners 1-1/2" wide. I decided that if that didn't work in fresh like snow I could attach a wider runner to the aluminum ones. I looked for a set of used kids ski's but in Texas all I could find were used Adult ski's. If I have to attach a wider runner I will make them out of Teflon. I expect to make a set of Teflon runner to take with me and attach them up there if they are needed. The guy that runs the ski shop should be able to help me and may have a better idea to try. The real test for me would be to hike the 100 Mile Wilderness in snow and see how it works. If it works then a winter AT Thru-Hike going South someday.


Q-2. the ropes need to attach to your body? are you using a fanny pack? what about the PVC tubing or poles to keep the sled from catching up to you on the downhill?

A-2. Pulling the sled. I do have an old fanny pack that I will use. If you have seen pictures of people pulling the plastic sleds using 2 PVC tubes and crossing them for better control, what I am doing will look about the same. I am using Carbon Fiber Tubes instead of the PVC. You should be able to guess the amount of weight that will save. If you look at the lower front of the sled you will see an eye bolt. That is a connector for the pulling tubes. As a side note the Carbon Fiber Tubes are also my tent poles, my Tripot Legs and maybe my spear for hunting the Woolly Mammoth Shelter Mice.


Q-3. How durable is the pack part? at least in my limited experience and skill, the bag takes a beating against vegetation, rocks, etc. when it is being pulled....

A-3. The pack is made out of 1.9 coated ripstop. I have a military surplus Blaze Orange/Rescue Red color "distress panel marker" that is made out of sort of heavy pack cloth that I will use as a pack cover. This should be strong enough to ward off brush etc that I might run into along the trail and if I need to be found, something easy to spot. I also have a couple of yards of a Spectra ripstop that is very strong I could use if I what to make a pack or a pack cover out of it.


Q-4. how comfortable is the pack on your back?

A-4. The pack carries really nice. The top of the sled part, the Black wood part is made on a slight curve and is very comfortable. You have a large air space between your back and the pack which makes it cool to carry. No heat to turn to sweat to make you wet/cold, etc.
A


Thanks for you nice comments. The idea for a Sled/Pack came from a winter "Dog Sled" trip I went on many years ago. This was up in Maine and a 3-day weekend trip. We would establish a base camp on the edge of a frozen lake and take trips each day from there. Because of the weight of the Wall-Tents and Stoves, food etc half of the group would ski into the camp area and the other half took the dog sleds. I went with the first ski group and plulled a "kids" sled behind me. The guides made their dog sleds and do a workshop for sled making. I asked about making a small sled to pull and looked a lot at the dog sleds. My thought was a sled that could also be used for a pack.

Years passed. I was following a link for making your own snow shoes one night and found a "Boy Scout" web site for making lots of your own gear. There was a link to sleds and I found a set of plans for a sled/pack combo. Flash back a bunch of years and the answer to my old idea was in front of me. I posted the plans to one of the last posts about the Titanium/Aluminum 6.6oz External Pack Frame #45695. I will add that picture later. The sled/pack shown was made out of wood. I though I could make it out of Aluimnum and save some weight and hopefully be stronger. Making the Sled/Pack was like putting a 10,000 piece puzzle together. I started by making a more or less full size cardboard model. This got me started and all the Aluminum I used came from Home Depot. I used a lot pop rivets. When I was finished I made the pack bag. The bag is large to allow me to carry my Down sleeping bag less compressed. The pack part carries really nice.

I have a lot of construction pictures posted at the yahoo "MakeGear" group.

Your Questions: (see above) for my answers.


Edited by gardenville (09/15/04 09:48 PM)

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#10034 - 09/15/04 01:18 PM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: gardenville]
altadude Offline
member

Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 524
Give ma holler when you are coming to Maine and maybe we can hook up.....
Love to see how it all works out.........

A

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#10035 - 09/17/04 05:38 PM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: gardenville]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
VERY NICE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I own an old mountainsmith expedition sled "kiddies sled" that is sort of like a boat and sort of floats on the snow - flat bottom. If there is deep fresh powder over night its like trying to pull an anchor (becasue it sinks in the snow)and your little runners will sink in badly leaving you to carry it - however thats the beauty of your design. You might try replacing the runners with old sawed off wide cross country skis to give more lift.

Also there is the old - tie the kiddies sled to the back of your pack and carry it like a turtle - then when you can - throw it down and pull it. Not as sexy as your weld up job though...

Jim Shaw
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#10036 - 09/17/04 05:58 PM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: Jimshaw]
gardenville Offline
member

Registered: 09/07/03
Posts: 587
Loc: Remember the Alamo - Texas
Quote:
VERY NICE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I own an old mountainsmith expedition sled "kiddies sled" that is sort of like a boat and sort of floats on the snow - flat bottom. If there is deep fresh powder over night its like trying to pull an anchor (becasue it sinks in the snow)and your little runners will sink in badly leaving you to carry it - however thats the beauty of your design. You might try replacing the runners with old sawed off wide cross country skis to give more lift.
Jim Shaw


Hi Jim, Thanks for you nice comment. My first thought was to use Kids Ski's or an old set of cross country skis. We don't get much snow here in San Antonio but I did look for a few months at some of the more typical "used" stuff stores. I found some "down-hill" skis but they were really heavy. Adding a wider runner should be easy if I have to and if I can get up to Maine like I hope next winter I may luck onto some used skis to try.

By the way, all parts are "pop riveted" no welding.

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#10037 - 09/21/04 04:39 AM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: gardenville]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
gardenville - very nice setup. I can only dream about my winter gear being as compact as yours. Where we hike and camp the temps routinely dip to -30C with 2 meters of snow the norm, so lots more gear is required.

With regards to your runners and / or a skied sled (used down hill or cross country skies).
You might try a layer of UHMWPE (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene). Perhaps 1/8” to 3/16” thick * 2” wide or wider. This is the same material used on skies and sometimes the boards around hockey rinks. UHMWPE is also used in some jigs and fixtures in different manufacturing applications where high wear, slippery components are required. It is easily bent and readily machined. It is also used on machines – keyways, beds, etc – where machine components are sliding back and forth. It should be available from any plastics supply house. I would affix it using countersunk #8 S.S. machine screws and a locking nut. That is to say that the runner is flat on the bottom with the nut on the topside of the aluminum runner. You shouldn’t need more than perhaps three or four rows of two screws.

When we build skied sleds we always build some “rocker” into them. This may be a none issue with your equipment, because of the short length. Mine is a five footer, but many I hike with are seven or eight feet long. This “rocker”, in your case perhaps ˝”, would create a point contact for the runners on a trail, thereby making it a little easier to pull.

I’ve tried the PVC poles on the front and find them more trouble than they are worth. When you are unhitched they are either on the ground being stepped or tripped on, there is extra hardware required for attaching, they never fold back to lean against your pack without falling down or to the side, etc. I just use a length of ˝” rope attached to both sides of the sled and at my waist using an old pack hip belt. This fits around my waist and is quite loose, being held up by a couple of nylon straps over my shoulders. When going down hill – and I’m only talking about gently rolling terrain – I just stop at the crest of the hill, walk behind the sled, and guide it downhill with the rope with the rope still attached at the front.

The Scout website you refer is this http://www.inquiry.net/

This is another site that I frequent. If you browse around a little, you will see a few cross posters. There are some interesting discussions that you might find informative and hopefully interesting. http://www.myccr.com/SectionForums/viewforum.php?f=36&sid=3e8190d40b51b056b46bbd5bac18d641

Sorry for the long rambling post, but it might spark some more of your brilliant and innovative ideas.


Edited by Rick (09/21/04 06:49 AM)

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#10038 - 09/21/04 04:16 PM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: Rick]
gardenville Offline
member

Registered: 09/07/03
Posts: 587
Loc: Remember the Alamo - Texas
Quote:
gardenville - very nice setup. I can only dream about my winter gear being as compact as yours. Where we hike and camp the temps routinely dip to -30C with 2 meters of snow the norm, so lots more gear is required.

1] With regards to your runners and / or a skied sled (used down hill or cross country skies).
You might try a layer of UHMWPE (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene). Perhaps 1/8” to 3/16” thick * 2” wide or wider. This is the same material used on skies and sometimes the boards around hockey rinks. UHMWPE is also used in some jigs and fixtures in different manufacturing applications where high wear, slippery components are required. It is easily bent and readily machined. It is also used on machines – keyways, beds, etc – where machine components are sliding back and forth. It should be available from any plastics supply house. I would affix it using countersunk #8 S.S. machine screws and a locking nut. That is to say that the runner is flat on the bottom with the nut on the topside of the aluminum runner. You shouldn’t need more than perhaps three or four rows of two screws.

2] When we build skied sleds we always build some “rocker” into them. This may be a none issue with your equipment, because of the short length. Mine is a five footer, but many I hike with are seven or eight feet long. This “rocker”, in your case perhaps ˝”, would create a point contact for the runners on a trail, thereby making it a little easier to pull.

3] I’ve tried the PVC poles on the front and find them more trouble than they are worth. When you are unhitched they are either on the ground being stepped or tripped on, there is extra hardware required for attaching, they never fold back to lean against your pack without falling down or to the side, etc. I just use a length of ˝” rope attached to both sides of the sled and at my waist using an old pack hip belt. This fits around my waist and is quite loose, being held up by a couple of nylon straps over my shoulders. When going down hill – and I’m only talking about gently rolling terrain – I just stop at the crest of the hill, walk behind the sled, and guide it downhill with the rope with the rope still attached at the front.

4] The Scout website you refer is this http://www.inquiry.net/

5] This is another site that I frequent. If you browse around a little, you will see a few cross posters. There are some interesting discussions that you might find informative and hopefully interesting. http://www.myccr.com/SectionForums/viewforum.php?f=36&sid=3e8190d40b51b056b46bbd5bac18d641

Sorry for the long rambling post, but it might spark some more of your brilliant and innovative ideas.


Hi Rick, Thanks for all the good information. I have hiked in the White Mountains of NH in the winter a couple of times. It was cold but I think the low was about -20 or so. I have been winter hiking a lot down around the "0" area. I have some great gear but winter gear gets heavy quick. Just the trade off for the colder weather. One of the reasons I started making my own gear was to reduce the weight of my winter gear and find a way to make what I do carry work for more than one purpose. That is the trick when you can do it. I also can try much lighter fabric weigh than most Major gear maker's will use.

1] I called a local Plastic Supplier and they have 1/8" UHMWPE is stock and can get 3/16" in a couple of days. Do you think the 1/8" is strong enough after counter-sinking the hole for the screw heads? my runner length is 31" counting all the front curve.

2] My Sled is 26-1/2" long. This length works well when it is carried as a Pack. I have thought about making a longer Sled just for pulling. Something I could use if I wanted to do a long ski or snowshoe trek.

3] I would never carry the extra weight of the PVC poles. I will try the Carbon Fiber poles as I will have them with me anyway to use on my tent. They may as you suggest end up being more trouble than necessary at times and just stay in the pack. This I should learn as I use the Sled more.

4] That is the "Scout" site. They have a lot of really good stuff there.

5] I looked at this site for a short while. I am going to join it as there are a lot of "Snow" related things being talked about and I believe there is always more to learn.

If I ever live where there is a lot of snow each winter I could see myself with a couple or 10 "sled" dogs. Dog Sledding is about the most fun I have ever had. Alone on a sled with 7 or 8 really good dogs is a treat that is hard to beat.

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#10039 - 09/21/04 04:59 PM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: gardenville]
altadude Offline
member

Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 524
Sled vs. pack quandry........

I share our moderator's concerns--sometimes a sled is impractical in the NE wilderness--trees too tight and twisy and windy with double fall lines--the ultimate sled challenge--we did the AT in Baxter on winter next to the East Branch of the Penobscot..........with a continous double fall line....brutal.......
That is why your design GV is so interesting--it's a pack, no it's a sled--brilliant....

I have to say that for (and now I realize that I have made a piece of gear way before my new silk liner--see make your own gear section for some self praise <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />) minimal amounts of money I have made a fabulous sled that works well, is indestructable and is easy to make--the kid's sled and I use rope to go around the edges (all three) and then attach to the pulling system with carabiners..........takes care of the wear and tear at the major source of failure for my friends' setups........

One does need something to act as a spacer; to keep the sled off your skis and on the downhill to keep it from running you over........you could use rope and then cut pieces of PVC pipe--so it breaks down and is carriable when you use the sled as a pack........

my original sled is a two person........I will go to a one person sled and use it as a clamshell so that it can be carried and break up my PVC......

carbon fiber poles will bend I think.......I used a friend's mountainsmith already made up costs a fortune sled (he's a radiologist) and the poles were aluminum--aircraft grade--no lighter than PVC and rope..........

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#10040 - 09/21/04 04:59 PM Boiled wooden runners - COOL!!! [Re: gardenville]
1PolarBear Offline
member

Registered: 09/12/03
Posts: 144
Loc: Land of the Rockies
WOW!

What a great post/thread! I have always wondered how folks managed to bend the runners uniformly, though i'd heard about boiling the wood for a time.

Thanks a lot for clarifying that for me!

Mm

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#10041 - 09/22/04 04:15 AM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: gardenville]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
gardenveille - I have some UHMWPE in my shop. I will bring it home tonight and weigh it. If you can wait until tonight, perhaps the weight (ain't it always so) will shed a little more light on what sizes to use.

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#10042 - 09/22/04 08:02 AM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: Rick]
gardenville Offline
member

Registered: 09/07/03
Posts: 587
Loc: Remember the Alamo - Texas
Quote:
gardenveille - I have some UHMWPE in my shop. I will bring it home tonight and weigh it. If you can wait until tonight, perhaps the weight (ain't it always so) will shed a little more light on what sizes to use.


Hi Rick, Thanks, I am not in a hurry, no snow here yet. The 1/8" (4'x8') cost $56.80 and the 3/16" (4'x8') costs $113.95. I don't have to buy a full sheet but can buy it by the square foot at a higher cost. I only list the price cause someone asked about the cost of UHMWPE. I can get this up to 1-1/2" thick. The Plastic Supply place will cut the stuff for me.

I joined the "CA Canoe Routes" group. I spent way to much time late into the night reading all the threads about Sleds/Pluks. I looked at the Sleds from the Alaska company using UHMWPE. Their Sleds remind me of the trays our Post Office uses, the trays are just smaller. The Post Office tray sides are folded to create an angle of about 120 degrees but without a curve. The idea should work for the sides of a simple "tub" type of sled if you didn't have a curved mold of some type. I need to find out what temp is necessary to make the UHMWPE bend.

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#10043 - 09/22/04 02:13 PM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: gardenville]
Rick Offline
member

Registered: 05/10/04
Posts: 708
Loc: Ontario, Canada
gardenville - based on the piece I have here (.375" * .75" * 24 3/16") the weight works out to approximately 14.7 grams / cubic inch. A quick search, however, reveals a range of 15.4 - 16.4 grams / cubic inch.

There are alot of factors that come into play when selecting screw size and material thickness - terrain (full snow, partial snow), exposed logs or rocks, sled load, and above all, how much weight you're prepared to add and carry, if need be.

Here is a link to Flat Head screw sizes Flat Head Screw Sizes

As a suggestion I would use a #6 with 1/8" thickness but go up to 3/16" thickness for a #8.

Sorry to get so involved in YOUR project. I'm just so intrigued by it, I coundn't help myself.

Keep us posted about your obvious winner.

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#10044 - 02/23/08 08:22 PM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: Rick]
gardenville Offline
member

Registered: 09/07/03
Posts: 587
Loc: Remember the Alamo - Texas
I have been looking back at some of my old threads and just got to this one. I was surprised this one was still here. I thought at one time the threads went away after 2 years or so.

I added some strips of UHMWPE to the runners to help them float over the snow. It is 1/8" by 2" wide. I got this stuff cheap as it was left over from a job the sign store had.

I never posts the pictures of the sled after I did that. Here are the pictures along with a few of my harness system.






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#10045 - 02/27/08 09:27 AM Re: Sled/Pack Frame Combo [Re: gardenville]
jacket_inserts Offline
member

Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 133
I didn’t start following this thread until you cross-referenced it from another one recently. I did wonder about the propensity of wide metal runners to stick to snow and ice. The glide is provided by the layer of water that the runner melts as it goes over the ice or the snow but this water can re-freeze on cold metal. Skinny blades (eg skates or metal edges), are not an issue but I figured that wide runners connected to a larger metal frame would be another matter. BTW, thanks for the tip that UHMWPE can be found at sign shops.

Also, have you considered the possibility of having runners curved at both ends? There will be occasions when pivoting the whole thing around you and letting it slide downhill in front of you will be quicker and easier than having to unhook the cords and either re-hook them at the back of the sled or hoisting it up to carry pack-style.

Stephane

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