Do a search on pulks and you'll see plenty of discussion on this subject. JAK is particularly fond of sleds, as are Jim and TomD. You can even buy very expensive sleds to accomplish this task, and you'll likely discover that there are advantages and disadvantages to using cheapo plastic sleds, but super expensive expedition qulity sleds are probably unnecessary for all but the most extreme winter excursions.
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.
I wouldn't get too sloppy with weight, maybe a pound or more but nothing extreme. Like I said, if it's easier than it shouldn't be a problem.
There is mostly going to be uphill so will it be harder or worth the use for the next day when I go downhill?
Downhill is harder. if you have a hiking partner, have them hold a rope to steady it from behind. fixed poles (crossed) work OK. you may be able to use the hipbelt from your pack to hook the sled to.
Another nice thing about a sled is that when you get to camp you can unload it and bring it with you to load up with firewood. It may also mean you have that extra "just in case" layer that saves your butt which you wouldn't have otherwise.
I took my 50 pound daughter for a long drag in a snow storm the other night. It's pretty good exercise, especially when they like to reach out and drag a bunch of snow along with them. Perhaps I should get me a few more of these critters and reverse the roles a bit. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
My hiking partner and I both question the sled's performance on the hills we are going on so we are going to simply put our packs in the sled to carry just in case we can't scale the hills safely and we have to resort to putting the packs on our backs.
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Not sure how steep or high these hills are you are talking about, but, if you're on the steeps and your snowshoes don't have crampons on the bottom of them (like an Atlas 1025 does) and you fall, you may find yourself cartwheeling down the hill. Something to think about.
Don't get me started, you know how I get.
Uphill was rather brutal, but our snowshoes both have crampons so it wasn't so difficult compared to the pack being on our back.
We did not use paris company sleds. Our's were just some off-brand kid sled that are maybe... 2 feet wide at one end so that was annoying going down the more narrow parts of the snow trails. The wide sleds create a lot of drag from slicing through the icy trail walls. About a quarter of the time we were dead lifting the sleds along some cliffs because the trails were just wide enough for our snowshoes.
Other than that I noticed I was definitely not as sore as I usually am from carrying the pack on my back and it was very nice being able to carry a little more weight for those needed comforts, like a gallon of hot coco :-)
Anyone have a paris company expedition sled? They are only 5feet long and 6 inches deep so I question how much gear I can really carry in them. The narrowness of the sled is the main reason I want to pick one up though.
Just one word of caution. Do not try using a sled with ropes. Downhills W/ roped sleds are not fun for the "pullee" but funny for onlookers!
Wands & a waist belt are what turns a sled into a pulk. I recommend it as a safer mode of winter gear hauling - safer than a pack, that is.
I have used the Paris Exped sled with ropes and PVC pipe as a spacer to prevent the sled from running me down when doing downhill.
I have purchased a slightly smaller sled (shorter) don't remember the brand because I like Gardenville's brilliant idea about having a sled/pack option. There are clearly trails/portions of trails (e.g. double fall line) where a sled is a liability or if the trail is too narrow but all in all it is easier to drag a sled then carry everything on your back.
Thus, I will experiment on my Baxter trip in March with a sled/pack combo (NOT particularly light)-BCA Alp 55 and the short plastic kid's sled.......The short sled will be able to be strapped onto my pack if the trail demands it..........The longer Exped is just too long to strap on to the pack.......The PVC piping will be cut in half to allow it to be strapped onto my pack as well..........
I used ropes last time because I didn't have the time to make the sled better and such.
Downhill is annoying at times, but as long as you have your gear securely attached to the sled it's no problem. Is there a way to upload a picture onto this site. Speaking of strapping your gear nicely on too the sled. I have this picture of my hiking partner and his sled... tangled in a tree from going to fast down this hill and the sled shot off the trail.
I run dogs so I necessarily make and use sleds and pulks and toboggans. I really like gardenville's Ben Hunt pack sled. You did a great job on that. That is how I used a beefed up kid's sled when skijoring with a few dogs. You can strap your pack in so that the shoulder straps of the pack are facing up, then you just hoist the thing up onto your back if the trail gets too unfriendly when dragging it. Like when it is too steep or the trail ruts are too narrow and deep for the pulk.
You can have a knotted rope that can be flipped under the front of the pulk as a drag for going downhill. For a runnered sled, these are usually chains that you wrap around each runner and they are called roughlocks. You can also have a loop of knotted rope that drags just behind the pulk and goes underneath the pulk if it slips backwards thereby stopping the pulk from sliding backwards as you're climbing.
Somewhere are some copyrighted pics of real Finnish pulks. They look like they would do great in a deep rut of a ski trail. They look like canoes! I'll see if I can find it and I'll link to it.
Here are a couple of sleds I made and use for the extremes of snow conditions- deep snow vs hardpack. Have fun!
Nice sled work there HuskyRunner <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
I see where Campmor is clearing out their Winter inventory already <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />, well, we've only had 12" of snow all year, so i guess Spring IS almost here <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!
Now THAT is an all season boat my friends <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> You pull it all Winter, and paddle it all Summer <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!