My Mushing Gear


A couple of thoughts on my mushing gear. I pack for long training trips and over-nighters almost the same as I do when racing

I like to keep things very simple-easy to fix, easy to replace. I find that every year that goes by I have less stuff in my sled. Mostly this is because I’m getting lazier  as the seasons pass, but partly it’s because I’m getting sick of rooting around in my bag looking for crap.

I use a sled bag (built by master craftsman Vonnie Hummert) with only one large pocket situated inside in the very back. I put stuff in there that I don’t plan on using much, such as promotional materials and emergency cold weather gear.  I use one medium sized carry all bag for all the loose items-vet bag, cold weather gear, extra booties, extra headlights, tool kit, First Aid, etc. Everything else is self contained-axe, sleeping bag, cooker, etc.

My personal favorite headlamp is an unmodified Princeton Tec Apex. I carry two and sometimes three of these, depending on the situation. Instead of blinking red lights on my leaders, I use Petzl Tikka Plus LED lights tightened down behind their collars, pointed down and forward. This creates a fantastic pool of light that is a big help for my leaders during night-time navigation on rough trails and poor weather, and an unmistakable warning for snowmachines approaching head on.

I love my iPod, and consider it an indispensable piece of equipment, the contents of which will be the topic of a future Blog. I use the 32G Touch, which holds almost exactly 1.23 million songs and takes up less room then a deck of cards. I find that this device really helps to set a mood, depending on my musical choices, and takes my mind off of little nitpicking things concerning the team.

Thanks for tuning in—more to follow….

Image courtesy of H. Barron

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2 Responses to “My Mushing Gear”

  1. Jason, please keep these blogs coming. This is great information that I can share with my students. They will be learning so much, thanks to you. They have seen your picture in my classroom and have already started asking questions about you and my experience. Not only are you a great person, musher , and author, but a great teacher, too!! I just wish you were gonna be out on that trail this year. I’ll cross my fingers for next year. Until then, WE will keep on teaching my second graders at Freedom Elementary in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

  2. Thanks for the input, J.J.! I’m flattered that you talk about me with your kids; I plan to cover the Iditarod very heavily once it starts, and look for Jr. Iditarod updates later today 🙂

    As far as racing next year goes…besides promoting my novel ‘Ballad of the Northland’, which keeps me awfully busy, I’m currently in the process of writing a second novel–with all of this going on, you might not see me “back in the game” for at least a few more years…though I certainly do appreciate your support of my mushing endeavors!

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