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Stuff all good mushers know!

DRESS WARM, as if skiing on a cold day. Lots of warm wool or synthetic layers are best and a water-resistant winter outer layer. Goggles are warmer than sunglasses and mittens are warmer than gloves. Warm winter boots that are loose fitting, go to mid-shin or higher and have a liner are best, especially if it's just snowed. It never hurts to have hand and toe warmers opened and heating up before you get to us. You are heading far off the beaten path so best to be over prepared. There is plenty of room on the dog sleds to stow extra layers and gear. 


We do have a supply of extra gear, so let Sarah know when you make your reservation if you need to borrow something and we will be sure to have it for you.  See the gear list below for some other suggestions.


When your core temperature begins to drop, your body does what is called shunting.  Blood from your extremities is routed away and to your core to keep your vital organs warm and working.  This means without enough layers around your heart, your hands and feet will be VERY cold as they lose blood flow in your body's attempt to keep you breathing and keep your heart pumping.  It comes on slowly and people argue a lot about this with us.  We see people putting in warmers and wearing more socks in a fruitless effort to warm their hands and feet.  Warm, loose fitting layers and warm boots are the key to comfort, even for us! And we are in the cold all day every day! If you come from a lower elevation, warmer climate or both you are going to need to dress very warm, and try to minimize exposed skin.  Please do your best to be prepared and feel free to call with any questions!  No bad weather folks, just bad gear! And try not to argue when we offer advice :).


Your gear list from head to toe!


  • Warm hat that covers the ears thoroughly. Hats with ear flaps are great! 

  • Goggles and sunglasses bring both - goggles are a must on snowy days

  • Sunscreen the trail starts at 8,800 feet, it's easier to burn at elevation

  • Neck gator or scarf

  • Wool or synthetic base layers fleece is great, NO COTTON (it doesn't insulate!)

  • Mid-weight layers fleece tops and pants, wool sweaters, etc

  • Water resistant insulated outer layers i.e. goretex ski jacket and bibs or pants

  • Winter wool socks - just one pair DON'T LAYER SOCKS, trust me, don't do it!

  • Tall (mid-shin or higher) insulated winter boots that are loose fitting for good circulation - WE PROVIDE BOOTS IF YOU DON'T OWN PAC BOOTS AT NO CHARGE

  • Mittens (you can wear gloves but mittens are warmer - some folks like a thin liner glove under a mitten, but mittens all by themselves are warmer, liners separate your fingers and fingers are warmer huddled together)

  • Hand and toe warmers (these take a while to warm up so have them open and going before you get to the trail - also if your boots/mittens are not roomy warmers are counterproductive - shoving them into a boot or glove/mitten that is too tight just cuts off your circulation even more)

  • Water bottle!!! You must stay hydrated, as doing so is the key to avoiding altitude sickness!!! You can bring snacks too if you want but we provide warm drinks and desserts at the back-country camp

You may bring a backpack to contain all your items in the dog sled bag.  There is plenty of space to store it comfortably inside or at your feet if you are riding along.

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