16 Jan 2017

Dog Sledding: A Howling Good Time

Author: SuperUser Account  /  Categories: Activities, Banff  / 

Dog sledding or “mushing” is the practice of using highly trained and specially bred dogs to pull sleds. Historically used as a method to transport items, more modern times has seen dog sledding evolve into a world renowned sport and much-loved form of outdoor leisure. As a unique way to experience Banff in winter, you’re sure to be left with long-lasting memories of your time in the Rocky Mountains. For those considering taking part in this amazing adventure, we’re happy to provide a few tips to help you prepare for your experience.

1. Prepare to be chilly, and dress accordingly

As the name suggests, dog sledding is an outdoor activity. Trips range in duration, but you can expect to be exposed to the elements for a decent period of time. Due to being pulled across large expanses of snow, you’re bound to have a little kicked up at you along the way. Without the right gear, the experience can not only be uncomfortable but also dangerous. Even on warmer winter days, the mixture of moisture, wind chill and standing temperature mean that proper apparel must be worn to ensure everyone’s safety. Visitors arriving without proper attire will be sent to purchase missing items before they are allowed to head out with the dogs. Essentials to bring with you are:

  • An insulated weather jacket with properly insulated snow pants
  • Thick wool socks
  • Proper winter boots that cover well above the ankle
  • Balaclava/A thick scarf to cover your face and nose
  • Goggles or sunglasses to protect your eyes from snow and debris, as well as sun glare
  • A thick winter appropriate hat that covers your ears
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF

2. What to leave at home

Unfortunately, not all items of clothing are sufficient for dog sledding, and other items may pose a risk to sledders/the dogs meaning that they are best left behind. Such items include:

  • Other dogs are simply not able to be accommodated for both for safety and practicality reasons.
  • Jeans, even if worn with snow pants.
  • Rubber shoes/sneakers/slip on boots (ie. Uggs)/high-heeled boots/etc. Stick to proper winter boots for the best experience overall.
  • Dog treats. Our dogs are well fed and outside food can serve as a source of competition/distraction.

3. What to expect

Expect a fast-paced adventure unlike any other. All trips begin with a 30-minute instruction period to familiarize you with the dogs, the history of dog sledding, safety, and commands. Your tour will treat you to picturesque views and include a campfire with hot apple cider to warm you up while you share memories that will last forever.

4. Snow Dog Life

Banff Adventures is proud to ensure that all canines involved in our sledding tours are humanely raised and trained. All dogs are well loved and treated as working pets and receive the utmost of care and love from their homes. Huskies have a natural love of pulling, but owners are careful to maintain a run/rest ratio that protects the dog from fatigue or injury. Simply put, you’ll be interacting with animals that truly love what they do!

Dog sledding can be a wonderful way to make the most of Canadian Winter. Come join us for this once in a lifetime experience! Learn more information about our tours here and give us a call today!

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