Sunscreen is Necessary when Dog Sledding?

Dog sled team

Winter is back again bringing with it ice and snow.  Which means the perfect conditions for dog sledding. This ancient sport can be traced back to 6000 BC when it was used as a means of transport to cross snowy tundra.

Today it’s more commonly done for sport and recreation. The crisp winter air, the beautiful white snow and the thrill of being pulled along in the snowy wilderness is exhilarating. While most people imagine the sport taking place in Alaska, but recently Dog Sledding races have gained popularity in Wyoming and Montana.

Other regions where the sport is prominent include: Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Northern Canada, and Scotland. As recently as 2017, people have traveled to Big Sky Montana for dog sled tours. Peak season for the sport ranges from December to April, thanks to the sport’s reliance on snow and ice for the sled to travel on.

A typical dog sled team consists of a lead dog, followed by a pair of wheel dogs meant to pull the sled out of snowbanks and swing the dogs at the rear. Wheel and swing dogs are primarily chosen for their endurance, strength and speed when a team is assembled.

The top three dog breeds used in dog sled teams are the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Huskey and Alaskan Huskies. Their popularity stemming from the breeds traits of high endurance, good eating habits, speed, and dedication to running even when tired. Your typical dog sled can reach an average speed of 18 miles per hour on shorter trips in good conditions, and as fast as 13 miles per hour in bad weather.

Now the length of a dog sledding trip depends entirely on the route chosen. Most places offering recreational tours, for example, have preset routes that the dogs will run. Though the typical venture ranges between twenty minutes and five hours.

For the serious race enthusiast, night sledding is probably a rare but epic adventure. Probably only performed in extreme circumstances since night brings danger, colder temperatures, plus the dogs need regular rest and recuperation. One can only image catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Serious planning and preparation are required for the adventure as would be expected, but personal prep is still highly recommended even in a recreational setting. The following list was sourced from an article written on and include: sunglasses, layered clothing with an outer water resistant layer, 2-layers of socks, cold gloves with an appropriate rating, and hand and foot waters to insert into your gloves and boots (they can be a life saver), thermal flask, and high-performance sunscreen protection.

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