Winter camping always involves carrying a lot of extra gear. I have seen a lot of stuff on sleds and pulks but the simplest idea I have seen is these crazy carpet sleds. This is version # 1 this winter(09) and expext to update with modifications and improvements. Can Tire Carpet is $3 and weighs nothing so easy cheap setup that slides with very little resistance. I read one trip report where they used them for a week on a glacier where they moved several times. A rigid sled with rigid poles can carry more gear but is a pain on sidehills or on the downhill. The best info on rigid pulks is Skipulks which has a free downloadable booklet on various buid your own designs as well as expedition quality sleds for sale.
The carpet only needs to last on the way in/up as the idea is to pull the heavy group gear like tent, stove, fuel, heavy food, etc and roll up the carpet and attach to pack on the way out. Note one user has said hers has lasted for 3 or 4 trips so far. On the way down there is less bulk without the food and less weight without food and fuel. I like the simple concept for short 2 to 3 day trips. Use plastic tarp grommets to reinforce tie points.
Comments from another user:
1. the sled will pull better if you can roll the sides up a bit as well
– good – I can tighten the side straps which will pull up the sides from the gromments and probably run better in the ski track.
2. Incorporate a bit of bungy cord in your attachment system. It gives a bit and helps when pulling.
3. Make sure it’s securely attached. I’ve seen them attached to backpack straps and the strap blows and the sled careens a 1000 feet down slope narrowly missing crevasses.
– Yikes – separate attach for both cords and an extra safety attach.
4. Don’t load ’em too heavy. Anything over about 30 pounds and they really suck. – Okay
5. I made a bag for mine that zips along the front, so that, in a pinch, I can access stuff if I need it during the day, but it’s far better to only put in stuff that you don’t need during the day. –
Hydroseal bag has roll top and quick buckle entry – face backward.
6.the size of your packed dry bag is going to make it a tough pull if that is the real size of the load you are planning on puling. They do pull better if there is less bulk on the sled.
– Okay – Picture is a 50L drybag – I also have a 30 L drybag – ( works better). Makes more sense to have each person have a smaller bag/sled than to try carry all the group gear in one large heavy and bulky bag.
I have used 5mm cord just because I had some laying around – can use something much lighter (paracord)and same goes for straps on the sled.