I spent the better part of November trying to think of a good gear project to keep me busy this winter and have settled on...(drum roll please)...a pulk! For those that don't know what a pulk is, it's basically just a sled that you pull all of your gear in rather than carrying it in a backpack. Since winter gear tends to be heavier and bulkier, many people prefer a pulk because it's easier to pull more weight than it is to carry it on your back.
It's not that my pack is too heavy or that I plan on being a sled dog and pulling my wife up the mountains--it just seems like a fun project and I've always wanted to try it. I've researched a lot of designs and have found most of them are overbuilt with a lot of complicated metal hardware. So, I've given myself a challenge: Come up with a simple design that doesn't involve a lot of hardware and can be easily repaired in the field.
Here's what I've got so far:
Emsco Orange Beast sled. I originally wanted a Paris Expedition sled but they're hard to come by. I'm involved in a group purchase for one now but will use the Emsco as a guinea pig until I get the Paris sled.
Two 6' X 1/2" pieces of PVC piping. These will be used as traces (rigid connections between me and the sled to keep it from running into me on downward slopes).
Kelty Flight hip belt. I traded someone some gear to get this used hip belt which will be my harness for pulling the pulk.
My only 2 challenges now are deciding how I want to attach the traces to the sled and the hip belt. I've got some ideas but for attaching them to the sled, I think I am going do something similar to the method outline by Dr. Pulk in this video:
I'll be posting updates of my progress. I actually think this will be a relatively easy project but, of course, you never know until you're in the throes of it! Any other pulkers out there?