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The most thrilling and authentic way to travel in Canada is by dog sled. Whether you are a rookie or a veteran musher*, guided dog sled trips will let your heart beat faster!
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I’ve worked several seasons as a dog sledding guide; I still get an adrenaline rush when I go for a run with a dog team. Dog sledding is a thrilling experience, and I will never get used to the power of the dogs and their eagerness to run.
Nevertheless, I love the sound of panting dogs, the view of a damping dog team, the crisp air and smell of winter, the sense of my cold cheeks in contrast to my warm body, and the mental connection with my dog team...
Native people of the North have always used sled dogs to pull freight. With the arrival of the ski-doo, sled dogs were getting out of favour. Although, some people still prefer using dog teams, as dogs are edible if worse comes to worst...
Unless you own your own dog team, the only way you can get on a dogsled is by joining a guided dog sled trip. Not a single outfitter will offer you a dog team without a guide.
Depending on the terrain, and the combined weight of the sled and passenger(s), a regular tour dog team will consist of 4, 6 or 8 dogs.
Some outfitters offer self driven sleds. You will be mushing** by yourself or together with a guide. If you’re on the sled by yourself, a guide might join on a ski-doo or on his/her own dog team.
Other outfitters let you sit in ‘the bag’ while a guide mushes the team. You might take turns mushing /sitting in the bag.
A dog sled guide definitely increases the safety of the trip.
As a former dog sledding guide, I’ve guided hundreds of memorable dog sled trips.
Take a quick glance at this short video showing some footage of guided dog sled trips.
* musher (noun) definition according to the Oxford dictionary:
the driver of a dog sled
** mush (verb) definition according to the Oxford dictionary:
go on a journey across snow with a dog sled.
They got into the sleigh and mushed over the ice and snow
Mid 19th century: probably an alteration of French marchez! or marchons!, imperatives of marcher 'to advance'.
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