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  • Dry Land Sled

    I have a hunt in September in unit 23, and it'll be a float hunt. Just curious if any of you have built a dry land sled for hauling out caribou back to the raft? Seems I saw one of Larry Bartlett's videos where he had a homemade sled.

    One main question I have is how useful is a dry land sled? Is the tundra difficult to pull one on?

  • #2
    Not an argument pro or con, just two little side notes to keep in mind:
    1) "Tundra" describes a broad range of surface conditions/vegetation cover.
    2) Larry Bartlett is as solid as a cast iron fireplug, and as strong as an ox.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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    • #3
      yes tundra is dry grass, so the material i found best for glide properties was UMHW (costly) vs HDPE (cheaper). Pray for frost or light rain and the tundra becomes something of a miracle highway for sled hauling. I have actually kissed the tundra on frosty mornings in Aug/sept.

      Good luck.

      Thanks for the confidence 'Taiga.

      The sled idea is a safer option over a backpack when negotiating calf-high tussocks, but both options really suck sweaty balls over someone else just packing it for you...:-))

      lb
      https://pristineventures.com

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      • #4
        Yep, I totally get it about varying tundra ground conditions. I appreciate your input on this matter. It's the same here where I live and hunt pronghorn on vast, open landscapes. I know Larry is a tough SOB, and that's why I asked the question. We haul elk out on sleds here in CO (on snow), and it isn't easy either, but we're in shape and know what it feels like to have burning muscles and lungs. We've built a roll-up sled that we'll be testing on high-elevation short grass prairie this coming weekend with weight. Lots of preparation for this hunt, but we enjoy the work. Thanks much for the input on the sled so far. Much appreciated!

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        • #5
          Larry, the other thing that seems to be in our favor is that we're hunting later in September. I would guess that the chances of frost on the tundra is greater then. We know how to pack out on our backs, but would love to deploy the dry land sled. The weight penalty in a raft isn't big if we take the sled on our trip. Thanks again for the useful info.

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          • #6
            We built 2 sleds based off the pictures Larry posted in a previous thread. We modified the size slightly and added handles on the sides and ends so we could also use them like a gurney for carrying meat. We used 1/16" HDPE from CAC Plastics in Wasilla ($236.90 for a 5'x10' sheet). I made a template with CAD and printed it to scale to make cutting them out easier. We beat the heck out of them dragging gear and meat over rocks, grass, tundra, silt, sand and water. They made the entire season with superficial scratches but really no damage. I'd be happy to share the .dwg or .pdf files with anyone interested in using them. just shoot me a text 907-252-2294.
            Because we pulled moose meat back to camp in the middle of the night, I didn't get any pictures of them in action with meat onboard. Dragging was much easier than packing. The only problem we had was snagging alders with the leading corners....that sucks and really kills your momentum! I'll try tp post a couple pictures of the sleds.

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            • #7

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              • #8

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                • #9
                  A little late to this thread but I have a question for those of you that have used these sleds.

                  What kind of weights can you put on these sleds when youíre dragging out weight? I suppose itís based a little on the guy dragging but have been wondering since Iíve seen Larry using one.

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                  • #10
                    Depends on that, and also the terrain youíre navigating, surface conditions and harness set up. They pull easy on rocks or wet grass. Not so easy in sand or silt or stobbie alder patches. Iím guessing Iíve had max 300# in mine and that load was on flat terrain with a combination of silt, rock, grass, alder patches and small brush. I also had a 60Ē moose rack, head and cape on my back. It was a workout for sure but easier than packing it all out on my back. Once youíre moving itís not bad at all. What kills progress and momentum is catching alders too big to mow over. Itís worth while to bushwhack a trail if youíre in the pickers!!

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                    • #11
                      "Comfortably" is the key to weight allowance on a dry land sled. If that's 80 lbs for you and 120 lbs for your partner...it is what it is. Balanced and sustained energy expenditure should be the deciding weight factor. Example: one could drag 300 lbs in a sled for 1/2 a mile per hour and be spent in 2-3 hours, or move at 2mph with 100 lbs and make a few trips with sustained energy.

                      Overland hazards will decide much of this debate. Hell, some routes just aren't conducive to using a sled at all. So, all things considered and making a very rough stab at a reasonable weight allowance for me is 100-lbs plus or minus 20-lbs.
                      https://pristineventures.com

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