Archive for the ‘Equipment & Gear’ Categoryby Northernmost on February 23, 2015 in Equipment & Gear, Hilary, PRODUCTS WE LIKE, Wilder with No Comments
We are trying out some new harnesses this spring, they are from Italian sports and utility dog gear brand Neewa and available in Sweden from Baggen® (which is also where we buy our comfortable skijoring belts, the Baggen Softbelt). We have been using the same type of harness for many years so it’s interesting to try something new and be able to compare fit, comfort and durability etc. The harnesses from Neewa seem like an interesting new option that’s available to a good price. Their top of the range Race Line products are developed together with professional mushers and made of super-tough yarns to be able to maintain their technical properties in extreme weather conditions. I really like the feel of these harnesses and they seem to sit very comfortably on our dogs. Looking forward to trying them on some sledding trips this spring!
Neewa’s Sled Pro Harness is designed to especially for “purebred Nordic dogs”, such as the Alaskan Malamute and Greenland Dog. They also have harnesses that are suited for more lean sled dogs with narrow chests, as well as harnesses for cani-cross, tracking and every day use.
Hilary is wearing the Sled Pro harness while Wilder is wearing an adjustable harness, which is ideal for a younger dog that is still filling out. Both harnesses are in polypropylene with padding on the neck and ribcage areas. The “Pro” model has reflective inserts for high visibility at night.
All Neewa harnesses are made with non-allergenic and breathable materials.
I love this fresh blue colour in spring!
You can read more about Neewa on their website.
We went for a walk along the coast yesterday to check out trail conditions by the Bothnian Bay. This is one of our favourite areas for sledding and skijoring but sadly the warm weather during February has melted much of the sea ice and the trail from January was completely gone.
The rapid weather changes have created paper-thin ice flakes….
…and glass-like ice on top of the snow…
…I love the beautiful formations of ice and snow that we found on the beach…
And here’s another diamond in the rough – our two-year-old boy Wilder! We love everything about this handsome fella – temperament, looks, working ability and intelligence. Okay, so we’re a bit biased – but he’s beyond amazing, really ♥
It’s been a lousy winter here on Sweden’s northern coast. In fact, this is the first time in fifteen years that I’ve gone through a winter without proper snow. We received a tiny bit of fluff in January but for the most part the ground has been covered in a thick layer of ice with only a dusting of snow on top. It’s easy to get frustrated when you have eight dogs that are eager to hit the trail but what can you do? Well, we decided to put on our studded shoes and take the dogs running instead. Between January and now all our dogs have run an average of 30 km per week and even though most of the ice is gone now we continue to run. What’s great about running is that you only need a pair of good running shoes, a hip belt and a leash and you’re ready to go. Having two eager dogs in front of you is the best motivation 🙂
Wilder, 14 months, harnessed up and ready to go.
Running IN the sea is also fun – but icy cold in March!
When we start out from home we have to run along the road for a short while before we reach the forest track. We try to avoid hard surfaces as much as possible as it can be too tough on joints and feet. I easily get shin splints if I run on asphalt for too long or too often.
We don’t always use necklines but it works really well for Tuisku and Lyra who keep the same pace. Tuisku is a little bit faster on the way out and Lyra is a bit quicker on the way home.
My running buddies today – Wilder and Hilary.
“I hate running, but I love having ran” used to be my favourite quote but I don’t hate running anymore, the hardest part for me is getting on those running clothes and walking out that front door. I dont really know why its so hard, as soon as I get out the door I actually love it.
The Swedish Baggen Softbelt is our favourite belt for canicross and skijoring. We use it together with the Baggen Expandable Leash (2 metres long) which has a built-in bungee. I have the X1 belt, which looks the same as X2 but provides softer damping, while Fredrik who is taller and stronger uses the X2. You can buy detachable leg loops from Baggen that stops the belt from sliding up around your waist when you run or ski.
Another good canicross belt is the Norwegian Non-step Comfort Belt. This belt has no in-built bungee (and must be used together with a bungee leash) but is designed to help spread the strain over a larger area of the hip/back. As the name hints, this belt is really comfortable but for my sensitive back the Baggen Softbelt works best, especially when skijoring on a bumpy trail.
Our studded Icebug shoes have really saved us this winter but now the roads are almost ice free and I have to get a new pair of shoes that work for both road and trail running.
Running equals happiness – have a great weekend everyone!
The weather cleared up quickly after the storm on Saturday night. On Sunday morning we woke up to blue skies and a cold house so instead of staying in and waiting for the electricity to return we put our running shoes on and went for a trip to the coast. The snow-free beach is perfect for jogging and we had a nice day out with Gemma and Tuisku. People say that running is addictive and maybe it’s true, I mean, why walk when you can run?
♥ Our running buddies Gem and Tuisku ♥
The sand dunes are great for running…
…but after a while your legs feel like jelly.
Tuisku always gets wild when we go to beach but we didn’t let him go swimming this time as the temperature was below zero.
The sea has many faces – it can be wild and cold…
…and calm and inviting.
I love my new running shoes – Pytho 2-L BUGrip from Swedish Icebug. They are lightweight and water resistant and keep the feet dry in both rain and slush.
The sole has integrated steel studs which provide good traction on everything from ice to slippery rocks. A perfect shoe for safely walking and running the dogs during fall and winter.
Tuisku doesn’t need studs to manoeuvre on slippery surfaces – Malamute feet can do that naturally.
Our precious Gem at 6 years of age.
Posing for the camera 😉
And here’s another one of G & T together – they look so cute in their red harnesses.
The power didn’t return until late on Sunday night but it didn’t bother us much as we spent the whole day out of doors, cleaning up the garden after the storm and playing with the dogs. In fact, being without TV and internet during the weekend is not a bad thing. Maybe we’ll try that again next week?
Fredrik’s new skis arrived just in time for Easter so he’s been trying them out on daily trips along the coast this long weekend. After having skijored with a pair of budget combo skis (mix between cross-country and skate) for the last few years, Fredrik decided it was time for an upgrade. His new skis, Breidablikk from Norwegian Åsnes, are especially made for skijoring with a dog in backcountry conditions. They are wider than ordinary skis and lack the metal edges that most other touring skis have, and that could potentially injure a dog in an accident. They are also very cool looking – even though I would of course have preferred a Malamute on the front rather than a blue eyed husky 😉
Maybe we should ask Åsnes to create a Malamute edition of Breidablikk for 2014?
We had a nice picnic by the coast on Easter Eve – wearing sunblock is a must this time of the year!
Titan enjoyed his one-on-one with Grandma.
Lyra found a mermaid. Who do you think is prettier? 🙂
A snow roll before it’s time to go home.
With the goal of keeping my mum company on the trail, Fredrik and I brought only one dog each on this picnic trip. I still had to stand on the brake not to overtake my mum (who was skiing without a dog) but for the most part we were able to keep the same pace. Lyra and Fredrik travelled faster so they did some exploring on the ice while waiting for us to catch up.
Lyra is always eager to go…
It’s been a BEAUTIFUL Easter here on the northern coast of Sweden.
Yesterday I took the trio for a ride in the beautiful low fell area surrounding the village of Näkkälä. The temperature was around -2C when we left home but due to the wind chill factor it dropped down to -20 C about halfway into the trail. Must have been the first time ever that I wasn’t geared up for the weather. Dressed for spring, I was like a frozen icicle when we returned home in the evening.
My small team of Malamutes – Tuisku, Gem and Titan.
At least I didn’t have to worry about cold feet as I was wearing these fantastic boots. If you’re looking for something warm for next winter I can highly recommend the Swedish Jörnkängan. These boots are handmade and quite pricey but warmer than any boot I’ve tried so far.
Three happy tails 🙂
I got myself a new sled for my birthday or, maybe I should say, I bought an old sled with a brand new sled bag, as this Polaris nordic style pulka sled, made by Gösta Karlberg of Kallasgården in Dalarna, is somewhere between 20-30 years old. Still in excellent condition though! Gösta has been building sleds and mushing dogs for more than 40 years and his Polaris skijoring pulks are very popular among competitive skijorers in Sweden.
We’re not into racing with our Malamutes but this lightweight pulk will be perfect for mountain excursions as the large and functional sled bag packs everything you need for a week-long excursion.
We had a nice and interesting visit at Kallasgården, where we also got to meet Gösta’s beautiful Greenland Dogs. Gösta is a great source of information when it comes to trails, dogs and equipment. I’m sure we’ll be visiting again to buy a second sled in the future.