Dog sledding is an adventurous and thrilling experience. There are many popular dog sledding expeditions in the world such as France, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greenland, Canada and Alaska. Among these destinations, France is renowned world over for its husky dog sledding. It is absolutely the fantastic way to enjoy the winter fun while exploring Southern French Alps’ snow-covered mountains and plateaux.
Dog sledding can be enjoyed in various ways. You can do so by going on winter sightseeing tour while strapping yourself onto the sled, or you can simply take care of your team of dogs for mushing, feed them and put them to rest in to their snowy beds during night. These are two popular ways to make your dog sledding experience quite enjoyable.
Before you set off to enjoy the thrills of dog sledding, it would be appropriate to know briefly about Husky Dogs. People have been using the huskies for centuries to help them traverse the rather inaccessible, cumbersome snowy wilderness of the alpine winter. The husky dogs with their incredible stamina and strength, as well as their thick coats are perfectly adapted to work in severe snowy conditions. These dogs can just go on for miles and miles pulling sledges through the snow.
A special skill is required for ‘mushing’ or driving the dogs. However, learning the basics is quite easy and it’s possible for everyone to do it successfully. Don’t think that a helping hand to the dogs is enough to help them pull the sledge on the steep up-hills. This is rather a lot more physical than what you had initially thought about. There is every possibility of the sledge going out of control and thus put you in danger if you don’t hold on and steer the sledge, particularly when going on the down-hills.
Husky dog sledding in the Alps
The Alps is a somewhat different when compared to the snowfields of Finland that are long and flat. The pace of husky sledding in the Alps is a bit rough and adventurous, while in Finnish snowfields it is slightly less sporty and steadier.
While going for husky dog sledding in the Alps, you may first of all consider taking a test session of nearly 10 to 20 minutes on a sledge just to see whether this is to your liking. If you are comfortable with this, then go on a husky sled adventure into the winter wilderness for one hour, half-a-day or even a full day. Going out on a moonlit excursion is quite an exciting experience.
Those who are avowed dog lovers, the husky sledding experience is really thrilling especially when going for an overnight expedition. Husky sledding overnight is a perfect way to know about the dogs, and provide opportunity to pet them, feed them, clean them, and finally prepare them for work.
Essential things to know
Different sizes of sleds are available. This is usually available for between 1 to 4 people. If you want to have your own sled and dog team, then this is also possible. It is always good to go for a shared sled. This is a perfect way to enjoy the ride for few minutes while other person does all the work.
The dogs are quite friendly and well trained. You needn’t fear amidst their presence as they are firmly secured by a leash. You can take the help of instructors and professional ‘mushers’ for providing test sessions with the dogs or simply help you with the trekking.
The husky dog sledding season is usually in the winter months of January, February, March, April and December every year. There are certain age restrictions as well for ‘mushing’ the huskies. It is permitted for adults and children of a minimum age of 12. However, for those who are under 12 will be allowed as passengers on the sled. For those children who are quite young and aged under 6, husky dog sledding is limited to 1 hour or less for preventing them from getting too cold.
For those who want to start ‘mushing’ the huskies on their own, it is important to maintain reasonable level of fitness. You must also heed to the instructions provided by a professional and experienced musher.
This precaution is also highly recommended for you. Avoid washing your face completely on the morning you want to enjoy your husky dog sledding experience. Using of face cream should also be avoided at all cost. If you wash your face or use face cream, then there is every possibility of leading to frostbite.
Dressing in layers of warm clothing is also quite essential for you to endure as well as enjoy your outdoor winter activities. The essential snowwears required by you include fleeces, balaclava, a thin warm hat, thermals, and at least two pairs of gloves.