How to dress for sleddog
The ideal clothing for sleddog tours
The practice of sleddog has very ancient origins and comes from the coldest and most remote regions of the planet: here, Alaska as well as in Lapland, dog sleds were once the only means of transport that could be used during the harsh winters when traditional communication routes were rendered impracticable by snow and ice.
Sleddog clothing: what to wear on winter tours
As is still the case today at major international dog sled races such as the Iditarod (discover the oldest and most famous dog sled race), the musher’s luggage was not very large but contained only the essentials for survival, as most of his belongings were already worn.
Unlike the Alaskan pioneers, those who prepare to experience sleddog in the Alps face weather conditions that are not particularly extreme. The winters in Alta Valtellina, especially in recent years, offer plenty of snow but never excessively cold temperatures, so that participants can enjoy the tour and the adventure to the full. However, don’t forget to pay attention to the clothing needed for sleddog: since this is an excursion with dogs in the snow, it is essential to wear waterproof winter boots, winter hiking boots, after-ski boots or moonboots, while sneakers or other footwear that is not suitable for the snowy environment is not recommended. What we wear on our feet must protect and waterproof but at the same time give us the right sensibility: along the route we will have to guide the sledge using our feet as well, to brake or relaunch the pace.
Sleddog in winter and summer: how to dress appropriately
If the huskies that pull the sled are particularly fond of low temperatures (find out more about the characteristics of Alaskan Huskies), the winter climate in Valtellina may not be particularly suitable for those who suffer from the cold. Arnoga in Valdidentro, the location of the Husky Village in the province of Sondrio, is situated at an altitude of 1900 metres, halfway between Bormio and Livigno, and in winter the temperatures are often below zero. This is why it is important to wear winter clothing suitable for the local climate, not forgetting also that much of the route winds its way through the woods in areas where the trees shield the sun’s rays: technical underwear, a heavy jersey and a ski suit are therefore the best clothes for sleddog, with the addition of heavy gloves, a scarf and a beanie to avoid getting cold along the route, as well as sunglasses to avoid glare from the snow on sunny days. In short, for a dog sled ride, we recommend that you dress as if you were going skiing (ski boots and helmet excluded, of course).
The Husky Village’s summer tours during the warmer months of the year are a different matter. In this case it is advisable to wear mountain clothing as for summer trekking, taking into account the altitude and the speed with which the weather changes at high altitudes, as well as the experience chosen: in the case of a trekking excursion with huskies on foot we will warm up walking through the marvellous alpine scenery of Valdidentro, if instead we opt to be pulled by dogs on board a kart we will have less chance to sweat.