Last winter I went dog mushing in Sweden with Nature Travels

My pack

On arrival, we were assigned our dog pack. We would be responsible for looking after these dogs for the next few days. Making sure they were put on and off the hasness correctly , feeding them and making sure they slept comfortably. Each of us had 5 dogs, with each row of dogs having their own role.

Lead dogs (the smart ones)

Speja and Amber were my lead dogs. As both of them are female I had to make sure that both of them got on well together. While the male dogs could fight and then make up we were warned that female dogs, once they fight, can no longer be put together as they hold a grudge.

The lead dogs are the navigators. They need to follow where the pack in front is going or listen to direction instructions.

Speja (left) and Amber (right)
Speja (left) and Amber (right)

Middle dog (all rounder)

Viola was my middle dog, average in listening to instructions and average in strength. Unfortunately Viola had an injured toe so she had to wear a sock which she was not a fan of. I had to stop several times to pick it up after she managed to remove it mid running.

Viola
Viola

Back dogs ( the strong ones)

My two boys at the back were Eastwood and Foxy. These guys were the pack clowns. Always jumping over each other if not jumping on you!

Eastwood (left) and Foxy (right)
Eastwood (left) and Foxy (right)

Clothing

We were given waterproof overalls to wear over our clothes. This helped us stay warm and kept the dog poo (that Foxy would often put on me while jumping) off our clothes too.

Travelling

The views while travelling were amazing. Snow as far as the eye could see as well as crossing frozen lakes.

Feeding

We carried the dog food in our sledge as well as bowls for each of the dogs

My pack
My pack

Sleeping

While we slept in bothies with roaring fires the dogs preferred the cold. Each dog was given their own pile of hay and the leads were anchored down (though we did have a few guys escaping in the middle of the nights )

Speja (left) and Amber (right)
Speja (left) and Amber (right)
Exhausted !
Exhausted !