Category Archives: Mushers

Camp Stove From Beer Can. Cookers and Fuel for the Iditarod.

As a backpacker (and penny pincher) I was impressed with this clip on how to build an ultra lite camp stove from an aluminum beverage can. I plan on making one of these this year and using it without starting anything on fire. Also attached is a sketch from my Iditarod Sketchbook showing what marathon dog mushers use (cooker and fuel) on the trail to heat water in minus degree weather. I was informed that the fuel pan fits inside the cooker.

Heet for Fuel

From Iditarod Sketch Book on fuel and cookers used on the trail. Heet and a cooker are considered mandatory equipment and must be in the sled when the musher lands in Nome.


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Filed under Iditarod, Mushers, Outdoors, Sketch Book

Anatomy of a Dog Sled Team

From T. Marple's 2012 Iditarod Sketch Book.

From T. Marple’s 2012 Iditarod Sketch Book.

Above is a sketch I did to help keep track of the different roles a dog may have on a dog sled team. Terms such as lead, swing or wheel dog would be slung around like moose stew at a checkpoint. As a volunteer I needed to learn  quickly. I noticed that a musher will move his dogs around depending on the situation. An example would be when the teams crossed from Shaktoolik to Koyuk, across 50+ miles of sea ice, often times the musher would use an older, calmer dog to lead the team across the ice and not the normal leader. The few times I witnessed this, the dog used to lead the team across the ice had been a wheel dog, but, not always.

The number of dogs you can start (Willow) and finish (Nome) with on the Iditarod is also a frequent question—16 (start) and 6 (finish) (from the 2012 Iditarod rule book). Not sure if the number you can finish with changes from year to year or not.

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Filed under AK, Dog Sled Team, Iditarod, Koyuk, Mushers