The Pulk Sled

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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The Pulk Sled

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:37 pm

Here is another idea for reducing your pack load during winter. Just put the pack in a Pulk sled.

The usual March snowstorm hit a few weeks back. I took the opportunity to get in one last Pulk trip. The sled is a Paris expedition sled. The poles and sled hardware are from SkiPulk. After using the sled for one season I liked it. Next year I need to come up with some kinda brake system and maybe some fins for the hills. The sled tracked well. The Aluminum hardware on the sled is showing some signs of ware but don’t expect it to be a problem in the foreseeable future. Maybe the crossed traces allowed the metal parts of the poles to push against the Aluminum or perhaps the hard terrain is to blame. Still does not seem to be a showstopper.

Going up and down steep hills was a bit tricky but this was more than made up for on flatter terrain. There the sled offered a free ride. The sled allowed me to pack in some massive loads that would have been impossible in the backpack. Even with the fine EMR. The Molle harness worked better than expected as offered great control of the sled and the Pals webbing allowed for canteen and gear storage pockets that are easy access.

The Molle Harness:

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Paris Sled with pole set.

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Here is the Pulk sled just before setting up camp. It was getting dusk so I had the usual horse and pony show of setting up camp at night and finding firewood.

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Nightfall with some light snow and still unpacking the Pulk.

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Removed the poles and used the sled for wood gathering. Saved lots of time using the sled to transport the wood back to camp. Used a hatchet and a folding saw. Took down 2 very small standing maple dead wood trees. Dry as a bone despite a week of rain than then the storm. Guessing it was the near vertical position of the 8-foot saplings. Every degree the angle adds to the total moisture content.

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Wet paints from running around in the dark looking for the above wood.

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Dry paints thanks to the clothesline and woodstove. Took about 2 hours.

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Cooked up some of my favorite Polish treats for dinner.

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My super comfortable bed inside the 4-man tipi. The downmate 9DLX and a very large synthetic bag. Weight was not a consideration.

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Nearly packed up. Once I policed up the camp site the only sign is the tell tale dry spot from the wood stove.

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Looks like the snow is all done for this year. I liked the Pulk sled a lot. People could pack 150 lbs of gear with a pulk sled. Here I am with that load on aother trip.

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Clearly a pulk sled is worthless in the warmer months but for BIG loads during winter it is hard to beat.
Last edited by Woods Walker on Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Leatherman » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:55 pm

now THAT'S camping! nice job man!

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Post by jamoni » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:49 pm

I may weep openly. That is a sweet write up, and looks like an awesome time.
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Post by Makarov » Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:22 am

You could spend the summer months making a liner(or whatever it's called) for your pulk that'll protect your gear from the weather.
Something that'll look like this when your stuff is packed:
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It could double as a last ditch shelter if your pulk is large enough. I was once transported in a cargo-pulk this way, we were 3 ppl and had only 1 snowscooter(with a pulksled). I slipped down into a sleepingbag and had a ok ride.
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Post by jakemuay » Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:13 pm

Great review as usual Woods Walker. One of those rigged up with a 3 point wheel system for warmer months might be usefull as well.
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Post by Jamie » Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:55 pm

http://www.skipulk.com/products%20and%20parts.html

This site has set-ups including poles, sled/straps and hip belt for $160 plus $44 shipping...I'll be getting one before next winter...

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Post by Gunny » Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:43 pm

Woods you are all that is man.

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Post by Cymro » Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:23 pm

I hate snow camping, and that looks freakin' awesome!

Damn! Now I want to go camping where it's cold.
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Post by Guerrilla509 » Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:18 pm

I had a buddy who used your MOLLE belt strap modifed it and made a combat rig out of it
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Post by Woods Walker » Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:53 pm

The poles set I got was from SkiPulk. I had the Paris sled so I didn't need to buy one. I don't think the Paris Expedition sled is available anymore. I would buy one from Ed (SkiPulk) before he runs out. I think the poles would work with other Sleds too but the Paris is the cat's ass. A big sled that weights very little. It is build very strong. Much thicker than the toy sleds sold in WallyWorld. The Paris is made in Maine.

I was thinking about what Makarov said and may make a storage thing but I am also thinking about the winter bug out issue. The Paris/Poles setup is so light that it could be lashed right on my EMR for larger hills. Than the sled could be used for flatter areas. This was the terrain encountered.

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Does not look steep from the photos but it was.

I am thinking that for people up north in areas affected by heavy snow like out west, Upstate NY and Canada snow base is a big issue. If someone is forced to leave their home in a bug out the roads etc will be unplowed. Anyone that has ever tried to move though 3-5 foot base can attest that you will MAKE ZERO HEADWAY. A person would just overheat and get soaked. Once wet death is not far behind. I think snowshoes and hiking poles is key. I have ones made for snowshoes. Even in 1-2 feet of snow they help big time. The floatation and metal grabbers under the shoes allow for nonskid traction. XC skis are another consideration however being that people have BOBs etc I think the chance of falling is just too great. The poles are also great for summer use in hard terrain for anyone packing a large BOB of 70 or more lbs. Allows for faster and safer movement down hills etc. Anyways the shoeshoes could be stored next to the BOB and used if conditions applies. It is hard to explain the difficulties of movement in deep snow to those living in warmer areas. Even with a Pulk and Shoeshoes I do about 1 mile per hour at best. This is a million times faster than trying to push though a deep snow base. I would recommend people get snowshoes with extra floatation (larger), as gear will add to someone's total weight.

Another issue is floatation of the campsite. Yea I know. Hay why not a snow cave? Well they suck. Better than nothing in a life or death situation however it just sucks. Here is a shelter that needed to be dug in.

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Hours of work. Even a small tent would take a great deal of effort.

This shelter was floated on top of the snow. Just use snowshoes to compress the area down a foot and let the snow set for an hour. Time that could be used to sort out gear and get firewood etc.

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Takes so much less energy floating a camp. Less chance of getting a chill once the perspiration starts to freeze against your skin. Normally that is what kills people. Overheating followed by the chill down when at rest. This was not a problem for me as my shelter was about 85 degrees.
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sled

Post by Topcat » Sun Apr 01, 2007 5:42 pm

Yeow Woods Walker. You would be welcome in my group anytime. Nice info.
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Post by crypto » Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:16 pm

Woods Walker wrote:It is hard to explain the difficulties of movement in deep snow to those living in warmer areas.
Like walking through waist deep pudding.

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Post by Parabellum9x19mm » Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:32 pm

did you make that tipi ? it looks great. so cool that you can cook in there. is the center support really heavy? what happens when it rains? just put out the fire and put a rain tarp over the whole thing?
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Post by Woods Walker » Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:39 pm

No the tipi is a Kifaru 4-man. The stove is homemade. However I do carry a smaller setup inside my BOB. I have not finished re doing my BOB but feel the need to post photos of it soon with a disclaimer of items I still lack. My BOB stove and shelter system adds a total of about 6 lbs to my pack and takes up very little room.

Rain is a non-issue. I have used tent wood stove during heavy rain and snow. Not enough water goes down the pipe to affect the firebox. It takes me about 1 hour to find and prepare enough wood to run the stove for about 2 days assuming a run time of about 10 hours. I can find dry fuel in just about any weather. In fact anyone with reasonable Bushcraft skills can find dry fuel for a fire even during rain. The Pulk worked out well in upstate NY.

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It was fun to go out of my shelter and fire off a some rounds after breakfast. Traveled about 12 miles that weekend using the pulk. Stayed out for about 4 days. Could have stayed out 2 weeks with the food inside the sled. Overnight temps were about zero to 8. Melted snow with the stove and used a cloth to filter out any floaters. Before crawling into the bag I fill a platy with hot water and stoke the stove. The hot water inside my sleeping bag kept me warm. Also kept the water from freezing. A frozen canteen sucks. People often don't think about that. My canteens get iced all the time. But there is always eating snow. Oh if anyone is ever lost in the winter you CAN EAT SNOW. It will not kill you. If so I would have been dead a long time ago. The center pole is about 1.5 lbs. The tent with liner is about 6 lbs. The stove is about 6.5 lbs.
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Post by 66606 » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:06 pm

Makes me which we had snow like that. It wouldn't be as much fun in slush.
Once again a damm good write up WoodsWalker. My hat goes off to you.

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Post by Dave_M » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:50 am

great idea!
although I'm a bit shocked that you use USGI molle stuff
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Post by Parabellum9x19mm » Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:30 am

i'm pretty blown away. i love that tipi. can you hump it without a sled? i suppose the center support telescopes or something perhaps?
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Post by Woods Walker » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:58 pm

No problems with backpacking the 4-man and stove. Think the total is about 9 lbs or 12 if using the homemade stove over the Kifaru small stove. For my BOB I have a ligher tipi and stove combo that comes in at a total package of about 6 lbs. The support is in 4 sections. For my BOB shelter there is two poles. One in 4 sections the other in 2. But than again in a PAW I may still just take the 4-man.
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Post by Ricky Romero » Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:46 pm

Ka-bump.

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Post by HurricaneDad » Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:46 pm

Holy crap! That's about the most kick-ass thing I've seen in a LONG time!

Woods Walker, I bow to your kewl-ness. That's top-notch work and info!

Ricky, thanks a bunch for bumping this.

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Post by Woods Walker » Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:05 am

Thanks Medic.

I have been thinking of a few new things for the pulk sled. The old Molle 1 belt attached to the FLC is nice as it has a plastic insert. However I do have a molle FLC belt that was used during my rather misguided "survival vest" days. The belt is padded but does not have a plastic insert. Thinking the belt and some suspenders or my extra FLC vest might make for a nice harness that could roll up for storage. The idea is to put the fully loaded EMR into the pulk and travel along road or rails. Betting in a disaster the roads would not be plowed and made impassable to traffic due to broken down cars. I have a map of the rails and they tend to be away from homes and people. By rail or road a pulk sled can carry a huge pack with very little effort. Heck I did well over 100lbs more than a few times with the sled in much worse than snow covered roads or next to railroad tracks. If forced to leave the road and travel over thick underbrush etc than I could just put the EMR on my back and attach the poles to the pals webbing on the EMR belt. The harness could be lashed to the EMR or tossed in the empty pulk. Even on sideways hills the empty pulk would not be an issue. Or the sled is very light weight and could be lashed to the pack for a short time and the packable belt/vest tossed inside the pack. The sleds poles could be carried or just used as hiking poles to stabilize the whole load until sled friendly ground could be reached.

I was thinking about back fins for traveling sideways along hills but they add drag to the system. Last year I tied everything down with paracord but will work out something that can be released faster for portage. I was amazed at that with snowshoes it was possible to move well over 100 lbs though the backcountry with nearly 4 feet of fresh powder during one trip. I tested it out with my maximum INCH bag load of 70ish. I nearly flew across flat to moderately hilly terrain. But for larger hills thinking it is better to hump the pack over and than reload the sled. Also for the BOL the pulk is a great load carrier during winter. Than there is the more practical and realistic aspects of general winter camping fun. The level of comfort afforded by the load carrying capacity of a pulk makes for one sweet base camp. Looking to use this for a winter steelhead trip.

Take a look at the photos in the below link.

http://www.winterwalk2006.org/photos.htm

They are packing in a Empire Shortwall Hybrid tent with 4-dogs Ti stove.

http://www.snowtrekkertents.com/

http://www.fourdog.com/page3.html
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Re: The Pulk Sled

Post by Veritas » Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:53 am

Woods Walker wrote: Cooked up some of my favorite Polish treats for dinner.

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.
Sorry for being way off topic, but are those pirogis? If so, you are my hero and I need to know how you made those.
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Post by Makarov » Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:31 am

I've been searching for the Paris pulk here in Norway after reading this thread. My cousin got one, but it looks like the place he bought it from doesn't sell them anymore. I believe I read somewhere that it's out of production?

I've going to scrounge the used adds the next months to see if I can find one there.
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Re: The Pulk Sled

Post by Czechnology » Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:42 am

Veritas wrote:
Woods Walker wrote: Cooked up some of my favorite Polish treats for dinner.

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.
Sorry for being way off topic, but are those pirogis? If so, you are my hero and I need to know how you made those.
You can buy relatively good frozen ones in the store. Mrs T's is a brandname I've seen. I lived on those in college instead of ramen. (this is before I discovered I was Celiac... man I miss pierogies.)
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