The Pulk

Winter camping requires a bit more gear than your usual moderate weather trips, and you need to somehow get it to camp without killing yourself.  If your back or your backpack just isn’t up for the job, consider building a "pulk." 

This is simply a sled or toboggan of any sort that will hold your gear and follow you to camp.  You can spend the money for very sturdy and functional commercially marketed models, or you can be like many of us and build your own, which can also be very functional and durable. 

Those orange (or any color) plastic sleds that you can buy almost anywhere actually work very well, especially with a little customizing.  We reinforced ours in front, where the ropes attach, with plywood.  The ropes need to be a little heavier than they come with, and sticking the ropes through pieces of 3/4 inch CPVC plastic water pipe keeps your pulk from sliding in behind you on a downslope. 

We tied harness snaps to the end of the ropes, where they protrude from the CPVC pipes. They then clip to “D” rings fastened to our fanny packs for easy on and off.  We also fastened canvas about 20 inches high all around the sleds to make it easy to secure our gear.  A few rubber tie down straps hooked on the edge and pulled over the top makes a nice, tight bundle. 

Be sure to use the widest sled you can find, or tipping becomes an aggravating problem.  By the way, these also work great for pulling deer out of the woods.

Don't be afraid of the winter woods.  Bring the right gear and apparell, and enjoy a wonderland of beauty and solitude.