49th Running in the 49th State – Trail Reporting: Monday, March 8th

Monday, March 8th



The theme of my trail reporting posts this year is “Frequently Asked Student Questions” about the Iditarod and I am going to start today with one that students ask every year. One of the things they are really curious about is what items mushers pack in their sleds. I often tell them that there is a list of “mandatory” or required items, but beyond that it is up to the mushers themselves. Here is a picture to show one example of all the things that go into a sled:


Will Meredith Mapes fit all this Gear into her Lighter Sled? Photo Credit: Terrie Hanke


Also, check out this great video of Dallas Seavey discussing what is going in his sled this year! https://fb.watch/45dfYviGdq/


Like my students, you may be wondering which of these items are considered “mandatory” to have on the trail?  Here is what is listed in the 2021 rule book:

Rule 16 — Mandatory Items: A musher must have with him/her the following items at all times, from the Restart until the teams finish in Nome. 

  • Proper cold weather sleeping bag weighing a minimum of 5 lbs. 
  • Ax, head to weigh a minimum of 1-3/4 lbs., handle to be at least 22” long. 
  • One operational pair of snowshoes with bindings, each snowshoe to be at least 252 square inches in size. 
  • Any promotional material provided by the ITC. 
  • Eight booties for each dog in the sled or in use. 
  • One operational cooker and pot capable of boiling at least three (3) gallons of water at one time. 
  • Veterinarian notebook, to be presented to the veterinarian at each checkpoint. 
  • An adequate amount of fuel to bring three (3) gallons of water to a boil. 
  • Functional non-chafing harness for each dog in team and a functional neckline. 
  • An insulated dog coat for each dog in the team that can be used while running and or resting.

*When leaving a checkpoint adequate emergency dog food must be on the sled as well.

Teachers: Have your students come up with 1 PERSONAL item that they would want to bring on the trail with them. Have them defend their reasoning for selecting that item.