February 15, 2019

Eye on the Trail: Telephoto Tuesday – Mandatory Gear

Meredith Mapes Unpacking and Repacking in McGrath – What MUST she take?

Meredith Mapes is changing to a new sled in McGrath on her rookie Iditarod run in 2018.  There’s certainly a pile of gear on the ground.  Is it all going to fit into her new sled?  An important question here would be, “What’s mandatory?” Mandatory gear is listed in Rule 16. Here’s a copy paste of the list.

Rule 16 — Mandatory Items: A musher must have with him/her at all times the following items:

  • Proper cold weather sleeping bag weighing a minimum of 5lbs.
  • 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.

When leaving a checkpoint adequate emergency dog food must be on the sled. (This will be carried in addition to what you carry for routine feeding and snacking.)

I encourage you to look through the rules to become familiar with what’s new for 2019.  More often than not, if you have a question about the race, you can find the answer in the rules.  Go ahead, up your game as a spectator by becoming familiar with the rules that all the mushers must follow. While you’re reading, look for the answers to these questions.  How many sleds can a musher send out on the trail?  Can a sail be used to propel the sled?  Can a sled have wheels?