Keeping the canine athletes warm and ready to run

Volunteers bag, sort and stack over 1200 bales of straw and hay to be sent out to checkpoints on the Iditarod trail. The straw is used as beds for the dogs as they rest.

Each year volunteers gather to pack straw beds for the sled dogs to be delivered to various checkpoints across the Iditarod’s nearly 1,000-mile trail. This work happens weeks in advance of the race and takes a team of over a dozen dedicated volunteers many hours to complete this important job. These beds keep the dogs warm at night and are an essential part of how a team rests and prepares for the next leg of the race. It is the Iditarod’s main priority, as well as the volunteers who help along the trail, to take care of the canine athletes while they traverse Alaska’s diverse terrain.

Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who took time out of their day to come out and pack straw for the race. Special thanks to Air Land Transport for having us and letting us make a mess! Dog care and safety for all participating in the race is Iditarod’s number one priority and making sure every dog has adequate straw for bedding on the trail is just one part that makes this race run smoothly.