Planning and Packing

Dear Boys and Girls,

What is currently happening with the mushers?   They are packing drop bags!  Each musher may send ahead three 50 lb. bags of supplies for EACH checkpoint.  Count up the checkpoints on the northern route of the race and figure out how many bags a musher can send ahead.

Jessie Royer opened bags in Nikolai on a previous race

The reason mushers send bags ahead is that their sleds cannot hold everything.  With the drop bags waiting for them at each checkpoint, the musher can refill and take what he/she needs for the next section of the trail.  In the bags the musher might have extra socks, gloves, and maybe a pair of boots.  These adventurous people also pack food for themselves like candy, pizza slices, breakfast casserole, cashew nuts, cinnamon rolls, burritos, Capri Suns, and more.  The mushers need food that is easily thawed.  They drop the frozen food (which is in a plastic bag) in hot water to thaw it while on the trail.  In checkpoints, they may use a kitchen to heat up their food.  Right now, musher Laura Neese is packing some cheesecake slices in airtight bags for the race! Friends and family often cook meals for the mushers and help package them into individual servings.  

In the drop bags are items for us sled dogs, too!  There are extra harnesses, dry dog food, frozen meat and salmon, more booties, and more.

Drop bags are organized in ABC order. A sled is waiting to help drag the bags to the mushers.

That’s a lot to get ready, but it will be very appreciated when a tired musher gets to a checkpoint on the Iditarod and can get clean socks and food made by someone who loves them!

Until next time,