Sanka’s Zoom Lens – Harnessing & Booting

Nancy Wendt and Dana Augustine boot and harness Aang

It’s a tradition at Iditarod Summer Teacher’s camp – Harnessing and Booting.  Teachers pair up to harness and boot a dog.  Each member of the team has to put the harness on properly and then apply four booties.  After completing the task and removing the harness and the boots, it’s the next team members turn.  What sounds and looks like a pretty simply task when hearing and explanation and watching a demonstration can be very tricky when it comes do to it.  Some dogs almost step into the harness on their own and other dogs never seem to stand still.  Some dogs extend their paws for the boots, others are a bit more reluctant.  Here’s some math for booting.  When a musher starts the race with 14 dogs, how many booties will s/he apply at the start of the race?  How many booties will s/he be carrying in the sled if the rules require 8 booties for each dog in harness?  If booties were to last 100 miles and the musher finishes the race with all 14 dogs, how many booties would the musher use over the course of the race?