How Much Weight Can You Put In A Snow Sled Cross-Country Skiing With Children – Using a Pulk Sled

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Cross-Country Skiing With Children – Using a Pulk Sled

Anyone who has skied in Scandinavia will have seen parents hauling their children behind them in fiberglass sleds called pulks. The pulk jumped along the snow on the runner and the boy snuggled inside, protected behind the tinted windshield, put in a special insulated bag and secured with a belt. Adults are tackled with a long rigid aluminum pole attached to a waist belt.

Where children are very small, pulk is the snow equivalent of a pram. It is safer than carrying a child in a backpack and more comfortable. With older children it can be used as “backup” transport, so that the child can ski for a while and then rest for a while.

Skiing with pulk can be rewarding for kids and parents alike, but there are problems:

– It can be a bumpy ride for children, especially if the track is badly prepared or icy. To combat this, you must ensure that the child sits upright and is comfortably supported: if the belt is loose, it will slide slowly down to the back. Therefore, pulks are not suitable for children under six months. If you are a strong skier, be aware that the action of your skis can cause the sled to rise instead of moving smoothly, making the child’s head fall back and forth.

– Children can be very cold. Be sure to use an insulated bag. Pulk must also have a windshield, partly to protect it from the snow kicked up by the skier pulling. Because pulling pulk is a warm work, parents can easily not realize that the child is cold.

– The basic “configuration”, with the child behind the parent and out of reach, is strange for the child, especially since the noise of skis and sleds will hinder communication. It helps if you are accompanied by other adults who can ski together with the pulk and keep the children company.

– Towing a Pulk calls for a sufficient degree of skill and quite a lot of strength. Even on flat ground, the pulk feels heavy and when going uphill it feels very heavy. And because it is heavy! The sled itself can weigh about 20 pounds and then you have the weight of the child, plus food and liquids as well as other essentials like diapers and toys. When skiing down the pulk pushes you forward, so you have to brake the snowplow very safely. You also need a strong and reliable turning technique, because in bends, the pulk tends to swing behind you, making more than you want. The risk of capsizing is not significant, but it is there, and some pulks have a roll bar to counter the danger.

If you are new to using Pulks it is best to take a short journey: half an hour is long enough. Then for the little ones you can build up to one hour.

You can rent pulks at many Scandinavian resorts. Expect to pay around £50 (US $75) for a six-day rental, plus £20 (US $30) for an insulated bag.

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