Knowing Where North Is
Popular wisdom to the contrary, the one sure way to find the north is to use a compass. The sky is often not clear enough to locate the sun or stars accurately.
The North Star is at the end of the W Little Dipper’s handle. It is the one stationary star, hence its value in direction finding.
A heavy shock cord reduces the impact on the dogs of the sled hitting an obstacle.
Bumpers are pointed to push obstructions aside.
A Musher’s Glossary
A musher is a dogsled driver. The term comes from the old startup command “Mush!” derived from the French word marche (go).
1 The lead dog runs at the head of the team and interprets the musher’s voice commands.
1 The swing dogs are the pair immediately behind the lead dog. They help bring the team around whenever a change in direction is called for.
The wheel dogs are the pair immediately in front of the sled. They are generally very powerful animals.
The team dogs are the rank-and-file members of the dog team.
The sleds have two types of brakes: a plate far deep snow, and threaded rods far ice. The rods are screwed deeper into the mounts as they wear away.
The snow anchor keeps the dogs from storting without the musher.
The basic harness. While other kinds exist, this one is widely used.