Happy 2019, friends! I still can’t believe it’s 2019 and we’re already close to mid-way through January, and in the depths of winter!
This winter has actually been pretty mild so far. Except for one or two snow storms, we have been having mostly fall-like weather which I’m not mad about at all, being more of a fall girl myself! But there are some great outdoor winter activities to try out when the white stuff is falling from the sky… one of which is dog sledding! And dog sledding in the mountains is even better!
If you're ever in Banff in Canada and have some time to spare for a dog sledding adventure, head out to Canmore, a town on the edge of Banff National Park, and pay Snow Owl Sled Dog Tours a visit. I went on my first dog sled tour with them a while back and had a blast! Keep scrolling to read all about it!
Booking your trip
You should book your trip ahead of time as spots are limited. I went with the Powder Hound Express. This is a 2 hour tour, but you're only actively dog sledding for 1 hour. The other hour is for training and a hot drink to warm you up at the end. There are also 4 and 8 hour options, and even an overnight trip if you're up for that. Just keep in mind that you will have to run uphill with your dogs so it can get quite strenuous, especially if you're not that fit... like me!
With Snowy Owl, each of their sleds can carry 3 adults. If you are two people, you can choose to either have an instructor with you to help drive, or you can choose to go sans instructor and drive yourself. I recommend the latter because it's so much fun!
The company will also ask for the weights of everyone in your party as there are weight limits for the sleds in order to protect the dogs. So have that ready for when you make your booking!
Things to pack
You will be outside in the cold Canadian winter for the duration of your trip so dress warm! I'd recommend dressing in layers so that you can take layers off if it gets too warm. Here are some clothing you may want to wear or bring with you:
A warm winter jacket
A toque, which is Canadian for a beanie or a winter hat!
Winter boots that are warm and have a good grip
Sunglasses if it’s sunny, but also because it can get quite windy so it'll help block the wind from your eyes.
A camera to document your experience! Please think about the dogs though and try not to carry anything too heavy!
During your trip
It’s really important to listen to the instructors before you set off on your dog sledding adventure. They will teach you commands and what you should do (did you know that you should stop the sled if one of your dogs start pooping?) and shouldn’t do.
Speaking from personal experience, one thing you should definitely try to avoid doing is falling off the sled. As I mentioned, driving the sled involves hopping off the sled during uphill parts of the trail and running while still holding onto the sled. Fun fact: this is so that you alleviate some of the strain off the dogs. Well, I was running and ended up slipping on the packed snow, falling flat on my face. Of course this meant that I had let go of the sled and the dogs were free to run whichever way they wanted with my passenger still in the sled. Obviously, this is not supposed to happen! I chased the sled with everything I had in me and luckily ended up eventually catching up to the sled. It made for a memorable adventure!
As a passenger of the sled, it’s a treat to sit back, watch the dogs, and enjoy the scenery of the mountains around you. And boy, would I love to experience dog sledding again on a beautiful winter day!
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This post is not sponsored. I paid for the tour with Snowy Owl myself, and was not paid to write about my experience. All opinions and experiences (embarrassing ones of me falling on my face included) are my own!
This post is linked up on… Our World Tuesday and…