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A Guide To Staying Warm On The Trail

Western Canada was plagued with extreme cold weather for few days to add to our already confused winter, and I say confused because we wake up to -40C one day and -7C the next. While many hibernate at home during this frigid cold, our Siberians come alive and absolutely love it.

But -30C being on the trail with the dogs is really not bad when you are dressed properly for the conditions:

  1. Layers - layers are very important and not only that, but the material they are made of. Closest to the skin layer should not hold moisture as that will keep you very cold. I use Merino Wool base layers including the undergarments and socks. Having the proper amount of layers is important, if you are moving a lot (running uphill to help the dogs, snow too slow resulting in more help from you, etc...) too many layers can be too hot.

  2. Glove layers - we normally have 2, inner layer gloves to be able to do the dog chores before and after our run, and always carrying the big mittens (bison gauntlets) to warm up the hands if needed or to wear for the whole run in very cold temperatures. I also add hand warmers in each inner glove to provide heat during our entire time outside.

  3. Footwear - If your toes get cold in your boots, add toe warmers. I find most winter boots are too cold for my toes. Few year ago I had a custom made mukluks by Northern Heart Designs ( and I have not been cold once on the trails in our harsh Alberta winters wearing only a pair of socks.

  4. Face covers - it's important to cover the skin to avoid frost bite. Once the dogs are moving at speed the wind hitting your face at -30C can be brutal. Proper ski mask with good ventilation so it doesn't keep the moisture in is fantastic. Your helmet can fit well on top and then the hood of your jacket. Helmets are a must during our runs as it takes one bad fall hitting your head and can be the end of all fun. Many don't wear helmets and that is a personal choice, but we do always.

Siberian husky sled dog team

Sledding with Siberian huskies

Kananaskis Country with our Siberian huskies

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