The Fan Hitch Volume 10, Number 2, March 2008

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International

In This Issue....

From the Editor: New Realities

In the News: Must-visit Websites

BAS Vignette: Memories of a Non-Doggy Man

Sledge Dog Memorial Fund Update

Lost and Found: Recovering Dogs Gone Astray

Book Review: Hunters of the Polar North

Tip: Spreading it Around

Product Review: Mountain Pack Boots

IMHO: Self-actualization

Navigating This Site

Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

Search The Fan Hitch

Articles to download and print

Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

Our comprehensive list of resources

Talk to The Fan Hitch

The Fan Hitch home page

ISDI home page

Editor's/Publisher's Statement
Editor-in-Chief: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
Print Edition: Imaged and distributed by the IPL students of the Ulluriaq School, Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

Print subscriptions: in Canada $20.00, in USA $23.00, elsewhere $32.00 per year, postage included. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Make checks payable in Canadian dollars only to "Mark Brazeau", and send to Mark Brazeau, Box 151 Kangiqsualujjuaq QC J0M 1N0 Canada. (Back issues are also available. Contact Sue Hamilton.)

The Fan Hitch
welcomes your letters, stories, comments and suggestions. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.

Contents of The Fan Hitch are protected by international copyright laws. No photo, drawing or text may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Webmasters please note: written consent is necessary before linking this site to yours! Please forward requests to Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Rd., Harwinton, Connecticut  06791, USA or

The Inuit Sled Dog International

The Inuit Sled Dog International (ISDI) is a consortium of enthusiasts whose goal is the preservation of this ancient arctic breed in its purest form as a working dog. The ISDI's efforts are concentrated on restoring the pure Inuit Dog to its native habitat. The ISDI's coordinators welcome to your comments and questions.

ISDI Coordinator Canada:
Geneviève Montcombroux, Box 206, Inwood, MB R0C 1P0;
ISDI Coordinator USA:
Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791,
Product Review….

Mountain Pack Boots keep my feet warm and they have
 great traction on snow or ice.                 photo: Hamilton

Northern Outfitters Mountain Pack Boots

by Mark Hamilton

Maybe it has something to do with the depressing regularity with which I sustained frostbite on my hands and feet in my youth. Whatever. All I know is that I have to wear mittens in temperatures below 30ºF (-1ºC), and my feet can get painfully cold at 20ºF (-7ºC). Insulated hiking boots and really good socks can forestall painful feet, but as the temperature drops further or the duration of exposure lengthens my feet become even more susceptible to the cold.

In the March 2007 edition of The Fan Hitch, I told you about my mittens from Sterling Glove. Now I want to introduce you to my Mountain Pack Boots. As was the case with my Klondike mittens, this is my second pair of these boots. When I wore out my first pair after many years and lots of use, I was so satisfied with those boots that I wouldn't even consider buying a different boot from another source.

My Mountain Pack Boots have always kept my feet warm, a feature I really like. I also appreciate that they are lightweight, and the way their soles always surprise me with how much traction they supply on snow or ice. The bootlaces and snow cuffs feature quick release sliders so you never have a frozen knot to untie. That's nice too. Both the boot shell and boot liner have ankle stays that help with stability and maybe even help to protect the ankles. Another benefit of the ankle stays is that the boots stand up all by themselves. If you leave the boot and snow cuff laces loose, you can just step right into them. That's especially handy when you have to go outside right now.

Wearing Mountain Pack Boots you'll be about an inch (a few centimeters) taller than you are in your stocking feet. There is a thick sole underneath your foot. On top of this molded sole is a thick thermal insole and my somewhat older model of these boots also has a moisture control screen on top of that. As I look at the Northern Outfitter website today, I see they have revised the Mountain Pack Boot since I bought my last pair, and the current model no longer comes with the moisture control screens. If you buy these boots see you can also buy a pair of the screens as I think it is a nice feature for mushers and well worth having.

Boot liner is thick and soft. It rests on a thermal inner sole
 and a moisture control screen.                 photo: Hamilton

The Northern Outfitters' Mountain Pack Boot is rated for -20ºF (-29ºC) and sells for US$150. Northern Outfitters, 4627 Roosevelt Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32210 USA; 1-800-944-9276;

Is there a useful product you'd like to tell everyone about? Email your experience to or snail-mail it to Mark Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791, USA. 
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