The Fan Hitch Volume 5, Number 2, March 2003

Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog

Table of Contents

Editorial: The Blind Men and the Elephant
The Return
Dogs in Greenland
The Contribution of Dogs to Exploration in Antarctica
Page from the Behaviour Notebook: Raising Raven
Antarctic Sketches
Physiology of Sledge Dogs
The Qitdlarssuaq Chronicles, Part 2
News Briefs:
Thesis update
Blue Eye update
Product Review: DirectStop®
Book Review: Carved from the Land
Tip for the Trail: Re-lining Water Jug Caps
IMHO: Preservation vs. Saving

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Ordering Ken MacRury's Thesis

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Editor's/Publisher's Statement
              Editor: Sue Hamilton
              Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
The Fan Hitch Website and Publications of the Inuit Sled Dog– the quarterly Journal (retired in 2018) and PostScript – are dedicated to the aboriginal landrace traditional Inuit Sled Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. 

PostScript is published intermittently as material becomes available. Online access is free at:  PostScript welcomes your letters, stories, comments and The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.

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Tip for the Trail.....

Brian Sheldon with 'The Players', 1969              by Mike Fielding, from The Book That Wasn't

Re-line Those Water Bottle Caps

by Mark Hamilton

For me, as a musher, water is always an issue. I need to have it for my dogs when we're out running and I prefer to bring my own rather than seek it out on the trail. A big five gallon water jug is useful where we set up, but it is awkward to transport on a sled or a training rig.

For use on the trail I have five-quart, wide mouth plastic jugs that originally held canola oil. Their only major liability is the cardboard liner in their caps. That liner quickly gets water soaked despite its plastic coating, and shortly thereafter it begins to look pretty nasty. 

Fortunately, it is very simple to re-line these caps. The original cardboard liner pulls out easily, especially after it's water soaked, and is quickly replaced. And you don't need to endure the water soaking problem again as I've found what I think is a far superior material from which to make those replacement cap liners - sheet styrofoam. 

I suppose you could use old, discarded coffee cups as a source of material, but styrofoam is also readily available in a flat, sheet form. More than likely the remains of the dinner you couldn't finish the last time you dined out came home as a "doggie bag" that was actually a large styrofoam container. And many produce and meat products at the supermarket are packaged on top of styrofoam trays as well. A little cutting on either of these items with a scissors will yield lots of flat sheet styrofoam. Trust me here. You will find it preferable making your cap liners from a flat sheet of styrofoam rather than from a curled section cut from the side of a coffee cup. An added advantage of using styrofoam is that there is no need to trace the cap's outline onto the material. Just press the cap down into it, then cut on the inner margin of the indentation you've created.

Now, don't forget, before you start making liners, wash the styrofoam with hot, soapy water, especially if it was in contact with any food product, before you used it.

Got a tip you'd like to share? Email it to or snail-mail it to Mark Hamilton, 55 Town Line Road, Harwinton, CT 06791, USA.

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