The Fan Hitch Volume 7, Number 4, September 2005

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog

In This Issue...

Editorial: Building Bridges
F.I.D.O.: Marit Holm
Nunavik Dog Slaughters, Part III
Greenland Dog / Inuit Dog, The Same Dog
Differences in Mushing: Greenland and Arctic Canada, Part I
Fan Mail
Behavior Notebook: The Human Role
Book Review: Frozen Horizons
Product Review: Wheel Dog Harness
Tip for the Trail: Pack a Pruning Saw
 IMHO: The System
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Editor: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at:

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Tip for the Trail…

Pack a Folding Pruning Saw

submitted by Mark Hamilton

Here in New England we run on hiking or fire trails in our forests.  Those forests are characterized with an abundance of underbrush, windfalls, crowded growth and rocks, lots of rocks. Well, this is New England, and the glaciers did stop their southern advance here.

For us it is not uncommon to find the trail we're running blocked with a downed tree, or some part of a tree. With our forests being the way they are, going off trail and around the obstruction is not always possible, especially when you're using a training cart.

Sue and I take a lot of "stuff" with us when we run our dogs. We're not racers, we run Inuit Dogs. So what's an extra pound or two? We're very open to adding things to the supplies in our sled bags and then seeing if they prove useful. If it turns out that something is not useful we take it back out, otherwise it's there forever. Last season we added something that quickly became a permanent addition - a compact, folding pruning saw.

For those not familiar with this item, it comes in a variety of blade lengths, from under 25 cm. (10 in.) up to about 45 cm. (18 in.). It has an aggressive tooth pattern, locks in the open (some also in the closed) position, and folds up like a pocketknife. 

I got mine at one of those close-out stores. It has a plastic handle, is about 23 cm. (9 in.) long closed and double that open. And it has already permitted me to continue down trails I'd never before seen, instead to being forced into a "come gee" and going back to where I'd already been. 

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

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