Outdoor professionals face many obstacles. Lightning, unsurpassable natural borders, guests who are afraid of crapping in the woods—it is an ever growing list. Also on this list is keeping busy during the shoulder seasons.
Priscilla Haskin views the off season as a chance to do something different than her regular winter activity of snowshoeing. (In the summer, she’s out paddling as the owner of Haskin Canoe.)
While waiting for the snow this year, she’s teaching her dog to mush.
“Two weeks ago I got a husky mix from a northern community,” Haskin explains. “[Chewie] has a lot of energy and I am not that athletic. … I needed something to expel his energy that I could also do.”
Haskin joined a Meet Up group organized by Marty Springstead and decided to dive into learning to train her dog to pull a scooter.
“I was surprised at was how much Chewie loved to pull,” says Haskin. “It did take a few minutes but once he started he was off. Now I know why helmets are so important as it was a little intimidating traveling so fast with Chewie. I have to admit I am glad he didn’t see any squirrels on the first run. The squirrels came later.”
Haskin, whose only experience was the purchase of a kick sled—a smaller version of a dog sled—pointed out that the proper gear is imperative to the experience.
“You need a dog and a scooter of course,” she says. “You’ll also need a dog harness with a bungee coupler and a leash with bungees built in for easy of tension that attaches to the scooter.”
She adds to that a personal waist band for the leash. This will allow you to transfer the dog to yourself which helps in maneuvering the scooter when packing up to leave.
Her passion for the outdoors is equaled by her passion for learning.
“Becoming proficient with a skill takes time,” she says. “While one course is nice, there is nothing like taking the time to learn more from those that have the experience.”