Dog Sledding!

In keeping with our theme of staying warm because it’s cold outside, I thought I’d share with you a story of our dog sledding adventure with Voyageur Outward Bound in Minnesota in 2006.

It all started because my husband complained about the weather here in Chicago. Fitting complaint, especially since it’s expected to get down below zero this weekend. I wanted to do something fun, unusual, and educational. I picked the Outward Bound class because I’ve always wanted to do one, to experience it and challenge myself. The hallmark of Outward Bound is that you spend some time, one night or more, camping by yourself in the wilds. I thought, what better way to learn how to stay warm and have fun all at the same time?

Two weeks before we left, my husband shrugged and said, “Well, if I don’t like it, I can always hang out in the lodge and drink hot chocolate.”


On an Outward Bound Expedition?

“Didn’t you read the stuff I sent you on the [non-refundable] class?”

Blink. “Well, I looked at the pictures.”

He looked at the pictures.


Another blink. “Oh.” Pause. “So, no lodge?”

Gritted teeth. “No, dear. No lodge.”


Cautiously, “So, you still want to go?”

“I suppose.”

Rousing endorsement, that.

So we get there, and the first thing we learn is the Heat Triangle. Here’s how it works:

There are three parts to keeping warm in severely cold weather:

1. Layered clothing
2. Food and hot drinks
3. Movement

You can work on any one of the legs of the triangle to warm up. One of the most effective techniques is to swing your arms back and forth like a windmill. This will bring the blood to your fingertips and warm up your hands. I use this frequently back here in Chicago when waiting for the bus or the train.

And my husband? He survived and had an awesome time with the dogs, the cold, and yes, even the hot chocolate.


37 thoughts on “Dog Sledding!

  1. My husband would love every minute of an Outward Bound trip and I would survive but have to work really really hard not to complain about the lack of a lodge! Thank you for sharing about your winter trip. All of my favorite winter expeditions pretty much involve dragging out sunscreen, bathing suits, my ever present kindle and a suitcase.

    cahm at aracnet dot com

  2. Snoopyvet says:

    I think my hubby & I both would enjoy that but he would miss his tv & I would miss my books

  3. I’m pretty sure I would NOT enjoy that! LOL 😀 What an adventure, though.

  4. Love adventures so would really enjoy

  5. Hi, Christine! Thanks for stopping by to comment. If you’d like to do a winter expedition, you can look for tour guides that take you out on less rigorous trips into the Boundary Waters. Maybe this will be the year you try it! 🙂

  6. I know what you mean, Snoopyvet! I missed mine too but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 🙂

  7. Hi, Bethanne! LOL! It pays to know what you’d enjoy. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  8. Nay Nay says:

    Loved your story about the Outward Bound and your husbands replies. I’m glad he had a good time. I could not do it. Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win. <^_^>
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  9. Hi, Bobbie! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. If you’re interested in the school, here’s the site:

  10. Hi, Christina! I put the website in the comment above; I hope you check it out sometime! It’s a lot of fun.

  11. books4me says:

    That is too funny but am so glad that you both had a good time. Definitely NOT something hubby and I would do though.

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

  12. Thanks for stopping by, books4me! 🙂

  13. Leigh67 says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. It’s only 7 days, Leigh! lol

    Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  15. oh no thanks i’d take a pass and read about it from someone else lol

  16. Hi, Jennifer! Good thing I like to write about it, then, huh? 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. I appreciate it!

  17. Beckey says:

    I would pass.. The cold and my arthritis wouldn’t be on friendly terms…


  18. Ok so I am from Northern Wisconsin and have lived in the south for the past 10 years… I hate cold yep hate it… Have have sat in a deer blind froze my ass of ice fishing and even snowmobiled (I don’t mind snowmobling)… I do not like snow or cold… I will try everything once… I like camping( in the summertime)…. Glad you had fun.. but my response would be like your hubby’s if my hubby ever set something like that up for us lol.

  19. faiqa mansab says:

    Lovely anecdote 🙂 I’ve never done anything like this. I’ll just read it thanks 🙂

  20. Sounds like a great adventure!

  21. What a great adventure for the both of you! I would love to try it but NO WAY my husband would go.

  22. Sharon E says:

    I love to read about adventures but I’m really not one to have a great adventure.

  23. Hi, Beckey! Arthritis is actually a really good point. I have severe arthritis in my left knee and some in my right, and my back is also a problem. Every morning when I woke up it was brutal because of how cold it was. Once I got moving it was fine, but the joints would seize up overnight so that part was less than stellar. 🙂 Yoga is my friend, and the swimming pool, these days. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by and participating in the hop!

  24. Gosh, Jeanette! I don’t think I could live up in that area year-round for the same reason. Chicago’s even getting a little too unpleasant that way for me, especially this weekend with the severe cold. I think Seattle weather would be nice. 🙂

  25. Hi, Faiqa! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

  26. Thanks, Samantha! It’s funny, but I’ve just been to see the Hobbit and “adventure” reminds me of Bilbo Baggins saying he wanted no part of any adventures! 🙂

  27. Hi, Shelley! Outward Bound is actually suited to solo adventuring. We had to get special permission to go since we were a married couple, and we were separated during the day into two different teams and slept apart at night. So if you wanted to do something like that, but your husband didn’t, you could do so easily. The trip we went on was only seven days long, which is doable for a short vacation. Just a thought. 🙂

  28. Hi, Sharon! Well, like Bilbo Baggins says, if you step out your door, you never know where you might be swept off to. 🙂

    Thanks for participating in the hop!

  29. Susan W. says:

    Oh, my husband would not go for that at all! LOL! He’s not a cold weather outdoors kinda guy.

  30. Mel Bourn says:

    My husband would love the cold weather, but not the outdoors stuff. I would stay in where it is warm. Looks fun though.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  31. Hi, Susan! I know what you mean. My boss, when I told him about the trip, said, “You know, most people go to the Caribbean for vacation.” 🙂

  32. Thanks for stopping by Mel, I appreciate it! And hot chocolate is always a good choice. 😉

  33. Juana says:

    I like the cold weather probably because we don’t get too much of it here at the tip of TX. My mom and I aren’t brave enough to have an adventure.

    jmesparza821 at gmail dot com

  34. It’s cold in northern Ohio too! Love the excerpt.

  35. Juana says:

    I like the cold weather probably because we don’t get too much of it here at the tip of TX. My mom and I aren’t brave enough to have an adventure.

    jmesparza821 at gmail dot com

  36. Thanks so much for the info. Actually if I was going to go it would be with my Bestie. We usually do vacation stuff together and take our 3 girls. Now that they’re 18, 17 and 16 we take them but let them do their own thing. Soooo much nicer than having to watch them jump from the edge of the pool for 3 hours straight. The 18 year old would kill to do the trip. The other two would cringe at chipping a nail or getting dirt on their high heels.

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