What is Sledging?

Sledging or Sledding is a winter activity of traveling across the snow on a vehicle called a sledge or sled. You have to sit on the sledge, don’t stand or lie down. The sledges were used since centuries ago, where there was consistent snow. They used a large dog, horse, or ox to pull the sledge. It was found more easy and efficient to transport using sledges than any wheeled vehicles. This reduces friction and helps to carry heavy loads. Today, sledges are usually Flexible flyers made of wooden slats and metal runners. Some sledges are elongated sledges without runners made of wood, plastic or sheet or sheet metal

There are different types of sledging:

Backcountry sledging: It is popular in backcountry alpine skiing or snowboarding areas. The sledges used for backcountry sledging are made of plastic material whose surface facing the snow consists of groves and chines for controlling the direction. These sledges should have a high degree  of  directional control, flotation, a binding system, and padding. The sledges also have a binding system which has straps that can be worn over the sledger’s thighs or calves for safety.

Competitive sledging: The early sledging races started in Sweden and Norway in the 15th century. The modern sledging races are Luge-skeleton and Bobsledding. Competitive sledging became popular by the 19th century, and today these competitive events are organized in International Winter Olympics.

Recreational Sledging: It is the most popular sledging activity done especially by children. Running up to the hill and jumping on the sledge to experience a fantastic downhill ride. It can cause injuries and minor accidents if the sledger is not careful. The common types of sleds used for this activity are runner sledges like Flexible flyer (steerable runner sledge), toboggans, disks, tubes and backcountry sledges. There are also extreme sledging activities where they do sledging off cliffs and tricks off jumps.

Make sure that your sledge has handholds which are easy to grab and the seats are padded. The sledge should be sturdy when you grab, so that you can easily steer and control it. The sledges should not be made of garbage can lids, plastic bags or pool floats, rather can be made of relatively longitudinal runners which reduces the friction and can carry heavy loads. Make sure that your outfit secures you not only from extreme cold but also from injuries if you fall down. It is recommended to sled on snow and not on icy surfaces which are too slippery and difficult to control. When you sledge, make sure that there is no one to block your way or hit you after you take off. It is safer to choose a less steep hill, in order to get enough balance. 

Other than sledging, most popular winter activity that you will enjoy with friends and family is alpine skiing. Use a comfortable T-bar ski lift and reach the hill top and explore the alps.