The Iditarod Sled Dog Race is such a huge event in the annual cycle here at SP Kennel that it cannot be over-emphasized how much effort goes into preparing for it. As I recently mentioned, there are two basic "sides" to Iditarod preparation -- "Training" and "Logistics" -- and both of them require an unbelievable amount of planning and execution.
On the "Logistics" side of the equation, one of the biggest objectives is preparing the "Checkpoint Drop Bags" that need to be packed and delivered to Iditarod headquarters this week so that they can be sent out on the trail in advance of the race. These bags must contain all of the provisions -- food, gear and supplies -- that the teams will need to complete the 1,000+ mile race. Considering all of the contingencies that can occur on the Iditarod, planning what goes in the bags for each checkpoint -- to be used a month from now! -- requires a great deal of thought, experience, skill and even art. Altogether, to support both SP Kennel teams the total weight of the Drop Bags sent out will be almost two tons!
In this video, Aliy talks a little bit about what she considers when packing the bags and shows you some of what is actually going in one of them. This is a fairly "detailed" view of the Drop Bag project, and I will be bringing you a bit of a "bigger picture" view in "Part 2" tomorrow.