Slip Sliding Away
Jeff Outdoors –
Grown Men Sled Too
Sledding is not just for tykes. It doesn’t matter if your knees are shot, or you’ve got that thing that hurts when it rains. You owe it to yourself to find a hill with snow on it, and throw yourself down it on top of neon plastic. Sure, you’ll be sore the next day, but when was the last time you did something that made you giggle?
Location, location, location. Any public federal land is good. Many state, local and city parks allow sledding as well. Find a spot that has a clear run-out, and avoid gullies or frozen creek beds.
Tubes or toboggans? Inner tubes, saucers, and sleds with smooth bottoms are called “spleen busters” by ER staff for a reason. You can’t see where you’re going if you’re spinning around, and tubes throw you off when you hit a bump. Many plastic sleds have molded runners along the bottom that allow you to steer by dragging your hands or feet or just scooting your rear end around.
Allergic to pain? Put a closed cell foam pad, or something to cushion the bumps, in the bottom of the sled. This will soften the blows and add considerable warmth.
Dress for success. Dress like you’re going skiing or hunting in a storm. You will get snow stuffed in every opening, despite your best intentions to “take it easy”.
To Air is Human. I once happened upon an accident where a grown man thought it would be cool to launch his sled over a 3 foot drop off into deep snow. He didn’t do any practice runs, he just went for it… and left in an ambulance with a spinal injury. Know your limits. Catching air is fun and easy. Landing can be painful and difficult without some planning and practice.
Enjoy the season. Play hard. Laugh harder.