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Equipment Used in Iditarod

By Melissa Moran

The Iditarod is a dogsled race that covers more than 1,000 miles of Alaska from Anchorage to Nome. People called mushers guide a team of 12 to 16 dogs across wild terrain in freezing temperatures, according to Iditarod.com.

Required For Mushers

Mushers must carry an arctic parka, a sleeping bag, food, an axe and snowshoes. They must also carry envelopes that are stamped in Anchorage and postmarked in Nome to observe the Iditarod's origin as a mail and supply route. The envelopes are later sold as a fundraiser, according to FromAlaska.org.

Required For Dogs

Mushers must pack dog food, a cooker to melt snow for drinking water, booties to protect the dogs' feet from abrasion and a veterinarian notebook to present at each checkpoint.

Optional for Mushers

In addition to mandatory gear, mushers may also carry a headlamp, matches, a knife, an alarm clock, a thermos and cooler, snacks, hand warmers and extra clothes.

Optional for Dogs

Dogs have access to excellent medical care at checkpoints, but a musher may pack nail clippers and ointment to care for the dogs' feet, and psyllium powder to soothe dogs with upset stomachs. They may also carry coats to keep the animals warm during extreme cold.

More Options

To replace or repair worn equipment, mushers may carry extra lines, a spare collar and harness, and tools and tape for repairing the sled, harnesses and clothing.

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