Gearing up to Pack it in~

The time to prepare for drop bags is now.

The time to prepare is now.


Yup, you heard it hear first, we are packing it all up.

And sending it out on the trail
– for Iditarod 2014!

And it is starting
– Right Now!

But we have to buy it first.

In the past I have blogged about the importance of drop bags, the stress and effort that goes into getting them ready, and what exactly goes into drop bags (Anatomy of Drop Bags and Another Race in the Bag). Today my mind is more focused on the step before the organizing, packaging, and packing. Because before any of that can happen we need to amass massive amounts of everything that will go into the drop bags.

Many people do not realize that everything we will use, eat, need, get, during a distance race are sent out in these drop bags. And for the Iditarod these bags are prepared and sent out well in advance. “How well in advance” you ask?
Well this year the drop bags are due in mid February. And since we are racing the Tustumena 200 first week of Feb. And experience has shown it take a more then a few days to put together a good set of drop bags. To be completely honest it can take a few days at the meat saw just to cut all the meat for drinks, meals, and snacks, before you even begin to pack it all up. We are starting early, like now.

As part of that I was making the mental – what do we need to get? list in my head. Although the excitement of the race seems far off to our friends and fans, for those of us preparing for it, major expenses are happening right now. Living so far from town lists are an important tool to help prevent costly, time wasting, last minute, trips to town.  Even with a list, drop bag project is big enough it will merit multiple trips to town. I am used to thinking in terms of things like ‘tons of dog food’ and ‘cases of food healthy snack item’. It is not uncommon to see me leaving Sams Club with cases of Heet, multiple 12 packs of AA lithiums,  more Pepcid* then any one human could ingest in a year, and ungodly amounts of bacon and Ensure. Seriously, unless you are a distance musher I can pretty much guarantee your shopping list for this months  run to town looks nothing like mine. Oh and this is just the list of what we need to get ready for drop bags! If you are interested in being a Dew Claw Checkpoint Sponsor you can see why now is an excellent time to join the team! you wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun of drop bags would you?

SO for a little insight into what it takes to pack for Iditarod:

Ton** of Kibble
we feed Caribou Creek Gold
Cold Spot Feeds
Ton** of meat
this will include a mix of beef and poultry skins
-Cold Spot Feeds
chicken fat and oils
A winters worth of fish were put up this fall
5 gallon bucket
-Cold Spot Feeds
Mushers First Aid – 4 oz. bottle
20 bottles, might be more then we use, but better to send out enough to use as much as you want & the 4 ounce bottles fit perfectly in an inside pocket where it is always warm and ready to be used
Mountain Ridge
Dog Care Supplies & Supplements 300
Sled Plastic
minimum 10 sets to be sent out along the race
-Cold Spot Feeds
Dog Booties
minimum 2000 to be sent out in drop bags
-We are also very fortunate to work with a Paw Partner, Connie Lynkins who makes a significant number of booties for us each year, Mush Thanks Connie!
AA Ultimate Lithium Batteries
-Sam’s Club
Hot Hands chemical heat packs
-Sam’s Club
Including protein shakes, smoothies, vitamin water, juice, EmergenC, instant coffee packets
-Sam’s Club
Human Food & Trail Snacks***
various goodies including; bacon, salmon, baked goods, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate covered raisins, blueberries & pomegranates, Kind bars, granola bars, pizza, Almond Joy, power bars, instant soup & oatmeal
-Sam’s Club
For Dan
gear to send in drop bags: including fresh gloves & socks at checkpoints
(because the trail is hard & you have to be nice to yourself out there – fresh socks and gloves are a well-deserved treat to look forward to at checkpoints)
Packing Supplies
heavy duty compactor bags for kibble, snack sized bags for human food, plus freezer ziplocks in quart, gallon, and 2 gallon size for dog snacks, gear, and booties


Trail sign made by our awesome friends Bob & Jolene Parsons

Trail sign made by our awesome friends Bob & Jolene Parsons

So Yes It Is True
we are packing it all up.

And sending it out on the trail
– for Iditarod 2014!

And it is starting
– Right Now!

Making this the perfect time to
-Join Team Dew Claw!

*Oh and the Pepcid is used to help keep the dogs healthy – read more here
** Kibble and Meat are purchased in bulk to take advantage of ton pricing.  Not all of it will go into drop bags.
*** Guesstimates were used to budget human food, drink, and gear.
**** I could not bring myself to total it all up, lets just say that when doing drop bags it feels like you are hemorrhaging cash.


About Jodi

Jodi Bailey and Dan Kaduce live a life with dogs. They own Dew Claw Kennel a competitive long distance kennel where dogs come first. Jodi and Dan have each finished both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod 1000 mile sled dog races, in addition to many other races in Alaska.
This entry was posted in Dew Claw News, Q&A, the mushers, the races, the sponsors and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.