Thursday, February 24, 2011

Essential Preparedness Tools of the Trade Part VIII - Otter Sled

I probably should have addressed the usefulness of the "Otter Sled" earlier this winter, but until we had a drifting snow, it didn't occur to me!

We bought an Otter Sled about three years ago, and have used it extensively ever since.  Otter Sleds were designed for ice fishing, but their practicality on the prepared homestead makes them a necessity for any prepper.  They haul huge amounts of cargo, have tall side walls and double as a boat in an emergency.  For our family, the Otter Sled is an all season workhorse.  Obviously, it is a wonder in the winter when we are up to our eyeballs in snow, but it has proved its worth in every other season as well.  We use our sled every day to haul a huge load of wood into the house, the kids use it for sledding down the sled hill.  We have been known to haul groceries, fuel and mail in it when the driveway has been drifted in.  In the spring and fall, the Otter sled is a better choice than any wheeled vehicle for toting heavy cargo around the homestead.  It slides over mud and moves through the grass easily.  And in the summertime, our kids use the Otter sled as a boat in the neighbors pond! They float packs and gear that they don't want to get wet across the creeks on the way to their super-secret hidey holes in the woods.

Hauling wood into the house

Hauling kids
Precious cargo

Hauling the mail up our drifted driveway - really!

As much use and fun as we get out of our sled it is no comparison to its survival value.  The sled is incredibly tough and very suited to hauling behind snowmobiles and other tracked vehicles.  You can haul it while on snowshoes, skis or even horseback.  And Otter makes a zip up cover for the sled to keep cargo dry or cover and insulate a patient you are transporting through the backwoods.

Otter sleds come in many sizes (even one that is Olive Drab - my personal favorite!).  They are available at most feed stores and usually sell out very quickly when snow season hits.  As far as I am concerned, our Otter sled is one of our most valuable winter-time survival assets.


  1. That's a lot of snow! LOL

    It's 70 degrees in the Carolinas!

  2. Ahh! We got one of those (not sure of the brand but looks the same) last year 'cause it was on sale. It's amazing! I thought I was a bit crazy for thinking so much about a sled, but I love anything that can haul anything. They have a small and large size and I think we got the bigger one. We use it for kids, wood, my son staks it full of gallon jugs of water for the goats and chickens. I actually want the smaller one to put in our mini-van for when I haul the goats out to the buck an hour away...think we might be a redneck? haha, love your redneck post! -Anna in Alaska