What is 'boondocking'?

When I hear someone use the word boondocking….I wonder what they are talking about….

It’s a big, big word….

Some people say it’s things like just riding in powder or climbing a hill etc... Those have their own names and we will talk about them as well elsewhere.

But first....

I believe that boondocking is doing ‘powder turns’ in fields or on a lake (suitably frozen, of course. It’s a little difficult to boondock otherwise!!). This is the easiest of all powder riding to do….I’m sure you’ve seen videos of riders turning in circles or doing a sort of slalom – either in open areas or along slopes…….well….

Try the beginner’s technique…

Start by standing on your sled, give gas and go forward. At one quarter speed you will turn the skies in the opposite direction you want to go....then the sled will need you to lean a bit on the foot that is on the side you want to turn towards.

So counter-steer and lean the way you want to go….the sled should turn to that side (not the skies). The more you turn the skies (in the opposite direction) the more the sled should turn. You could shift more weight by standing on the side you want to turn…..

To turn the other way....just do the opposite….turn the skies as much as you need….sometimes just shifting your weight will work….

You can stand on one side and just the weight on that side will turn your sled if the powder is deep enough....it’s like a surf board....

It’s a matter of balance and shifting the center of gravity.

This is just basic instructions….

When you ride you might do it a bit differently….

Once you have done it….it’s as easy as riding a bike....except it doesn’t hurt when you hit the ground….lol….and you will hit the snow a few times before you find the right balance….

A lot depends on snow conditions and what kind of sled you’re riding…..This is just a starting point for you to try....Don’t be afraid to push the throttle....the sled might spin at a high speed… but the track has to…this is the way it pushes the snow out like a jet ski with water….the faster the snow comes out, the more chance of not getting stuck….that’s why mountain sleds have paddles and the sleds are boosted to spin the track faster….

So if you’ve ever wondered how to get started ‘boondocking’…Hope you try this and see what you’ve been missing….when you finally get it, you’ll be able to ride your sled like a skier coming down the mountain in deep powder….

Drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing……….

From Boondocking Technique to The Backcountry main page

Back to HOME