Jim Baird’s Arctic Adventure: How To Rope-Rig a Toboggan for the Open Ice

At the beginning of my snowmobile expedition in the communities of Tulita and Delene, Ted and I learned that the tow bars on our Equinox Boggans probably would not last for the duration of the expedition. We saw a graveyard of broken steel tow bars in Tulita. It was recommended that we use ropes to tow our toboggans, because the steel tow bars would have broken when pounding along on the hard packed snowdrifts of Great Bear Lake. So that's exactly what we did.

How It's Done:** First, you'll need to drill holes in the steel brackets on each side of the toboggan --just in front of where the tow bars hook into them. Clip a carabiner to each hole. Next, tie the ends of a 60-foot-long length of rope to each carabiner. Then, tie the middle of the rope to the hitch of your snow machine. Make sure each side of the rope is an equal length (as shown in the video).

The setup worked excellently and outperformed the tow bars. When using ropes to tow your toboggan, the tow bar can remain attached and left up for use at another time.

Now, all of this isn't to say that you should never use a tow bar. Here's a list of pros and cons to help you decide which towing system is right for you and your environment.

Tow Bar
**Pros: **
- Good for tight turns
- You can control the toboggan while reversing
- It will stop when you stop and not crash into the back of your machine
- It will not catch up to you if going slowly down a steep hill

Cons:
- They break
- They put more stress on your machine when braking
- They do not stretch or give
- They will cause the body of your toboggan to take more of a beating
- They will drag your toboggan into the ice if your machine goes through
- They can dig into the sides of your toboggan and cause damage to it if turning tightly with a heavy load, especially in rough conditions

Tow Ropes
Pros:
- They have a little stretch in them and allow for a smoother ride on hard packed drifts
- They can be cut to save your toboggan before it goes through the ice
- Easier on your snowmobile
_**
Cons:**_
- Tougher to maneuver in tight places
- Will cause your toboggan to slam into your machine if you stop at a high speed.
- Can fray from wearing on the front edge of the toboggan if each side of the rope is not an equal length.