A Sled Without Snow

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Pablo Edronkin

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Despite the apparent contradiction, a sled can be used in any survival or extreme situation for carrying wounded people or cargo even if there is no snow around, and constructing one expediently is easier than most people think; as an alternative to improvised backpacks, sleds have something to offer.

The sled is a form of technology anterior to the wheel in the history of tool development among humans. Long before the wheel was invented, people dragged cargo as well as the old or ill individuals of their clans - whenever they could, that is - using sleds. Ancient Egyptians also used them to move the massive cut stones that they used to build all their monuments; to achieve that, they placed logs in the path of the sleds that carried the blocks and lubricated them with mud. As the sleds advanced, some workers continuously placed mud over the skids of the wooden sleds. There is some evidence that suggests that at least in some frequently used routes, Egyptians left those logs on a permanent basis,, lying them in a way pretty similar to the way in which railways are constructed.

A short sled used for carrying stones.
A short sled used for carrying stones.

Building a sled is a pretty straightforward project; in its most basic form - not the modern snow sled - you just need some rope or any other material capable of keeping its different parts in place Survival or expedient sleds can be short or long; the former ones are easier to build and to control but do not allow you to carry the same amount or weight of cargo. Log sleds can be difficult to drive and may tip over from time to time, more frequently at least than short ones.

Construction details.
Construction details.

If you don't have any rope you can make one using fibrous plants or those that have big, long leaves. Metallic wire, electrical wires or even duct tape could be used as well, like in the case that we are showing in these pictures. This material is surprisingly resilient if properly used, even in a moisture-laden environment. .

Using the short sled as a cartwheel without a wheel.
Using the short sled as a cartwheel without a wheel.

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