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A Pulka for Self-Construction

At first sight, the idea of constructing a Pulka (= a sledge for expeditions) oneself might seem somehow daring. Since Lake Baikal offers a nearly flat surface without any gradients, nevertheless the requirements for a Pulka are quite low. 1 mm thick polythene sheeting serves as a basis which measures 1 x 2 meters. You will get such material at special stores in any bigger town. You also need a thin rope (available at trekking stores) of 4 – 6 meters length and a thickness of 4 mm and another rope of 8 mm thickness and a length of 5 meters. Two carabiners and something like a loop to pull the Pulka with, complete the list. Some upholstery e. g. like those you use for seat-belts will make this construction even more comfortable.

The next step is to provide the sheeting with eyelet's: Place eyes every 15 centimetres along the long sides (d = 8 mm), two centrally arranged eyes at the end of the sheeting, four bigger eyes (d = 10 mm) in the centre of the front side, and another one or two small eyes at each long side. If you don't feel confident of eyeing yourself ask a saddler for help. Now you only need to wrap everything together, take it to Siberia and put it together in the suggested way (below). With a weight of only 2 or 3 kilograms and a roll-up sheeting you have an easy- to-carry and space-saving Pulka.

The construction itself is very simple: Attach two short loops to the four big eyes so that later on you can fix the carabiner and the pulling rope (the 8 mm one). Now put some of your baggage onto the sheeting so as to give it an advantageous shape. Pull the 4 mm rope crosswise through the eyes of the long sides. Before tightening the rope, make sure the Pulka is loaded up equal in weight to avoid developing list. Last, you need some Leki walking sticks and off you go, across the endless ice of Lake Baikal. If you have any question please send us an email.

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