OK, so you've bought or rented snowshoes and/or cross-country skis and you're ready to get going. But the place you've landed requires your dog to be leashed, and how do you handle a leash when you have poles in your hands?
If you've never heard of skijoring, stay tuned: You will. This imported sport from northern climes is gaining traction at Tahoe, but it's the equipment rather than the athletic aspect that's kindling interest among DogTrekkers.
Skijoring, in a nutshell, is a Scandinavian-inspired activity in which a cross-county skier is pulled across snow by one to three dogs attached to the skier's waist by a towline. Any breed that likes to pull can participate; all you need is a harness for the dog, a skijoring belt for you and a bungee towline to minimize jerking.
The beauty of skijoring equipment is that it's good for lots of situations besides skijoring. Having your dog attached to your waist lets you hike, run, snowshoe or walk around the block hands-free while still complying with leash laws. If your dog is a puller who likes to yank you along, 'joring will come naturally, though it helps to have the dog trained to stop on command.
We at DogTrekker have sniffed this out as the next big craze for dog-lovers with active lifestyles, but don't look for equipment to show up soon in mainstream pet stores. For the time being, you'll have to order online from sled-dog specialists such as Kondos Outdoors or Nooksack Racing Supply.