The poles I used were the wrong kind – despite wanting rigid poles, I somehow bought flexible ones, so going down steep hills the sled would hit me in the back of the legs (exactly what I was trying to avoid!) – I will be replacing the poles!
Sometimes while walking along my waist would get a jolt – this was uncomfortable! It happened when I started pulling the load after a downhill section, or from a sudden start. It was better to start slowly.
The sled tipped over – the load seemed balanced, but sometimes given the terrain, it tipped over:
if the trail curved sharply, it was harder to get around the corner without it flipping
if there was a path cut in the snow already, the sled wanted to follow the path even if I didn’t
if there was a tree or stump in the way, and I walked past it but the sled got caught, it might flip over.
on a very steep hill along the Highland Trail, the sled tipped over and I was stuck – I couldn’t right it on my own without having to take my hip belt off and descend the hill a ways – my friend came back down the hill without her sled to right mine.
Positive notes about the sled:
6 attachment hooks were sufficient
bungees worked well
no bolts were lost on the underside of the sled (for the 6 attachment hooks) – by contrast, my friend’s sled lost 5 of 8 bolts, meaning that the hooks were useless – she had to use rope to create new hooks
hip belt was great
on a very steep decline, I was able to hold the sled by the hip belt (while not wearing it), letting it go down the hill ahead of me (I was also able to attach the poles to the sled with the bungees, allowing me to use 2 hands to let the sled slide down the hill)
poles were attached securely to the sled and the belt
sled was big enough to hold all my gear – any more gear would have been too heavy to pull
sled made for a great seat come snack time!
Modifications that I will make:
change to rigid poles
change bungees to straps, because I think the load could be kept tighter/more secure