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I'm not one of those people. I'm originally from Southern California, where neither cross-country skis nor sub-zero temperatures are considered fun and our water is warm and wet.
But the idea of joring, or going for a walk where the dog does all the work while the human hangs out, getting towed along on a skateboard (or bicycle or Rollerblades), "Now that could be fun," I thought.
Then I looked at my canine, Loki the 100-pound wolf-dog, and visions of skating leisurely along with a cold one in one hand momentarily flashed to an image of road rash. Still, the potential benefits outweighed the probable consequences and I unpacked the gear.
The human end of Ruff Wear's Joring System is comfortable and not too complex. The hip belt rides well, with cooling mesh and convenient pouches for treats, keys and poo bags. The leg loops aren't suitable for a guy, but the hip belt is beefy enough to not need them.
The built-in water bottle holder is a great feature, but only holds bicycle bottles and could benefit from a Velcro strap to secure it better. It also slants to the right for ease of access, making hydration a little awkward for lefties. But if you're willing to let your dog tow you for a mode of transport, I'm sure you have enough coordination to figure it out.
The bungee towline is genius. Based on the same principles as pulling a car out of a ditch with a bungee tow-rope, it builds the tension gradually, and then helps take the strain off the dog significantly if the two of you slow while going up a hill.
Depending on the week, Karuna can be found producing feature films on fast-paced Hollywood movie sets, directing documentaries on the high seas or wandering the Colorado backcountry, exploring the serene mountains of her home state with her dogs, Sid and Loki.
Over the last decade she has written for dozens of publications including the High Country News, Denver Post and Rocky Mountain Sports Magazine. She has produced and managed a dozen features, with cast including Val Kilmer, Ray Liotta, Cybill Shepherd and Steven Weber.
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