Dog mushing is a sport that puts the musher, the dogs and the gear to the ultimate test. Thomas Wærner is a dog musher that has won big races like the Iditarod, Finnmarksløpet and Femundløpet. In this mini-documentary, he talks about why he loves mushing with dogs and how the sport has developed since he started in the 80s.
- In dog mushing, I think you have different types of dog mushers. I am the one who has a passion for dogs, I live for my dogs and I just love to be around them, but in dog mushing, you have so many things. You also have nature, the cold weather, the warm weather, the storms, all the nice mountains you`re going over, all the big goals you are looking forward to. For me, dog mushing is a passion, but it`s what I am calling a rich, complicated life.
The equipment Thomas used when he started mushing in the 80s was a lot different than what is available on the market today.
- The last 10 years have changed a lot and I think the most important is that the equipment has changed so we can give the dogs better care. The booties, the harnesses, our clothing, the sleds, everything is on a higher level and this is also very important so you can actually protect your dogs from frostbites, from wind and all the things you meet when you are outside.
Thomas was one of the athletes that helped us develop the Nansen nome harness 5.0. He used the prototype when winning the Iditarod in 2020. He is a part of our team of athletes that help us develop gear for active dogs and humans.
Hard to quit
- I think most mushers are not mushers because of money or winning races. It`s a lot of people doing mushing that are not winning races, but it is a lot of work and I think every spring every dog musher actually thinks "this is too much work", but you have that passion. For me it will be really hard to stop doing mushing, even if I am not racing anymore, Thomas says.