DIY Toboggan Shock Absorber

Heavy Duty Difficulty: 2/10. Requires basic sewing and knot tying required. Although sewing is optional, see below. Total time took me around 30 minutes.

Weather hauling your gear across frozen lakes or steep portages with a toboggan. The constant jarring on your waist or shoulders makes for a sore evening in camp. I built a simple shock absorber system that attaches to my haul line on my 11' black river toboggan. I believe the size and length of the shock absorber is directly proportional to the size and weight of the sled. My sled weight is around 120lbs. If you're planning on making this for a smaller sled that weighs less, you may want to use 5/16" diameter shock cord instead, conversely, 1/2" diameter if you are hauling more.

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You'll need a few things.

Two 28" sections of 3/8" dia. shock cord. I used two bungee cords from the local hardware store,
3" tubular nylon, bicycle inner tube or whatever you have laying around the house. For Instance, I used 3" wide grosgrain ribbon and sewn up a "tube" to hide the shock cord. This needs to be 40" long.
1" dia. shrink tubing, four pieces cut 4" long.

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Step One-

Getting started. Remove the haul line from the sled. Slip one piece of shrink wrap tubing down the haul line to the other end, we'll save that for later. Now, make a mark 30" from the end of each line that attached to the sled. This will be the spot you'll tie a loop. I used an alpine butterfly knot but there are many loop knots you can use that will work just fine. Keep the mark at the center of the loop and try to get the loop very small, barely allowing the shock cord to pass through, keep working the loop down until tight.

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Step Two- Make a mark from the first loop to where the second one needs to be at 36". Make the same loop knot and only make it large enough to barely pass the shock cord through. With the shock cord only being 27-30" long after tied, the haul line will take over and pull tight if the sled becomes stuck or hauling uphill. This will keep the shock cord from being over extended.

Step Three- slip the shock cord through both loops, tie an overhand knot on both ends to keep the cord from slipping through the loop.

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Step Four- Feed the tubular nylon, bicycle inner tube or grosgrain ribbon tube over the loop knots and shock cord. Ensure that it passes past the knot about an inch on both sides, effectively covering the knots and bungee cord. Optional covering, sew grosgrain ribbon to make a loop.

Step Five- Slip on the second piece of heat shrink tubing. Slip the tubing over the knot. Heat both ends up with a heat gun. This will help keep anything from getting tangled up in the shock absorber.

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Step Six- Repeat the same steps on the other haul line.

You're Done! Now your back and shoulders will thank you.

Share your sled shock absorbers in the forum, I'd love to see what you come up with. Any questions or comments just post them below.