Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures
“ Sharing my love of BC to guests is natural and instinctive… having travelled to over 30 countries I can honestly say there is nowhere I would rather be. I love sharing my enthusiasm and love for our landscape with guests from both abroad and from other parts of Canada. Working in the travel industry here allows me to constantly reinforce my love for our land and keeps me where I want to be … outside in it. ” Eric Marsden
Revelstoke Dogsled Website : http://revelstokedogsledadventures.ca/
Facebook Page : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Revelstoke-Dogsled-Adventures/182414945119889
We are going dog sledding with Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures next week. Before we embark on our mushing experience we wanted to introduce you to our hosts and their team of dogs – the powderhounds.
Today, Eric Marsden, shares with us his experience and knowledge of the dog sledding industry, the community of Revelstoke and all that is involved with operating a dog sledding team.
Dog sledding has been a big part of our history here in Canada. Long ago… the Inuit of the Arctic of Canada used dog sledding for completing daily chores and for accessing fishing holes, hunting grounds, conducting trade and for moving to winter villages.
As the Arctic communities and outposts began to flourish in the early 1900s the dog sled was used for delivering mail and medical supplies. Even the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) patrolled the northern wilderness by dog sled during this period.
In this interview Eric Marsden of Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures provides us with some insight about his love for his dogs, his love for the sport and his love for the outdoors.
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So lets learn more about dog sledding courtesy of Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures shall we.
( eh Canada Travel) Thank you for your time Eric. Shall we get to it with our first question.
1. Who are you, what do you do and where are you from?
(Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures) Eric Marsden, owner\operator of Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures. I am originally from Mile 101 on the Alaska Highway in British Columbia, Canada. While training my race team I lead dogsled adventure trips here in the Revelstoke, BC area to help subsidize my hobby and passion for dog sledding.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) We are excited to learn more about dog sledding and excited to meet your dog team.
2. Favorite thing about Revelstoke, British Columbia?
(Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures) Too many favorite things about Revy (Revelstoke). Here are a few… love the 4 distinct seasons, the small town atmosphere where going out for a pint of milk can take longer than u think and BC’s most reliable snowpack and awe-inspiring views regardless of what direction you face.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) We just moved to Revy for work… but we can quickly see why you love it here. Agree with you on the scenery and year round adventures. Just wow.
3. Tell us something unique about Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures?
(Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures) Our modest sized kennel places an emphasis on our dogs, half our dogs are born under our bed and it shows….our pet dogs even have jobs! The wife and I, along with our teams, are able to show our guests a distinctly hands on mushing 101 experience that would be unfeasible in larger operations.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) Smaller kennel, more personal interaction, love for the dogs, more of a family atmosphere. We get it. Makes sense.
4. What are your biggest challenges with your dogs?
(Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures) Challenges are many in this sport…animal husbandry is a year round occupation that demands your full attention every day…no exceptions! Revelstoke offers its own distinct challenges here…..copious amounts of snow, hilly terrain, the occasional warm weather blast from the coast as well as watching out for pesky slednecks on the trails. To be honest working with the dogs is the easiest part of being a dog musher, it’s all the side activities and chores that go along with it that provide the meat and potatoes of my workload…. the wife and I slave away in the Canadian bush every summer to make our dream a reality and treat the fall and winter months as precious. May will be here sooner than I would like and I know I will have to park the dog sleds for another season.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) We have heard from other mushers that animal husbandry is a full-time job with exercise, training, feeding and some good ol’ fashion loving. We were, however, not aware you were clearing your own trails on top of that. Wow, Eric, you wear many hats. Let us be one to thank you for your efforts and your time.
5. #1 Reason you work in the travel industry in Canada?
(Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures) Canada is an easy sell to anyone visiting from abroad, we’re blessed with a country that defies all superlatives. Sharing my love of BC to guests is natural and instinctive, I don’t need to polish anything up, it’s all there for everyone to see. Having travelled to over 30 countries I can honestly say there is nowhere I would rather be. I love sharing my enthusiasm and love for our landscape with guests from both abroad and from other parts of Canada. Working in the travel industry here allows me to constantly reinforce my love for our land and keeps me where I want to be … outside in it.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) Good answer. What can we say but good answer.
6. What is your funniest dog sledding moment?
(Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures) Where to start…. I have had my share of funny expereinces….over the years we have had lots of goofball dogs that never fail to make me laugh and smile. Just last week I watched one of my dogs eat my wife’s lunch while out on the trail…my wife didn’t think it was that funny. Then there is the sight of watching 12 sled dogs go bonkers chasing a squirrel that stays one step ahead them constantly? I never tire of watching one of my big ol dumb dogs, Oreo, pee on my handlers leg whenever their back is turned. I’ve got another dog named Chevy who chases imaginary horseflies in the middle of winter! Comic relief is always around the corner. These guys make me laugh every day, every dog has his or her own character and once one learns this the time with the dogs is a lot funnier.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) Cannot wait to meet the dogs and their personalities. Maybe have to keep a close watch on Oreo during our introduction bonding session.
7. What do you love about the winter season in Revelstoke and why?
(Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures) Would it be too obvious if I stated that being a dogsledder I love winter? How about copious amounts of snow! It is a curse at the same time. I call my dogs the powderhounds but truth be known I can’t sled every time we get a big dump because there is lots of trail grooming to be done here after a big snow. But on the flip side I am a bit of a ski bum myself and indulge on our world-class local ski hill, quite often you can find myself up there in the afternoon once chores and runs are done.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) We can relate with you about all the passions for winter. We too love the snow. Love the sights and adventures that come with the snow.
8. What should travelers look for when booking a dog sledding adventure?
(Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures) Having worked for a variety of kennels and companies in the past I would encourage would-be mushers to seek out smaller companies that have closer ties to their dogs. You will find a better, more authentic experience when going out with a ‘ma and pa’ operation as oppose to a larger Walmart style company with 200 dogs. There are lots of excellent outfits out there that can and will cater to what ever your wants and desires are, all the way from shorter excursions to week-long trips. Travelling with ‘ma and pa’ will guarantee a more educational and rewarding trip, do your research and figure out what you want out of your experience.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) Good advice. Research is always a good idea.
9. Where would you like to travel in Canada for your next vacation and why?
(Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures) This might sound sadistic to some but this year I’m going to chase winter in the Yukon Territories and Northern BC. Late April is kinda of a sad time of year for me and the dogs as the season comes to a close so I’m hoping I can squeeze a bit more outa old man winter by chasing him up north. Fellow mushers have told me it’s a good snow year up there so I am looking forward to running new trails with new views. Every trip I do provides me with new learning experiences and I have always loved the north. I’m a bit of an “isolated island of mushing” here in Revelstoke and love meeting and running with other mushers…gotta keep learning.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) The Yukon and NWT are wonderful places! We too enjoyed our adventures there. And the Northern Lights. Wow. Would like to spend winter up north as well. On the list! Just need the right invite and reason.
10. Please give us some insight on what, you see, as the biggest mistake travelers do?
(Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures) I’m guilty of it too….. so many times we travel abroad and don’t allow ourselves to be truly swept up in the experience…our eyes are not truly open to new experiences and often guard ourselves against it. Here in Revy I often see this… travellers from abroad isolating themselves from any local experience…insolating themselves from locals by being their own island abroad. My suggestion is to open yourself up to people. Canadians are a friendly approachable bunch and the most rewarding experiences often stem from random conversations and interactions with people who inhabit the country. I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who travel here for two weeks and the only Canadians they have interacted with are the front desk lady at their hotel and the bartender. Go ahead, meet as many people as you can …these are the memories we end up taking home.
(ehCanadaTravel.com) To fully appreciate Canada one must meet some of the quality and unique people of the country. Agreed!
Thank you Eric for your time and for providing us some great insight into dog sledding.
ehCanadaTravel.com (eh Canada Travel & Adventure) is the largest and fastest growing booking, planning and researching tourism and travel website for Western and Northern Canada currently expanding into Eastern and Atlantic Canada. The EH Team Brothers (Co Founders) also author the eh Canada Travel Blog which was recently awarded “A Top Canadian Blogger” by FlightNetwork.com.