Meet The Winter Essential. Our clients of Northern Canada prefer our “non-disposable” oak boards over any fiberglass or plastic sled because they often last generations of hard use, not just a season or two. Historically, woodsmen would boil or steam wooden planks, bending the boards into a makeshift curl to better ride across the frozen north. In those days, simple ancestors of The Winter Essential oak board wood toboggan were pulled by hand or by dog without anything but coarse woven rope and brute strength. The right amount of bend could greatly reduce travel times allowing for heavier loads, wider trapping territory and better connected communities. It’s in the spirit of that tradition, of simple steam bent wood, that we founded our company. In that way, The Winter Essential might be the most central of all our products. A classic shape, an elegant curve -- refined and enhanced over decades of workmanship. The Winter Essential toboggan still offers everything you need for freighting family, firewood or gear through the snow. Its sturdy red oak construction offers only the essentials -- functionality, style, and dependability year after year.
While we have standardized the most popular length and width, there are Custom Sizes Available.
- Traditional Dimensions
- Traditional Toboggan History
Our Traditional style toboggans are made using 4 oak boards; each 5 to 6 inches wide, 7/8 inch thick. Their total width is roughly 22 inches -- the total length, roughly 13 feet from tip to tip. 9 feet of that length sits “on the flat”, riding up against the ground, while a full 4 feet of the length is bent into our signature curl. Depending on the amount of moisture in the wood, our sleds can weigh between 80-105 lbs. These toboggans are designed for utility as they come with a hitch crosspiece installed for our steel snowmobile hitch. A linseed oil finish is applied to the length of the wood, highlighting the grain of the wood and protecting the toboggan from the weather.
Whether you are using this toboggan sled for trapping and hunting in the rugged terrain of Northern Canada, to tow firewood through a blizzard, or for sunny-day winter camping with the family, The Winter Essential toboggan offers the most versatility for the least cost. After the first couple of uses, the bottom will naturally become polished, adapting itself to the land through work and play. With each use, the already slight resistance will become even less noticeable. Regardless of the task at hand or the snow conditions to weather, this toboggan continues to set the standard-- cutting through the woods with easy turns, carrying heavy loads. Nothing more than the essentials.
The history of Northern Toboggan Co is itself rooted in the history of our Traditional Toboggan and the history of the people who rely on these sleds. Our northern customers are people who live and work on the land. These folks face the harshest winter environments in North America as a matter of lifestyle. For hundreds of years, wooden toboggans have been their means of travel and freighting, whether they are trapping, hunting, mushing or freighting supplies below the tree line and across the barren lands. These oak board toboggans aren’t a luxury good -- rather, they are a basic necessity. With a hardy sled, these people are able to live and to thrive on the land.
Some traditions can become outdated; fading as they are surpassed by newer technologies, but this is not the case with our northern customers. They report that plastic or even fiberglass sleds simply do not withstand the elements like wooden sleds. Often, other sleds won’t last a single season. Our traditional wood toboggans continue to perform over the course of many seasons. They become a part of the far north lifestyle and part of the family through their service and longevity. Oh, and they follow a snow machine with elegance to boot!
Despite our traditional roots, we have discovered in over twenty years in business that there are many places where the Traditional Toboggan can find use, even beyond intense on-the-land lifestyles. Many of our customers throughout the northern regions of the United States enjoy towing their cabin supplies on our beautiful Fully Rigged Toboggan. Others find that their grandchildren love the feeling of standing on the back, holding tight while they overlook the cur or the wintry trail that grandma or grandpa pull them on. Like a new Labrador puppy waddling around the park, we have found that a wooden toboggan full of kids will put a smile on anyone’s face.
No matter how you choose to use your Traditional Toboggan, we guarantee that it was made in Northern Minnesota, in our family shop, by a man committed to world class craftsmanship.