Lake George has spoiled again with miles upon miles of black ice and this time we're bringing the baby out!
My wife and I both move comfortably (at times comically) along on ice skates but not comfortable enough to carry our five month old baby daughter out onto the ice. Pulling her from behind on a sled made sense but she's still too young to support herself sitting up.
I assumed a perfectly safe snow sled existed in a store nearby. I made a few phone calls and searched online and only found sleds for slightly older babies and a flimsy inflatable death-trap. One image I did see online was a homemade sled made from an old pair of downhill skis and a plastic wheelbarrow bucket. A-ha! With that one image alone I was off in the workshop making my own sled. But instead of the plastic wheelbarrow bucket, I decided to incorporate the safest carrier around - the car seat.
All measurements are approximate. My main concern was the sled being too tippy - but at 24" wide and with such a low profile, this was not a problem. More important was pre-drilling of all holes and using the appropriate size screws and washers.
- Old Skis (mine are 160cm)
- (2) 2" x 4" x 37" pine runners (I used true 2x4's I had laying around. Store bought ones at 3.5 x 1.5 would probably work fine)
- (2) 3/4" x 6ish x 24" cross piece(s)
- (1) 3/4" x 16" x 35" scrap veneer plywood deck (the big box stores sell 2' x 4' half sheets)
- (1) 2" x 4" x 14'-15" block of pine (you shouldn't skimp on this piece - the car seat will anchor to this)
- (2) 5" x 3" scrap pieces to keep car seat from sliding side to side
- (2) 6" Timber Screws
- (2) Small metal angle brackets
- Assortment of decking screws and washers
The sled worked better than expected on the ice and in the snow. Little baby slept the entire time in the fresh cold air. One improvement might be the strap. On the ice it continually became caught under the skis as I made turns. Maybe a rigid pole attached to the deck? Overall, a very quick build and good times.
Next time out I think I'll attached an old crate to the back and store our hot chocolate and Baily's, diapers, and some snacks.