Inspect mushers' equipment. For the safety of the mushers and the dogs, Can-Am rules specify that certain gear and supplies must be carried at all times during the race.

Gear must be checked at the start and the finish, and upon departure from the fourth checkpoint (Allagash).

At the pre-start gear check, flag the sled with distinctive flagging (polka dots or stripes) so that other checkers will know which teams have been done.

Gear checklists used at the start should be turned in to Can-Am Central immediately after the start. The handler’s name and/or location of vehicle keys will be on that form.

A gear check upon arrival (compliance gear check) at a checkpoint ensures that the musher has not lost required gear on the trail or dumped gear to lighten the sled. Gear checks might be required upon arrival at one or more of the checkpoints. Each driver shall submit to the same total number of compliance gear checks, but they may occur at different checkpoints. Your checkpoint co-ordinator will let you know which teams will be required to have compliance checks at your checkpoint.

If a team arrives after sunset and the lights on the lead dogs are not flashing, please inform the race marshal or a judge.

When a team arrives at the checkpoint, ask the musher if a medic or veterinarian is needed. After any immediate medical or veterinary problems have been taken care of, and the musher has cared for his/her team in the appropriate area, then you may begin a compliance gear check if the musher's bib number is on your gear check schedule.

Especially at the later checkpoints, the mushers will be tired. Disturb them as little as possible. When the bag is opened to care for the dogs, you will be able to check off many items without asking the musher. Equipment and vet check may occur at the same time.

Missing equipment must be reported to the race marshal, a judge, or the checkpoint coordinator. Missing equipment must be replaced before a driver is allowed to continue the race.

After the compliance check, sign on the appropriate line on the back of the musher's time card in the Veterinary Diary. This will notify checkers at following checkpoints that a compliance check has been done.

A gear check upon departure (safety gear check) from a checkpoint ensures that the team has the proper equipment for a safe and legal run to the next checkpoint. For reassurance and safety, the driver may request a gear check upon departure from a checkpoint, but you should also offer to do the check because the driver might forget.

Except at the start and Allagash, a driver may refuse a departure check. However, if required gear is missing upon arrival at a checkpoint, then a re-check of gear is mandatory before departure from the checkpoint.

Dogs must be harnessed in single or double file.

Harnesses must be padded around the neck and chest areas.

Reflective tape is required on harnesses and recommended on sleds.

Ganglines may be cable, cable core, or any synthetic or natural material, but chains are not allowed.
If cable ganglines are used, the driver must have easily accessible cable cutters which are known to be capable of cutting the gangline.

The driver must use a sled capable of accommodating injured or fatigued dogs as well as the required food, materials and equipment.
The sled must be equipped with an adequate brake, brushbow, snowhook and a snubline that's at least 8 feet long.

The sled bag must be capable of safely restraining a struggling dog and, if necessary, covering a severely injured or expired dog.

Spare keys to the driver's vehicle must be left with a designated handler or a Can-Am Crown volunteer.


Equipment sketches by Ruth Pelletier