Rules for the Tobacco Trail
(Updated 31st March 2022)
- The race organization retains the right to change/adapt these rules at any time before the race start (or during the race if applicable to all mushers and for the safety of all mushers and dogs).
- The musher must be at least 18 years old, have a valid racing license and the dogs must be vaccinated and chip marked. Mushers racing with a Swedish Club must also have a Green Card.
- The musher has to be present at the mushers meetings that will be held before the race and also other meetings that might be announced. The judge may excuse a musher that has been delayed by unforeseen circumstances. In this case, the musher is obliged to find out the information shared at the missed meeting.
- The sled should be equipped with sufficient brakes, scooter mat, brush bow, TWO snow hooks and a sled bag. The scooter mat should be of sufficient size to control the team.
- 150km distance: 6 hours mandatory rest + time adjustment at first checkpoint.
- 300km distance: 8 hours mandatory rest to be taken at any checkpoint, including 2 hours mandatory rest and time adjustment at Lannavaara 2 checkpoint (after approx. 160km). This is the MINIMUM amount of rest required but mushers are encouraged to rest longer.
- Checkpoints are control posts of the race. The musher must wear the bib number at all times, on the trail and at checkpoints. Handlers should wear a ‘handler’ bib while they are in the stake out area.
- Mushers may receive help braking, holding and steering the team to, and out from, marked checkpoint areas only. No other outside help is allowed, and handlers should stay behind the marked line whilst dog teams occupy the checkpoint area. The handler must rake the straw after its musher and team has left the checkpoint for the last time. Equipment and trash bags are provided by the organizer.
- PAKSUNIEMI CHECKPOINT: Mushers will receive straw and access to cold water for the dogs. Handlers should collect any dropped dogs. Soup and bread is provided (paid for at registration). No sleeping accommodation for mushers or handlers (shelter is in a small cabin or Lavvu). Handlers are encouraged to share transport at Paksuniemi due to limited parking (please follow our instructions for parking). The race organisation reserves the right to withdraw its checkpoint officials after a reasonable amount of time has passed and the majority of teams have left the checkpoint area (teams will be told in advance if this is the case).
- LANNAVAARA 1 & 2: This is a full service checkpoint with accommodation, food and parking available. The race organisation reserves the right to withdraw its checkpoint officials after a reasonable amount of time has passed and the majority of teams have left the checkpoint area (teams will be told in advance if this is the case).
Depot and food drops
- There is a depot at Paksuniemi and Lannavaara checkpoint . Depot bags should be marked with the musher’s name and bib number and put in the marked area.
- Changing sleds is allowed with the judge’s permission.
- Coolers and food bowls must be carried in the sled. It is not allowed to provide warm water, prepared or mixed dog food in the depot bag.
- The musher must collect and return the depot bag and all contents from/to the staging area. The same goes for equipment and potential waste going from the staging area back to the depot.
- There shall be cable in the centre tow line.
- Mandatory gear that is lost or damaged can be taken/replaced from the depot bag. Any replacement of mandatory gear must first be approved by a judge/race marshal/checkpoint official. Used dog booties, headlamp/batteries, rubbish sack and fuel for the water cooker/primus can be replaced from depot without consent.
- Each musher must carry the following items on/in the sled at all times: (There is a general requirement that the equipment will be functional in order to be approved. The equipment is checked at the start and finish of the race, as well as random checks throughout the race.)
Two snow hooks
Maps/snowmobile trail maps of the race trail
Veterinarian handbook (will be distributed before the race start)
Water cooker and pot, capable of heating a minimum of ½ litre per dog. This is to be carried in the sled until the finish line
Cooler and dog bowls, suitable for the size of your team
Axe or long knife (min. 20 cm blade)
Sleeping bag for extreme winter (-30C, min. 2kg)
Extreme survival bag for extreme weather (min. 1.2kg). An alternative is a tent
Extra set of clothing (socks, top, bottoms)
First aid kit for musher and dogs
Head lamp and batteries
8 booties/dog from every checkpoint, including the ones being used
Reserve dog food, ½ kg per dog in the team at start. This food is to be packed, sealed and carried to the finish unopened, regardless the number of dogs dropped in the race
The musher has to have food for min. 24 hours to him/herself in the sled at the finish
Caring and feeding of dogs
- All feeding and care of dogs shall happen outdoors and only be carried out by the musher. Only cold water may be fetched for preparing dog food
- If a dog dies during the race on the trail between checkpoints, it is to be taken to the next checkpoint or back to the previous checkpoint. The dog is to be transported in the sled and to be covered upon arriving to the checkpoint. The musher shall without delay after checking in notify the race organiser as represented by the race marshal, race director and/or race veterinarian. The musher can only continue the race after obtaining permission to do so by the race marshal, race director and race veterinarian. The musher can be disqualified from further participation should it be evident from investigations that the musher is guilty of abuse of the dog or if having in any other way contributed to the cause of death of the dog. The musher can also be disqualified if he/she at an earlier checkpoint has been told in writing to drop the dog, unless its death was caused by entirely different reasons. If an autopsy of the dog is required, the musher will not be charged.
Wildlife, trail and other rules
- No Man’s Land starts at least 1 km before the finishing line and shall be clearly marked. The trail in this stretch shall be broad enough for dog teams to pass each other
- Breaking any rule, including getting outside assistance, can lead to disqualification of the musher
- The trail goes through reindeer grazing areas. The dogs must therefore be kept under strict control. The musher is liable for damages caused by his/her team to reindeers
- Littering along the trail may lead to disqualification
- The race organizer can instruct the mushers to wear promotional materials on clothes or sleds
- A participant choosing to scratch from the race shall as soon as possible notify the race management and is him/herself responsible for transportation of him/herself, their dogs, equipment and depot bags from the checkpoints
- Rescue searches will normally be initiated 24 hours after the last point of contact. Long, unnecessary, stops between the checkpoints should therefore be avoided
- A dog that sits in the sled when the musher arrives at a checkpoint is not out of the race unless the musher so desires or the race veterinarian deems it necessary
- It is allowed to use ski poles, as long as no other team is closer than 50 meters. The general rule is that the dogs in the other team should not be disturbed by the ski poles
- Protests shall be submitted to the race marshal/jury in writing no later than 1 hour after reaching the finishing line. The protest submission fee is 50 SEK
- Participants are obliged to understand and adhere to the vet information the organiser has distributed. As the musher entering Tobacco Trail YOU have committed yourself to follow the present anti-doping regulations concerning both driver (RF´s doping regulations) as well as dogs (National doping regulations for dogs, concerning waiting period, dispensation possibilities for forbidden substances and methods)