Getting out and enjoying the snow and ice is a great way to embrace winter, not just get through it. Winter is my favorite! Don’t tell the other seasons. Snowshoeing is one of the best winter activities. It’s very simple to toss a baby into a carrier and get moving. But unless you have a really roomy baby carrier, all of that winter gear is going to gum up your plans and possibly cut off circulation for your little one with all the straps and snow gear. A stroller is more spacious and has a lot more carrying room for your little ones and all of their supplies.
Sure you could invest in a kick sled with a basket and cruise around the winter that way. These days used kick sleds are hard to come by and new ones are quite expensive with all of the material cost going up now. Best way to cut costs and use the resources at hand is to make one yourself. My daughter and I whipped this one up 2 years ago for her brothers first winter.
- Jogging Stroller- with air-filled tires
- 2X4 lumber- 2 boards at 18 inches, 1 board at 14 inches
- Old Cross Country Skis: 3
- Jig Saw
- Miter Saw
Most folks don’t have old/unused skis lying around, at least nobody that I knew did. You can search online for an old set, ask friends and family, check Facebook marketplace. In our case, we went to our local Play It Again Sports shop, a used sporting goods store. I asked the owner if he had any mismatched, ancient, broken or unsellable skis in the back. Sure enough he did! I paid 5 dollars for 3 skis. Bonus: two were even a matching set!
A Word on Strollers
When our daughter was little we had one of those four plastic wheeled kinds of strollers and a little Minnie Mouse stroller that folded up into a fat stick. These stroller have their use and their place. But their place is no longer in my life. We have moved up to the Babytrend Expedition fat tire jogging stroller and that thing can take a beating! No, I am not sponsored by this brand, I just really like it! I cannot tell you how many times I have taken that thing to state parks, county parks, off trail, over rocks, through cow pastures and even skiing. I have no doubt in my mind that you are capable of turning a different kind of stroller into a ski stroller; but an air tire jogging stroller will make it much easier.
Lets Get Building
Step 1: Cutting the Boards
Your first task is to trace the tire shape onto your first board. The longer boards will be used for the rear tires and the smaller board for the smaller front tire. Pretty obvious, but it felt necessary.
- Center your tire on your board.
- Leave 1 inch of space between the bottom of the tire to the bottom of the board.
- Trace with your pencil to create your cutting line.
- Use the Jigsaw to cut out the crescent shape from the tire.
- Sand down the edges for a smooth finish.
- Test the fit, you may need to sand more to get a good fit.
- Repeat for all 3 tires, be sure that the back blocks are fairly close to the same position on the wood so that you stroller has good balance.
Step 2: Cutting the skies
This step was a little nerve wracking for me. I can always try again with more 2X4s, but I only had these three skis. They had to be just right on the first try. Pressure is on!
- Use a matching set for the rear two skis. If you were unable to secure a matching set, use the two skis that are most alike.
- Measuring from where the curve starts, the rear skis should be cut between 30 and 35 inches. Be sure the rear skis are the same length.
- The front wheel ski will be shorter to accommodate turns on trail. Cut this piece at about 20 inches.
Step 3: Drilling the holes
It’s easiest to drill the holes for the zipties before placing the boards on the skis. I know because I did it both ways. I first drilled only two holes. One on either end of the board, that was not enough on my first test run, you do in fact need the third hole in the center on all three wheels. If you only have the two holes, your ski will slip off to the side of the tire and you’ll spend your whole excursion fixing skis. Not fun.
- Using your drill, make a hole on each end of the boards broad side. These should be about half an inch from the curve
- Next make a hole in the very center at the bottom of the curve on the broad side. This will prevent the whole ski from turning on it’s side while going over bumps
Step 4: Securing the Boards to the Skis
During this step make sure that the rear skis are placed on the boards in the exact same location. If they are off, you will not have good balance in you ski stroller.
- Place your board on a flat surface, curved side down.
- Center your ski over the top of the board lengthwise.
- Going through the bottom of the ski, screw the board ski to the board.
- It’s best if the screw is slightly embedded, this ensures that there will be nothing to catch on the bottom.
- Repeat for all 3 skis, make sure the rear two skis are placed in the exact same location on the board. Measure twice, cut once (or screw in this case).
Step 5: Putting it all Together
Finally near the end of this project, you are almost ready to hit the trails! But it’s pretty hard to go anywhere when your skis aren’t attached.
- Place the skis under their designated wheel.
- Having them all in place at the same time will ensure that they are all level while fastening them
- Fish a ziptie through each hole of the ski boards and around the tire
- Use a pliers to tighten the zipties once they’re all finger tight.
- Do not cut off the ends until you’ve had a test run. You may find that after some shifting, you need to tighten some more
**Tip** I like to lock my wheels while skiing over loose snow, it makes steering easier.
Using The Stroller Skis
The best places to use this set up is on groomed trails. This is not the right gear for a backcountry adventure, for that you’ll want to use a backpack carrier. We tested it on different terrain and here are the results;
- Groomed Trails: Yes, works wonderfully! Be mindful on rules and regulations of parks that you visit. Depending on your own footwear, some trails may be limited.
- Ungroomed but packed trails: Yes, they are not as easy as a well groomed ski trail but these trails are still great for an outing.
- Ice: Yes, fantastic on ice. Also gives an unstable parent or child something to hold on to.
- Backcountry: No, does not work well at all. The front wheel gets stuck in the powder and the whole thing sinks. Use a backpack carrier.
There you have it! You’re little ones can cruise along with you all winter long! We’ve used these skis for three winters now. With any luck, our next winter will involve teaching our youngest how to ski, and maybe just a little stroller skiing. Happy Trails!