My old workhorse already to go.
- Skinny wins the day. Try to keep the width about 16 inches which is about the footprint of a pair of snowshoes. The sled needs to follow in your trodden path, not bulldoze new snow.
- Long is also important. Long serves two purposes. The first is, of course, long enough to put all your gear on a skinny sled. The second is stability. The longer the sled is, the lower the centre of gravity as the less gear you have stack. Long sleds also flex over uneven ground rather than just tip over.
- Use a tarp. It helps keeping your gear on the sled and from spilling all over the place on a tip-over, it keeps snow from getting into nooks and crannys thereby increasing your load, and, naturally, it keeps your gear nice and dry.
- Tie everything down and then tie it down again. An important piece of gear that fell off of the sled or left behind in the snow after a tip-over, can be dangerous, not just an inconvenience.
- Use webbing not just a piece of rope slung over a shoulder. Two inch webbing will distribute the weight nicely - rope will dig in and abraid both clothing and skin and put undue strain on muscle groups.
- When packing, heavier equipment goes towards the back of the sled, lighter to the front. This will help the sled rise over bumps rather than dig in.
- Snow will end up on everything when packingor unpacking so use your summer water-proof bags for your sleeping system and clothes.