(BPT) - Dashing through the snow, on an eight-dog open sled — there is absolutely nothing like the breathtaking joy of it. Whether you're riding with an experienced driver at the helm or driving a team of the happiest dogs you've ever seen, the sheer exhilaration of dog-sledding is one of the most unforgettable things you can do in the Northwoods, or anywhere. And if you're traveling to Ely, you're in luck because there are more sled dog trip providers here than anywhere else in the world.

You can find any sort of mushing trip that suits you. Full-day, half-day, camping or lodge trips and everything in between.

Here are some points you should know:

Get ready for flat-out excitement. Trust us, if you have never been dogsledding, you have never seen any living creature as joyful and excited as a sled dog doing what they were born to do: Pull. It may sound a little corny, but this joy will warm your heart and lift your spirits and make you wonder what would bring you that much joy.

All ages and most fitness levels welcome. From children to seniors, everyone is welcome on a sled dog trip. No experience is needed, but you should be able to walk a mile without too much difficulty. For more challenging trips, such as camping trips, a moderate level of fitness is desired, but suffice it to say, you don't have to be Dwayne Johnson to enjoy a sledding adventure.

Dress for success. As with all outdoor winter activities, the way you bundle up is crucial to your enjoyment of whatever you're doing. Hint: It's all about layers. You'll want long underwear (wicking), a fleece top or wool sweater, insulated jacket and pants, a warm hat and neck band, liner gloves to wear under insulated mittens, thicker socks and boots with removable liners. If you don't have all of this gear, some dog sled trip companies will rent it to you for the trip. A great solution for those who don't want the expense of gearing up for a once-in-a-lifetime activity.

What else to put in your backpack. Even if you're just going for an afternoon, but especially if you're going on a full-day or overnight trip, some other items will make the experience even more enjoyable. Sunglasses or goggles are a must, sunscreen designed for winter wear, lip balm with sun and wind protection, extra clothes and boot liners, slippers if you're staying overnight in a lodge, and a water bottle that won't freeze in cold weather.

You'll never forget what it's like to dash through the snow on a sled behind an excited, happy team of dogs who are doing what they were born to do. The joy of it will never leave you, whether it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience or something you do year after year. Check out White Wolf Dog Sled Trips, Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge and Chilly Dogs Sled Dog Trips for more information or reservations.