An On-The-Trail Survival Kit for Any Emergency Situation on Your Snowmobile
There’s nothing better than getting out on the trails on your snowmobile. It’s early on a Saturday, the kids are at their friend’s house, and you’re out on your snowmobile with all your best buds. There’s nothing more carefree in the world! But as carefree as you are when you’re out there, you can still run into emergency situations. The thing about an emergency is that you never plan on having one. But when you’re miles away from the nearest paved road, you need to be prepared for anything! So if you’re going out on the trails this weekend and want to stay safe, let’s talk about everything you need in your snowmobile emergency kit.
Building Your Snowmobile First-Aid Kit
What Do You Need To Be Prepared For?
Before we begin building our snowmobile emergency kit we need to know what kind of snowmobile emergencies we are preparing for. Not everything in your kit is going to be for the highest emergency situations. Some things in the emergency kit will just be to make our riding experience a little easier.
So what kinds of actual emergencies are we preparing for?
- Becoming Stranded – Snowmobiling often occurs in fairly remote places. Becoming lost, running out of gas, or running into mechanical issues with your snowmobile are all real possibilities
- Injuries – Your snowmobile isn’t the only thing that can break down. Taking a nasty spill can bang up your bike, but banging up your body is an even worse result.
- Snowmobile Trouble – Sometimes an emergency isn’t anything as dramatic as an avalanche. Sometimes just going a couple of seasons without any maintenance will put you in a situation where your snowmobile is in trouble and so are you.
What Do you Need in Your Snowmobile Emergency Kit?
These are far from the only emergencies we will find ourselves in out on the trails. However, these are some of the most common troubles we’re going to have. You can’t prepare for everything that’s going to happen out there, but you can be prepared for what you can expect.
Food and Water
In an emergency situation, the most important thing you can do is to keep your wits about you. That, of course, means staying awake and alert and one of the best ways to do that is to keep hydrated and eat high-calorie snacks. Of course, this keeps your energy levels up, but it also does another really important thing: it keeps your body temperature high while you’re out in the cold.
Some examples of great, light-weight, high-calorie snacks to bring with you on your rides are:
- Energy Bars
- Peanut Butter
Mainly you want to get foods that are high in calorie content and easy to carry around. We don’t want to take up too much space trying to pack a whole steak dinner.
First- Aid Kit
One of the emergencies we absolutely need to be prepared for is a personal injury. This could be anything as minor as getting a scrape or twisting an ankle or as serious as a broken bone. The main thing to remember is that we can never be sure what sort of emergencies might occur, so we need to prepare for anything. Here are some things you should think about keeping in your mobile first-aid kit:
- Bandages of varying sizes
- Gauze for dressing wounds
- Tape and scissors
- An antiseptic cream
- Disposable, sterile gloves
You don’t need to have a mobile hospital with you. These are some of the essentials, and you’ll probably bring a little more but you don’t need to make every pound you pack first-aid equipment. The point of your first-aid kit is simply to keep an injured person safe and comfortable until emergency responders get to you.
Of course, you should never leave home for the trails without your cellphone. How else would you know it was dinner time? In addition to your phone, though, there are some electronics we can pack up to bring with us to keep us safe in emergency situations.
The first item you want to consider is a backup battery for your mobile phone. You don’t want to be waiting for emergency responders and worrying that they won’t be able to find you with a dead cell phone.
Another item you should consider investing in is an avalanche transceiver or avalanche beacon. An avalanche beacon is a small radio device that you keep on your person. The device emits regular radio pulses that emergency responders would be able to find if you were caught in an avalanche under the snow. However, this is NOT a replacement for knowing snow and trail conditions.
One more thing you need to be prepared for is your snowmobile breaking down. While you’re not going to bring a whole new motor with you, there are some simple items you can keep with you while you’re on the trail. Some light-weight spare parts to keep with you are:
- An extra drive belt
- Some spark plugs
- Basic tools to perform repairs
You might also want to consider what’s going to happen if you get yourself stuck in a ditch. Bringing along some rope to help pull yourself out isn’t a bad idea.
Staying Safe until Help Arrives
So if you do run into that emergency, there’s another factor to consider: how to keep yourself safe until help arrives. Here are some things you can keep with you to make staying safe and getting found easier:
- Waterproof matches/lighter and a hatchet: If you’re going to be stuck for a while a warm fire is going to be your best friend. A small hatchet or wood saw to cut down some tinder will make this much easier
- Maps: while you obviously have GPS on your cell-phone, you also want to have a good idea of where you are. Study your maps before you leave and try to stay in areas where you can locate yourself. That way emergency responders can locate you later on.
Staying Safe with Your Snowmobile Emergency Kit
Staying safe when you’re out on the trail takes more than just a helmet. The truth is, you never quite know what’s going to happen when you leave the house. That’s always true.
But when you’re gone for a few hours in the heart of the forest, you’re running into different kinds of danger. It could be wildlife, forces of nature, or just making the wrong move on your snowmobile. No matter what happens, if you follow these tips you will stay prepared for anything!