Even if you have ridden the trail for years, and know it like the back of your hand, please take a few extra minutes to prepare some survival supplies that could save your life. Weather changes, trees blow down, and anyone who has ridden the ridge will know white-outs can happen anytime. A few extra bits of equipment could save your life. Pack the following items tightly into a waterproof container and add to your other snowmobile gear.
- Water: People forget to drink water in the winter. Remember to check all water containers in you sled as in cold temperatures it will freeze quickly.
- Compass: Take a minute to learn how to use it.
- Map: The club has maps available at the trailhead or you can obtain one online at http://www.parks.wa.gov/winter/trails. Make sure everyone in your group has one.
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- High calorie/protein foods: Trail Mix, Protein Bars, Beef Sticks. If you bring something you don’t like, it is more likely to be there when you need it. Spam is good and MRE’s are great. The heating pack from the MRE can add warmth when stuck in the cold.
- Shelter: Extra large garbage bags can serve as shelter, emergency poncho or a ground cover. Remember if you’re not dry, you won’t be warm. Cheap bright colored poncho.
- Fire starters: Have 2 ways to start a fire; both matches and a lighter.
- Knife. Be sure it includes a can opener if you are carrying canned survival supplies.
- Duct tape
- Surveyor tape or flagging
- Space blankets
- Roll of parachute cord or other rope
- Medications (have enough for 48 hrs)
- Extra gloves and socks
We are all individuals and may pack differently. The point is to be ready to spend the night in an emergency. Electronics such as your cell phone, GPS and radios often assist rescue teams in locating a lost or disabled snowmobiler. Remember is better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it. The most important survival tool is your BRAIN. Bring it with you every time you ride.