Lighting a campfire in snow is a critical skill for snowmobilers (Brad Stafford)
Published on Monday, February 3, 2014 in News & Updates, Safety
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The statement “Be prepared” is something we have all heard and is recognized by most as the Boy Scout motto. By definition the motto means to be prepared both in mind and in body. To be ready for all foreseen situations by educating yourself mentally and physically outfitting yourself with the tools to deal with issues as they happen.

Throughout our lives have heard how we should “Be Prepared.” It started with our parents when we were growing up. “Be Prepared” for school by having the physical items like lunch money and school supplies. And mentally, if we miss the bus or who to call for that ride home after practice. We also hear it from the weatherman as storms approach. “Be Prepared” by physically getting extra supplies and mentally planning our day to get those errands done before road conditions deteriorate.

There is no way possible to be ready for everything. We can take steps to be “Better Prepared” especially when we are getting ready to go out and enjoy a ride on our snowmobiles.

Many of us envision a trouble-free ride on perfectly groomed trails, with no mechanical breakdowns, but we all know that this isn’t always the case. Whether you are leading the family ride, following along in a group or someone that travels alone, be better prepared.

Your sleds should be physically prepared in advance. Check the gas, oil, spare belt, spark plugs and have the tools to change them if needed. You should also consider a map, GPS unit, high energy snacks, water, flashlight, a means to start a fire, a compact hand saw, and a first aid kit with at least 24 hours of your regular medications. Don’t forget your charged cell phone, which doesn’t have to be on when you ride. Save the battery in case you need to make that emergency call. Everyone in the group should know where these items are packed, just in case you are the one who needs assistance.

Speaking of which, we should all be better prepared mentally by educating and training ourselves, just in case something happens to the person in charge. Practice lighting a fire. Change a drive belt in a warm garage, so on the cold dark trail it will be that much easier. Know what the proper gap on your spark plugs are and how to install them.

Every rider, whether it’s your first time or ten-thousandth time on the trail, should make a mental note of landmarks; the last intersection number, the name of the road you just crossed, just in case you’re the one trying to call in a location for an emergency.

These are just some steps that we can take to prepare for unknowns on the trail our and even in our daily lives. Preparation can make each ride a wonderful memory. So do your best to “Be Prepared” for both the best and worse case scenarios. Until next time… Ride safe and “Keep the Rubber Side Down.”

Photo by Craig Warner

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