We all know why we should carry survival gear. Most people also know it will never happen to them and if it does S & R will save them. The problem is how long will it take. In less than 12 hours you could lose your toes to frost bite. The average snowmobile rescue is 3 to 5 days. Most people are missing for 2 days before S & R are notified they’re lost.
With 12+ hour nights and temperatures below freezing you are going to be miserable just think how much fun you will have without any gear.
This is a list of the minimum items you should have and why. I also have some notes that may help you.
* Items for a day trip.
*Gasoline: 1 Gallon or more.
*Coat: Daytime temperature 10 above, on a clear night 10 below.
*Warm Hat: Wearing a helmet all day or night not fun.
*Gloves: You always need dry gloves.
*Cigar Lighter with a piezo starter: 5 times hotter than a lighter.
*Fire Starter: Trioxane, heats water or start fire, very hot, 6 ea.
*Road Flares: Signal for help day/ night, also for starting a fire 3 ea.
*Saw: Cutting fire wood or brush for a bed, safer than an Axe.
*MINI MAG-LITE: Adjustable focus has a spare lamp. If your snowmachine engine stops running you have no lights to find the problem or to set up camp at night.
*8 AA batteries: 8 ea.
*Big Plastic Bags: Sleeping bag, rain coat or fill with snow to make a shelter.
*Shovel: To get unstuck or to building a snow cave or a Quin-zee.
*Knife: Swiss Army knife.
*Metal pot & cup: Melt snow for drinking water. Drink hot water to warm you.
* Big Candle: One candle will last 2 hr. The light will give a comfortable feeling, save batteries, keep you warm and help start a fire. Aluminum Foil around a candle will help keep wax from dripping. 3 ea.
Snowshoes: I rarely use them, but I always carry them. They have gotten me out of trouble so many times. Breaking a trail up a hill that I went down and could not get back up, walking over overflow to get out, getting wood for a fire or getting stuck in snow so soft you fall through to your arm pits.
Book: Staying Alive in the arctic, an excellent survival book.
Tarps: With ropes, 2 ea. 9x11 and 6x6, for a shelter.
Gas Stove with siphon hose. I use a MSR stove it will work at any temperature. The siphon hose and snowmobile gas will give you many hours of heat, assuming you did not run out of gas.
Food: GORE, Nuts, Cookies, Candy Bars, Pepperoni, Cup of soup,
Lipton Rice. Food that does not freeze.
Added Items: First Aid kit, duct tape, Axe, TyVeck sleeping bag, socks, long Johns, The last thing you do before getting into your shelter is put on dry long johns.
1. Do not camp in a windy area.
2. Do not camp in a low area like a river bed. The temperature 50 feet up a ridge can be 20 degrees warmer.
3. Drink lots of hot water to help prevent frostbite & hypothermia & nibble on food.
4. Stay with your snowmobile someone may come by and if S&R are looking for you they will see a snowmobile.
5. Do not sit on the snow. Remove and use your seat or cut brush for a bed or seat.
6. Do not wear COTTON this includes cotton shorts.
7. If you are cold when you’re snowmobiling how do you expect to be warm waiting for help?
8. Survival gear needs to be tested to insure it will work for you. Camp out in the back yard.
9. When Search & Rescue is looking for you at night, they will be using night vision goggles (heat sensing), if you hear an Airplane, start your snowmachine, or light a Road Flare. It is very important to put out the flares, when they get close because you are blinding them.
10. Your snowmobile can be used as a heat source to warm your hand or feet. This can be VERY DANGEROUS. If your hands or feet are frostbitten, you will not feel the heat & cook them.
11. Do not leave your partner to go for help. Anxiety of being alone will reduce his chances by 70%.
You will take chances (getting hurt or lost), knowing your friend is depending on you.