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#203856 - 12/20/19 12:31 AM snowmobile safety pack
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3966
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Hi All its been a long time... Anyway my snowmobile club is interested in some winter survival training and some ideas for the day packs we carry in Oregon. This is almost 2020 and the era of back country communications. Calling for help and being found is number one, especially if a person is injured by avo or other motorized accident. From that point of view its a lot like riding in a car.

But if white out storm conditions prevent you from operating your machines, spending a night out is less life threatening with some gear. While I do have a ridiculous amount of winter expedition gear, what we want is a simple cheap (ten essential) modified for the purpose and the times. So In the interest of being found one of those brilliant flashlights and a signal flare gun will go a long way. Some way to melt water in a cup, a cover like a tarp that can be attached over a snowmobile as a snow wall. some closed foam insulation, dry socks, any spare down liners for the clothes and two bic lighters, maybe a small first aid kit.

I haven't really thought it out too well, I may go out tomorrow and try out the pack in Newberry Monument.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#203862 - 12/20/19 07:25 AM Re: snowmobile safety pack [Re: Jimshaw]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1892
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Hi, Jim - welcome back.
Since weight isn’t an issue, but space is, would a self-inflating pad or air mattress make more sense than a closed cell pad? You’d get more r-value for less volume. Since you’d be camping on snow, the r-value could be critical.
Also, what about a tool that would let you build a snow shelter? I’m from Ohio, so I have no real knowledge about snow shelters - but I’ve read that they work if you have time to build one.

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#203863 - 12/20/19 01:50 PM Re: snowmobile safety pack [Re: Glenn Roberts]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3966
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Hi Glenn. First the news. laugh As I was writing this post last night my roomies parents were lost East of Mt Bachelor on a snowmobile. They were located by search and rescue after 7 hours. They swerved off trail, rolled the machine and got it stuck with them trapped under it. They managed to get out and started walking. So anyway shall we all spend one moment thinking about that. They were not experienced snowmobilers, they rented a dual person machine, they had no idea what they were doing, the mother is rather frail. They were soaking wet, under dressed and completely unprepared and she cried the whole ime cause she thought she was gonna buy it crazy

So I got to thinking that if they had a cell phone and called 911, or had a signal flare gun, or a gps, or dry clothing things might have gone better.

So Glenn these were completely inexperienced snow people. I had not assumed that stupidity was gonna be a major component of this, but then they find dead naked people in the winter who have taken off their clothes in a snow storm... and such. My experience with "this group" almost made me think that people would think before getting onto a powerful machine and riding it into wilderness unprepared.

After that I might suggest a cell phone, flare gun and flashlight shovel and wearing reasonable clothes in the first place and having down liners in your emergency pack.

Now as to your comments. Yes of course but I am trying to save the average idiot now. Closed cell foam is cheap indestructable and alone it can insulate you from the snow under you. Even a foam sit pad and a bivy sack would be an improvement.

Around here build snow shelters isn't hard, we have plenty of medium soft sloped snow, but building a snow shelter, especially for the inexperienced can kill you by sapping the last of your energy and getting your clothes wet. Also the idea of lighting a fire in deep snow to stay warm is not possible.

For now a story. In 2000 my snow camping buddy and I took my secretary snow camping with us. She had been a wrangler in Wyoming so she was as tough as us. When she asked what to bring I said I'll have all your gear just bring something to eat that doesn't have to be cooked.

So anyway we were in the worst blizzard of the year in the Sierras and after trying every trick in the book and using expedition grade cooking gear, gave up trying to cook dinner, it was impossible even with the stove in its own mini snow cave. So we retire to my tent and zip the door and lament not having dinner when Kristin pulls out a sandwich with all the fixins and a whole half a chicken breast on it. So we decided she could camp with us anytime and passed it around. Then she pulls out a bottle of burgundy to chase it with. awesome

Lessons learned - don't plan on a fire or cooking, carry candy bars and snacks, not fruit it freezes. Do not dig more than a small platform, keeping dry, STAY PUT with the machine. Carry atleast a bivy bag and a cell phone, and flashlight. If I could get every member of my club to carry a bivy bag and shovel and cell it would cover most over nights.
Jim more coming
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#203868 - 12/20/19 04:18 PM Re: snowmobile safety pack [Re: Jimshaw]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1892
Loc: Southwest Ohio
You're right - I was assuming that there'd be at least one person in the group who knew what they were doing. For rank amateurs, closed cell is almost idiot proof (although I've seen Scouts melt them when I wasn't looking.)

To repeat from another post, in addition to telling my granddaughter to study hard, I gave her three other pieces of advice for starting her freshman year:

1. You can't drink them handsome.
2. If someone says "Hold my beer and watch this!" you should grab your cell phone and start taking video.
3. You can't fix stupid.

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#203869 - 12/20/19 05:12 PM Re: snowmobile safety pack [Re: Jimshaw]
wgiles Offline
member

Registered: 05/19/14
Posts: 180
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
Well said.

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#203870 - 12/21/19 01:45 AM Re: snowmobile safety pack [Re: wgiles]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3966
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Hi wigles happy

About ten years ago I would grab a light pack on a Friday or Saturday night in the winter and head up to a snowpark near Mt Bachelor and ski in a mile or two and camp. In the morning I would just shove my sleeping bag and tent into my pack and ski out and there would be free coffee and hot cider courtesy of the cross country ski club. I only carried a canteen for water, maybe a thermos of hot water.
I carried a huge pack Kelty white cloud
Bibler single layer expedition tent ElDorado
Western mountaineering -5 bag big enough for a line backer
Stevenson inflatable down air mattress
wool sleeping socks
balaclava
dry sleeping glove liners
first aid kit.
Besides that I wore ski boots
gaitors
outer down goretex pants
down jacket
big hood
skis
poles
Nice warm underwear that I strip down to for sleeping

I would sleep in long underwear Patagonia fuzzy, wool socks and balaclava and light gloves. If I get a bit cold the down coat goes over my upper body above the sleeping bag where its insulation works as well as if it were inside except I have more room to wiggle. I wiggle a lot when I sleep and Im not real big, thus the huge sleeping bag. BTW I prefer 700 down. blush

So what is about half of that? Maybe a bivy sack, wool socks and a foam pad? Most already have a shovel I hope and a tow rope.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#203872 - 12/21/19 01:48 PM Re: snowmobile safety pack [Re: Jimshaw]
JustWalking Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 242
Loc: PNW
I'm a fan of the inReach mini. Small, lightweight, and able to call for help where there is no cell coverage. And I'd add a small avy shovel - it can come in handy for a number of uses in the snow.

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#203904 - 12/26/19 01:26 PM Re: snowmobile safety pack [Re: Jimshaw]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1030
Loc: Torrance, CA
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
... what we want is a simple cheap (ten essential) modified for the purpose and the times. So In the interest of being found one of those brilliant flashlights and a signal flare gun will go a long way. Some way to melt water in a cup, a cover like a tarp that can be attached over a snowmobile as a snow wall. some closed foam insulation, dry socks, any spare down liners for the clothes and two bic lighters, maybe a small first aid kit....


I had some thoughts reading through this thread:

1. Signal flares are good for indicating distress should another snowmobiler happen by.

2. For heating water I think esbit would be perfect. Shelf stable, doesn't leak. It's compact and pretty idiot proof.

3. Spare down clothes liners could have some problems: they may not fit the person who needs them in an emergency and people rarely have quality spares available to leave in a kit like this. I would think a Costco down blanket would be better. Cheap, light, compact, and warm enough with existing insulation. Plus they will be easy to use with who ever needs it.

4. Increasing you list to 12 and adding a small shovel and a pbl would be worthwhile.

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