What should be expected of an outdoors person? In the last few weeks, our local Search and Rescue groups have put aside their own safety and comfort to head out and extract snowmobilers that have gotten themselves into foolish situations.
I’ll start by emphasizing that if you are injured, lost or somehow incapacitated then please, use the resources of our Search and Rescue (SAR) members. These folks train hard to be able to safely extract you from dangerous situations.
However, in at least three recent cases there were no injuries or immediate danger to those calling for rescue.
They were simply in a bind and they were unprepared for what they had tried to accomplish. Specifically, from what I can tell from reports of these incidents, none of the riders even had snowshoes with them.
If you’re going to go out into the wilds and entertain yourself (and by all means, please continue to do so because it’s beautiful out there) you need to be prepared for things to go wrong. At the very least, you need snowshoes, proper clothing, a first aid kit and a few other wilderness necessities.
If your machine is stuck and you know where you are and you know how to get out then start walking. Don’t sit and pout, waiting for someone to get up from their table and come get you!
When you finally get out, you’ll be cold and tired but that feeling will come back to you the next time you think about heading out unprepared and it might make you plan a bit better for future adventures.
The first person you should look to for assistance is yourself.
If you honestly can’t get it done on your own then call out the SAR team but please give that first option a shot.
Being prepared to deal with the repercussions of what you take on is your own responsibility first.