(ED—Last year in the January issue of SnoWest Magazine, we asked Ski-Doo athlete Ashley Chaffin to share some riding tips with our readers. That worked out so well, we asked her to do a follow-up story on additional tips for backcountry riders. She came up with four topics/areas to focus on. You can follow Chaffin on her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ashleychaffin110.)
THINGS COMMONLY OVERLOOKED BEFORE YOU RIDE
- Check the avalanche report. If you ride the backcountry, this is a must.
- Sled prep—check bolts and nuts. This isn’t something that takes hours but rather a small look over that can save you in the backcountry. Make sure you have a spare belt, oil and tools.
- Check your avalanche beacon batteries.
- Check to make sure your radio is charged.
- Check your pack: probe, shovel, first aid, saw, radio and also make sure your canister is full.
- Pack food and water, a tow rope and lighter. Extras to take along include: down puffy, goggles and gloves.
- Ride with people you can trust who have experience in the backcountry.
- Dress yourself in your head. I know it sounds silly but it will keep you from ever forgetting any gear. I always do this and pack a gear bag.
- Always tell someone where you’re going and what time you might be heading back.