Not long ago I spent all day (and into the night) riding my ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) on various Snowmobile trails through the woods and National Forest regions of the White Mountains here in New Hampshire as I helped out one of the clubs with fallen tree removal, putting up signs for the coming season, and trail maintenance.
Before venturing out on this trip which I knew would extend more than 20 miles deep into the forests and climbing up to mountain-tops at elevation, I set aside some time to think about an emergency kit for my ATV. It was my first time out there and I knew there would be no other travelers on those trails as they’re off-limits except for Snowmobiles (it’s not in season yet…).
With that said, I was not traveling alone (always a good idea to do such things with a partner), but I still wanted to build a generic emergency kit – just in case.
Here’s what I took with me:
A M&P-45 on my belt w/extra mag
Full-tang heavy duty knife (‘Best Knife for Batoning Wood’)
A length of heavy duty rope
Tire Repair Kit
Portable Air Compressor
Basic Tool Kit
A length of 550 Paracord (related article ‘Survival Kit Paracord’)
Topo Map of the region and Compass
Flashlight with fresh Lithium AA batteries
Sawyer Mini water filter (Mini Water Filtration System)
Water: Several water bottles
Emergency Food Bars – in addition to my lunch (Datrex High Calorie Bars)
A wrapped length of Toilet Paper in a Ziploc bag
Fire-starter kit including…
-Strike-Anywhere matches (in watertight containment)
-FireSteel with striker (from FireSteel.com)
-Small Magnifying Glass
-Vaseline coated cotton balls
Outerwear for the season, plus a bit more (just in case)
Emergency Mylar Blanket (The Uses For Emergency Mylar Blankets)
Small First Aid Kit with essentials
Cell phone (although mostly no coverage)
GMRS/FRS portable radio (alt-communications, just in case)
Handheld CB radio (alt-communications, just in case)
Whistle (A Highly Recommended Rescue Item)
Note: Some of the above mentioned items are kept in a Maxpedition Versipack. I highly recommend their bags due to the versatility, strength, and comfort for carrying ‘stuff’ less than a full-on backpack. I have two of these (one for Mrs.J) and they get used often when we’re out in the woods, hiking, etc…
I have inserted one of these in each bag:
Maxpedition Gear Universal Holster Insert with Mag Retention
Summary: I sure did enjoy the experience. There’s nothing like being way out deep in the forest, so many miles from even the smallest town. There were no emergency incidents, just lots of muscle usage while cutting/clearing and dragging fallen trees, tree limbs, rolling some big rocks off the trail, cutting brush, digging post-holes and pounding signs into the ground. It was all worth it in the evening when watching the sunset from atop a mountain as it lit up the Presidential’s across the valley with red/orange/purple fading light… The ride back down in the darkness was its own fun too ;)
I traveled with two others, so the likelihood of becoming stranded was quite low, however it sure is a good idea to be prepared anyway because the other person or people you’re with might not have their own appropriate emergency kit or supplies.
There is a false sense of security when you’re with others, so don’t count on it. Take your security and safety into your own hands and plan ahead for it.