You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Team Safety items’ category.

Purpose:  The ability for each group of riders (riding together) to communicate with the “MichCanSka Command Center”  and support vehicles will significantly improve the response time and reduce confusion in cases of breakdowns, fuel issues, lost or separated riders and emergency situations. Cell phone coverage during this event will be very limited, in most cases service only available in and around larger towns.

Recommendations: I strongly recommend each group of riders have two satellite phones preferably Iridium (best coverage). One assigned to a sled riding in the front of the group (1st three sleds) and another assigned to a sled in the back of the group (last 3 sleds).

 I also recommend each caravan of Support Vehicles have at least 2 Satellite Phones. The 1st one assigned to the first support vehicle in the group and 2nd to the last vehicle in the group. Each should be plugged into a 12V outlet and external antenna and left on at all times during. This will allow the groups to contact them directly or thru the Command Center.

•Calls from Satellite Phones:$1.39 per minute •Calls to Satellite Phones:     $2.50+ per minute (caller pays) •Text from Satellite Phones:  $0.50 per text •Text to Satellite Phones: Free (from ) •Texting to and from Satellite Phones is the best option •Use Voice Calls only in Emergencies!

I also recommend any teams or individual who want to decrease their risk and improve their survival options, to consider renting a satellite phone for this event.    

 Example Options & Price:

  1. NetworkIP (Pete Pattullo’s Company) has agreed to sponsored 12 Satellite Phones for this event.
  2. Iridium 9505a satellite phone rental from Feb 12th to March 15th  from $345.26 (this is all inclusive, shipping both ways, 60 outgoing minutes ($1.59 per min), free inbound calls and text, contact Sue Shorees 1-619-200-2066, mention MichCanSka and order_id 33640)

Additional Tips: Satellite Phone’s like the Iridium 9505A are only rated to operate down to +14F. To protect and keep the satellite phone in its operating temp range, it should be stored in a protective case in heated pouch or with a air-activated “Hot Hands”.  We will be discussing the best practices on using and minimizing cost of using satellite phones /  Spot Messengers during our Safety Briefing scheduled on Tuesday, December 28th    Also note there are numerous companies who rent satellite phones on the web, make sure the cost quote are total and include activation fees.


Snobunje or equivalent method of getting a sled unstuck

  i.      Purpose:  The Snobunje is a tool that uses very strong stretch cord bundled in a corrugated vinyl tube. It has a hook on one end that attaches to the ski of the stuck sled and either another sled or has handle on the other end. It maximizes the pulling forces your body or another sled can produce when pulling out a stuck snowmobile.

  ii.      Recommendations: There are two versions of the Snobunje, it is recommended you have at least one of these (or another proven method) for each Team participating in the event. The Rattler model is for sled to person pulling, the Cobra is for sled to sled.

  iii.      Example Options & Price:

  1. Snobunje Rattler @ Pattullo & Sons Sports (989) 673-6130 $45.00 (at cost)
  2. Snobunje Cobra@ Pattullo & Sons Sports (989) 673-6130 $55.00 (at cost)

   iv.      Additional Tips: If you can afford it get one of each… you’ll be glad you did.

Satellite Transponder (Spot Messenger)

      i.      Purpose:  The SPOT Messenger provides a vital line of communication with international rescue coordination centers, the MichCanSka Command Center and friends and family. It provides your GPS location and status based on situation and need. Using 100% satellite technology, SPOT works virtually anywhere in the world, even where cell phones don’t all with the push of a button

    ii.       Recommendations: Each Team shall be responsible for accruing or purchasing at least one Spot Messenger and signing up for a minimum of a 1 year basic subscription with tracking option. (minimally covering the event period Feb 1st, 2010 to March 31st, 2010. ), Spot has launched a new version called the “SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger “(Spot-2 unit), the advantages of the new model is its 50% smaller, lighter, easier to use and has an additional button to program a special message to. The disadvantage of this model is the batteries last 1/3 less, it is only rated to -22F (Spot-1 original -40F).

  iii.      Example Options & Price:

  1. Cabelas has a special with the manufacture good until December 31st, 2009.  The rebate is for only the original Spot-1 unit

             Option 1) the unit and 2 yr service plan w/tracking, total cost of $300 after rebate

             Option 2) the unit and 1 yr service plan w/tracking, cost of $250 after rebate

      2.   Spot messenger (original Spot-1) unit w/ 1 yr service plan w/tracking @ Pattullo & Sons Sports (989) 673-6130 $175 (at cost after rebate)

      3.   Spot Satellite GPS Messenger (New Spot-2) unit w/ 1 yr service plan w/tracking @ Pattullo & Sons Sports $255 (at cost)

   iv.      Additional Tips: The Spot Messenger shall be assigned to a rider on the team and worn on the person’s body preferably in a location unobstructed from the sky above, (i.e. an outside pocket on sleeve or chest). It is highly recommended that the individual download the user guide from the and/or attend a safety briefing detailing the optimal use of this technology.

These additional items are just some of the safety items that will be  covered and addressed in a future Blog post.

Group Safety items

  • GPS
  • Paper Trail Maps
  • Flare Kit
  • 150 ft of 5/16 rope (3000+ breaking load)
  • First Aid Kit
  • First Aid Manual
  • Hatchet  & Saw

Team Safety Items

  • Tow Straps
  • Gas Siphon
  • 10X10 tarp
  • Expanded Tool Kit

Personal Safety items

  • Mirror mounted on Sled or person
  • Spare parts and basic tool kit

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9 other followers