This blog is being used to communicate and discuss recommended safety gear, training and survival tips for participants of the 2010 MichCanSka Snowmobile ride from Michigan to Alaska (over 4000+ miles) starting February 15th, 2010

Safety Planning

The organizers and participants of the “MichCanSka 2010” are taking a systematic approach to Risk management for this event. As with any extreme adventure like this one, there are inherent risks that should be identified and proactive planning implemented. Addressing this risk is critical to assuring everyone involved from riders to support personal successfully complete the adventure and make it home safe and sound.  We are taking the same proven approach to risk management and safety as the offshore sailboat racing organizers have implemented and developed over the years. This approach identifies specific requirements of training, equipment and technology and identifies to participants what is mandatory, recommended or even discouraged.  

Key Risk factors

a)      Equipment Breakdown and running out of Gas. The key risk here is making sure each group has a proven method and equipment to tow a couple of disabled sleds to a location we can get support teams access too.  Also need to provide recommendations for carrying additional fuel.   

b)      Getting lost, stuck or separated from group. This will be the biggest challenge of this event. Keeping groups together will be critical to making this event safe and successful.  

c)       Weather related conditions. This area could cause the event and it’s participants a lot of grief and difficulty. Everything from blizzards, storms, too much snow, excessive cold, avalanche etc are possible on this trip. Each group needs to have the ability to survive 1-3 nights in the bush, in case of Blizzards or white out conditions.

d)      Hypothermia.  This is the biggest personal risk of this event, beyond the normal handle bar heaters and right clothing (no Cotton!), having plenty of Hot Hands will be key to survival, especially if any of the other risk factors occur.

e)  Other Injury or Health related issues. Having back country first aid kits, having an EMT trained rider in each group and basic first aid / CPR training is highly recommended.