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I have been getting inquires lately about what we learned during our 2010 MichCanSka – Michigan to Alaska trip: Here is a few of my observations:

Safety Flags) This was a very controversial safety requirement, many of the participants were against using them, although most ended up installing them. What did we learn ? Not only did they provide the added visibility we hoped on the trail, we also uncovered an additional benefit of identifying our groups. With as many as 34 riders in a group during the trip, having the flags visually announced to the locals we had arrived in town, we also found ourselves using them to locate other members of our group in areas where other riders were on the trail or in congested areas. It really helped managing the logistics of keeping the riders together.  (Strongly recommended)

Spot Messenger) Wow! a true life and butt saver. I don’t think there is a single rider on this trip that would consider riding without one, especially in remote areas with limited cell phone range. Pressing the button to get help or rescue should be your last resort, don’t forgo the other items identified in this Blog and unnecessary put other people and resources at risk. It should be the ultimate backup plan. (absolutely mandatory)

Snow Bungees) A true back and life saver! When we were all getting stuck in a mountain pass in the Yukon this tool kept us moving and not having to spend the night in the woods. (should be mandatory)

Personal Survival Items) There were times on this trip that participants left theirs in the support vehicle because the weather and conditions were perfect at the beginning of the day. They would all agree today this was a mistake. The rescue of Group 3 in the wilderness of the Canadian Yukon, taught us all that mother nature is unforgiving, even cruel! Make it part of your trip prep, just like filling your tank with gas. (absolutely mandatory)

Additional items: If you have any questions or comments related to the safety or survival topics discussed in this Blog, please comment here.

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