20 | Snowmobile VERMONT When it comes to carrying emergency kits (e-kit) and supplies on a sled, I think folks fall into three different categories: “Emergency kit? What’s that?”, “Functional but minimal” and “You can never pack enough.” For better or worse, I fall into the third category. Ok, maybe I’m well beyond that and need serious counseling. When a friend of mine got her last sled I told her I’d help her pack an emergency kit. Her reply was priceless, “I don’t need an emergency kit, I ride with you.” She was referring to the fact that I pretty much carry everything but the kitchen sink with me. For the record, she does have an emergency kit on her sled which I put together and put on her sled under the hood. She actually forgot I put it there. I put it there since I am the caretaker for it during the season and I don’t think I could have slept if it didn’t have one. Worth noting is that for those that ride in groups, it may seem like a good idea to split the gear. Note however, that there are notable cases where this isn’t enough. There was one in 2007 in Woodford where an out-of-area sledder got separated from his group and spent the night with his sled after getting stuck in blizzard conditions. If you do ride alone, you should be that much more prepared. I used to ride alone a lot which may be where my pack rat e-kit mentality comes from. I have the advantage of riding big sleds with lots of storage. I do have one touring sled that I let folks use when they come up and that has the minimal emergency kit on. My logic is that if that sled is being used, it’s with my other sleds with even more gear. As mentioned above, this could fail is some cases. My sled for the past few years has been a Ski-Doo SWT with an aluminum underbody truck box mounted to the tunnel for storage. Yes, the toolbox you saw under the deck of a tow truck yesterday is the same type that I have. I always get comments that it either looks like a beer cooler, or some sort of sled-mounted port-o-potty, but it holds a lot of gear easily. My other sleds are a 2005 Ski-Doo Expedition TUV, a 2015 Ski-Doo Expedition Sport and a 2005 Ski-Doo GTX. Only the GTX has a smaller version of the tool kit. I do carry a few more items on the SWT, but not much more. Not many folks would consider a 136-inch track two-up touring sled “small.” Compared to my usual mounts, it’s my compact. There are some basic items that probably everyone should have with them, and beyond that it may be a matter of need, riding area, riding terrain or other factors. I don’t profess to be an expert. I’m not Bear Gryllis, or Les Stroud when it comes to outdoor survival. I’m just someone who believes in being as prepared as possible. Worth noting is that I carry just as much gear on my ATVs and motorcycles. There are many references and guides online for suggestions for e-kits. Please take the time and find out what works for you. Over the years, I have stopped and helped folks change belts, provide tools to folks to use, towed many folks to get unstuck and out of the woods, helped mark accident scenes with flares I’ve had, given victims my emergency blankets, etc. Rarely have I not had what I needed. Last year, when my main sleds were at the shop, I rode the GTX with some friends and felt “naked” when I didn’t have a pair of vice grips to bend back a badly bent carbide. I’m not going to list every item here that you may need, but rather mention the highlights of items I’ve had or important items. Last year, I found a very well-thought-out tiny tool kit somebody had lost right near an intersection. It was only a small canvas Craftsman bag, but had an WHEN TOO MUCH IS JUST ENOUGH by John Orlowski