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Discussion Starter #1
This is something that happened to me last year and some of the people that I told it to said that I should share it.

Last year we spent a lot of time and many miles hauling building supplies into our cabin at Chelatna Lake, its 40 miles from the Petersville parking lot, so needless to say we had a very good trail in. The second weekend in April my cousin and I put 280 miles making full and partial trips in and out on 2001 600 Edge-Xs, including hauling in a 500 gal fuel tank.

On Sunday we left our freight sleds with my dad and his friend to haul out and we took off to go home, we made it out in record time with no sleds to haul, 45 min to go 40 miles. The very next weekend I got a call from a friend saying that Petersville had received 44 inches of new snow overnight. I called my cousin and we loaded up the long tracks, I have a 700 MM and he has an 800 RMK with a 151, and headed out.

The ridding was great very deep but a bit heavy. When we had to leave the trail we had no idea what we were getting into. Things started going wrong but nothing and a couple of experienced riders couldn’t handle, a couple of years ago we road to Nome (1100 miles in 42 hours). Small things like getting stuck (a lot) but it was fun. The problem was we had gotten cockey and did not take any shovels or snowshoes and minimal food and water; after all we had made it out in 45 min, the weekend before. Well after getting stuck many times, one that took over an hour to get the 800 out, again no shovels, burning a belt and melting my pull cord so I had to start it by wraping the clutch, losing the trail many times, getting low on gas, and it was getting dark, but we knew right where we were, less then 3 miles from the cabin and food and drink. When we did make it in we were dehydrated, hungry, very tired and the machines were running on fumes. It took us 12 hours to go the same distance that we had traveled in 45 min the weekend before.

This just goes to show us that no matter how well we know the area that we ride in and how go of riders we are you can still put yourself in a bad situation by being over confidant. If we did not know the area as well as we do then thing would have gotten much worse. Now we never go ridding without all of our gear.
 

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i bet 99 percent of the trail riders are underprepared. how many cary a small first aid kit? water, food, compass,?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Your right not many do.

We did have some soda (bad for hydrating) and water and a little food. I always carry my kit that has flares, matches, first aid kit, folding saw, bivy sack, compass and at least 2 flashlights. Also I NEVER go ridding without my gps and extra batts. I carry all this with in a pack with an extra set of cloths.

We could have spent the night and waited for better light but it would not have been fun.

The problem was we did not take the shovels or snowshoes.
 

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Good lesson. People don't realize that winter can kill you. Lots of people think I'm nuts because I always carry boots and a heavy coat in my car in the winter with my box of tools, army shovel, jumper cables, etc. It has not been above 30 degrees (-9 on Monday)for over a week and most civilized people forget that all it takes is a good storm or sliding off in to the ditch and you can be in trouble fast if no one is around to help or can't get through to you.

Multiply the danger by 10 when you're out in the back country on a snowmobile out of cell phone range.

Thanks for the reminder Alaska I'm going to put together a survival kit for my sled even though most of my riding is within 10 miles of civilization.
 

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You never know when you can get in trouble and being a little cocky or complacency can catch up. I do a lot of back country riding in Newfoundland and always carried a sleeping bag when going to remote communities with motels or B & B's. This past winter I was leaving on one of these overnight excursions to a remote community and said to my buddies " I am not carrying my sleeping bag I never need It" famous last words. We spent two nights 8 guys in a 10 x 16 log hut in the middle of the Long Range Mountains storm bound in an unforcasted snow storm. I survived without the bag but I would have been much more comfortable with it. If I had been further along the trail and the log hut wasn't available I could have been very cold. As for the rest of my survival essentials they were with me and always are, in a fanny pack around my waist. If the worst case situation occurs where I loose my sled through ice and survive I will still have the basics on my person.
 

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[br]
Originally posted by Polaris XLTSP
[br]Good lesson. People don't realize that winter can kill you. Lots of people think I'm nuts because I always carry boots and a heavy coat in my car in the winter with my box of tools, army shovel, jumper cables, etc. It has not been above 30 degrees (-9 on Monday)for over a week and most civilized people forget that all it takes is a good storm or sliding off in to the ditch and you can be in trouble fast if no one is around to help or can't get through to you.

Multiply the danger by 10 when you're out in the back country on a snowmobile out of cell phone range.

Thanks for the reminder Alaska I'm going to put together a survival kit for my sled even though most of my riding is within 10 miles of civilization.

Amen to that! LOL. I carry tons of stuff around in my car all year long. My tool box, gloves, hat, extra jacket, jumpers, spare oil,.....all kinds of stuff. Sure is nice to have lying around when you get stuck in the winter. I often find myself on these backroads with no traffic plowing through the snow in my car. I only got stuck once last year, i'm really glad i had more warm clothes to put on.
 

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What's really nice when your prepared, is the feeling you get when you stop and help someone. I've jumped a few people, and helped people change tires, and get unstuck. It's a great feeling.

-Dean
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here are a couple of pics of how we set up our race machines too haul our gear. No packs, ridding 1100 miles with a pack would not be fun.

/snofan/../images/users/In Alaska/Before the IronDog.jpg

/snofan/../images/users/In Alaska/Race Machine 1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You can put small items in there like your fleece jacket.

This machine is my race machine. A couple of years ago I rode in the Iron Dog. One of the trick thing we did was to have the seat cut down (get rid of that worthless trunk and move the weight forward) and have bags made for the custom rack. I have also seen racers put up to a 5 gal tank that gets drained first under their bags.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll get some pics of the seat and the bag setup and post them.

I have been thinking about having the seat cut down and putting a 5 gal gas tank with a set of bags for my 700 MM.
 

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Originally posted by In Alaska
[br]You can put small items in there like your fleece jacket.
Isn't that a fire hazard? You would think that with the heat the fleece would get kinda hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have not had a problem with it, but I dont use it much it was installed by the guy that I bought the machine from.
 

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Originally posted by In Alaska
[br]You can put small items in there like your fleece jacket.

This machine is my race machine. A couple of years ago I rode in the Iron Dog.
Wow, the Iron Dog hu? I hear thats quite an endurance race. How many miles, and how long does it take? Where do you spend the nights?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well the rec class is 1100 miles and to pro class is 2000 miles. It took our team around 42 hours trail time to get to Nome from Big Lake. The top racers are doing it in about 24 hours, but we did beat 2 race teams to Nome and the next rec team was 12 hours behind us.

There are many places to stay along the trail but this is where we stayed. First night Finger Lake, second night McGrath, last night in Galena. We went from Galena to Nome on the last day, 513 miles in 16 hours

This is a pic of a section called the burn, the worst part of the trail. We had 60 miles of this, very hard to keep the machines from overheating.

/snofan/../images/users/In Alaska/60 Miles.jpg

[:(]
 

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Wow, there's hardly any snow there! I love to run a race like that, but there isn't anything like it here in Maine.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well you could always come up to run it. There are a few out of state racers that come up to do it. Many of them join up with a local racer.

Here is the like to the Iron Dog home page if you would like more info.

www.irondog.org
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I found a good pic of a race machine with the seat cut and an extra gas tank added with bags.

/snofan/../images/users/In Alaska/puntgas.jpg
 

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Unfortunately, I don't see myself getting up that way any time too soon. I certainly will at some point in my life though! Oh, and thanks for the info.
 
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