December 21, 2015
There is nothing like the freedom of dropping sleds off a trailer and venturing into the backcountry. The deeper you go the better it gets, but you’re also a lot more likely to run into the unexpected. Well compadre, follow the old adage: “plan for the worst and expect the unexpected. This is great advice for a Boy Scout troop piled into a suburban full of fishing rods and s’mores. But, how do we pull this off while still remaining agile and loose on our sleds? After all, there’s only so much you can put in a backpack.
Riders in the backcountry need to wear just the essential stuff on their body. Beacon, shovel, probe, helmet, goggles, protection, radio and float bag. The Float MtnPro Vest covers your bases here, but where to put the non-essential items for a long day and maybe a not-so-planned night out in the high country?
Enter the MtnPro Tunnel Bag: The included mounting rack makes this system compatible with all sleds. Slide it on and clip the tensioned buckle strap. This low profile snowmobile tunnel bag features an external shovel carry, venting system, waterproof interior dry-bag, drain hole and interior pockets for small items.
At 17” long, 14” wide and 6” deep the list of things you could put in this modern day saddlebag is long. Here’s a short list of gear that might leave you enough room for a few cold ones or a breakdown BBQ.
- Extra Avalanche Shovel: A key item in many scenarios, but most notably when you need to dig your sled out and you are exposed to avalanche hazard. The last thing you want to do is take off your Float and protection to get a shovel.
- First-Aid Kit, GPS, Maps, Snacks and Water: Bring the medical basics including bleeding control, airway adjuncts and pain relief. High calorie, electrolyte balanced foods and plenty of H20 are a must.
- Tow Kit, Repair, Extra Tools and Breakdown Saw: In addition to the belt, plugs, wrenches and belt tool likely stored under the hood bring; extra wrenches, a multi-tool, bailing wire, duct tape, hose clamps and a syphon hose.
- Extra Layers, Goggles, Camera Rig, Headlamp and Overnight Bivy Gear: These items go best in the internal dry bag. A down jacket, ground tarp, bivy sac and fire starter could save the day, or the night.
Spreading this gear off your back and securely attached to your sled allows for fluid movement and agility. This makes you more likely to stay safe and less likely to get bucked.