Skip to main content

Course Outline

Skip audio player

Press the play button (►) above to start the video.

Video Transcript

Transcript for Preparing for the Unexpected

Rob: All right, you guys finish your START-GO checks? Check? Roger that, all mechanical systems are a go. But before we head out, we need to follow that old Boy Scout motto: be prepared.

Haley: And I cannot count how many times our emergency survival gear has gotten us out of some real messes. I mean, think about it. Like today, we’re going to a really remote place on mechanical devices in the dead of winter, where the terrain and the weather are unpredictable. It’s a sure-fire formula for “what can go wrong, will go wrong.”

Rob: So here’s our plan.


Let’s start with “P,” which stands for Prepare for location, weather, terrain, and the unexpected.

And “L” is for Locate and get familiar with the area you’re going to be riding, using maps and a GPS. And since cold can affect electronics, we have spare batteries and a compass.

Next, we Assess gear and logistics, like we’re doing now. Then we decide if it’s safe and smart. And we even get local advice on preferred routes and trail hazards to watch for.

Finally, to complete our plan, we Notify someone responsible about our route, check-in points and times, and when we’ll return. So that’s the plan: Prepare, Locate, Assess, and Notify.

Haley: Perfect. Now what are the two most important things to bring along?

The person behind the camera points to Rob and Haley.

Haley: That’s right, partner. Number one: always travel with a partner. And if you’re traveling in a group, use the buddy system and pair up. And you always want to bring a cell phone or another communication device. Check? Check.

Rob: And what about your ride insurance? I mean, ensuring that your ride will get you there and back.

Haley: Besides fueling and our START-GO check, we packed our machine’s kit with a few critical things that can save the day.

Machine Kit

Haley: A spare drive belt, spark plugs, and a tool kit can keep your machine going or get it going again.

Rob: Plus, a tow strap for getting unstuck. I also take the universal quick-fixer for everything: duct tape. That all goes in with the rest of my machine’s emergency kit, which includes key, flashlight, machine light bulbs, engine oil.

And again, the last thing we check before we head out is the weather, because it’s one thing we cannot control that could really put us into danger if it’s bad. So we do a final forecast check, plus we keep an eye on it during longer trips. And the weather looks great, so now let’s run through our personal survival gear before we head out there.

Personal Survival Gear

Haley: Of course, everyone needs to carry a first-aid kit, especially when the survival kit has a really sharp knife or multi-tool, like this one.

Rob: And I like to carry mine on me, because with all those lakes out there, you don’t want to be accidentally separated from your machine without one—which is also why you need to carry these: ice picks.

Haley: Experts recommend you bring water purifying tablets or water filters. We’ve got our blankets, our food, and our fire starters, but more about that later. Let’s hit the trail.

Rob: All right. Any idea why we’re stopping?

The person behind the camera throws Rob a sports drink.

Rob: That’s right. Refueling our bodies keeps us from getting fatigued, which allows us to stay more alert and enjoy the ride more. It’s a win-win.

Haley: Plus, it gives us a chance to check on our physical condition. You want to check your buddy and yourself for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

Rob: One of the big threats out here is the cold itself. That’s why we carry two kinds of fire-starting gear and store them in two places: one on the machine, and one on your body. In my sure-fire kit, I bring a wind-proof lighter, fire-starter tablets, and aluminum foil. And before you start out, make sure you know how to light a fire and have the necessary equipment to do so in a safe, dry place. Plus, carry a space blanket or survival blanket in case a fire is out of the question.

Haley: I don’t know about you, but I feel better and ready to tackle what’s ahead, including the unexpected.

Rob: And all it takes is careful planning ahead and being prepared. All right, let’s get to it.

Haley: Let’s do it.

  • Unit 5 of 6
  • Topic 1 of 4
  • Page 5 of 5