One of the best things about mountain biking is that it allows you to get away from civilization and out into nature in a way that nothing else can. The ability to cover a lot of ground and do it in a human powered way means that we can get to places and enjoy trails that not everyone can.
And while this is one of the things that draws a lot of us to riding, it also presents a unique danger that not many riders really consider. The truth is that most mountain bikers are woefully unprepared to deal with a medical emergency or a survival situation on the trail.
While most of us carry something to fix a flat or simple mechanical problem on the trail, few of us think about being prepared for something happening to us or someone else we’re with or come across. Sure, a phone to call for help is great but you may not have coverage and it may take some time for help to arrive – in that type of situation you are your own best First Responder.
While there are a lot of things you should consider carrying to help you be better prepared, there are 3 simple and inexpensive things that every rider should have on them. In this video/ podcast I share what those things are and why they are important to have on you when you go for a ride.
You can watch the video replay or listen to the audio replay through the link below. You can also find the podcast on Itunes, Podbean, Spotify and all other major podcasting platforms.
The most important medical emergency you want to be able to deal with is major bleeding. Being able to stop the bleed can be the difference between life and death.
This means that the first thing you need to carry is a tourniquet. If you want to keep your loadout simple then the one I recommend is the SWAT-T.
You can find it through the link below and use the Coupon Code BIKEJAMES for 10% off.
This style of tourniquet is effective and can serve multiple purposes.
- Pressure Bandage
- Chest Seal
It is also inexpensive and easily folds up to fit in a pocket.
The second is a multi-use rescue whistle.
Being able to signal for help is essential and a whistle is a great way to do that.
It also has a light. Having a light is essential if you get caught out on the trail after dark and have to see well enough to fix your bike or help someone who is hurt.
The third thing is a lighter.
I also put a 1 foot length of duct tape on it and put some strips of road bike inner tube.
The tape can help in a lot of ways – taping down a chest seal or pressure bandage for example.
The road bike inner tube burns easily and hot and makes starting a fire easy (tinder). A fire can be the difference between life and death if you are caught on the trail after dark in a cold environment and it can also be used to signal for help.
I’ve got a video on the more advanced loadout I take with me on the trail that you should check out for more ideas and tips on how to be better prepared.
What we do is a lot of fun but it is dangerous and we owe it to ourselves and our fellow riders to be able to help out if something goes wrong, turning a potential tragedy into a cool story.
Until next time…
MTB Strength Training Systems