While everyone likes to think that they are ready to help if the need arises, there is more to it than just wanting to do it. You also need the skills and the tools to help as well or else your desire to help isn’t worth much more than the coward who refuses to help.
Part of this process is being aware of what you need to prepare for and then what you need as far as skills and tools in those areas. IMO, there are three main areas that you need to be aware of as a mountain biker then you are on the trail:
1 – Mechanical: How to handle problems with your bike. This one is pretty straightforward and most riders carry some basic tools and things to fix common problems.
2 – Medical: How to handle severe injuries. What we do is dangerous and you may need to help yourself or someone else who needs immediate help to stabilize the situation before real help can get there. Of specific concern is severe bleeding and being to help someone who may bleed out before you can help can arrive.
3 – Survival: How to handle unexpected situations that require you to spend an extended period of time on the trail and possibly signal for help. Two examples of this would be 1) a catastrophic failure of your bike that requires you to hike out for 24+ hours or 2) suffering an injury that requires you to wait where you are for help to arrive.
While this may seem like a lot, it doesn’t require a ton of equipment or practical skills to prepare for. In this video I show you my loadout for going on a ride and what I carry to help me be better prepared for (almost) anything.
Until next time…