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Dressing Right
Night Riding
First Aid/

Ice Survival Tips

First Aid Kit

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Safety Tips

Dressing Right
Dressing in layers is the best way to regulate your body temperature. Many thin layers of clothing will allow you to adjust for temperature changes.

Clothing should be wind proof and water repellent. Clothing should be loose enough to permit freedom of movement. If you dress properly, moisture will evaporate from your body. If you become too hot and your clothing traps moisture, you will get cold. Start with polypropylene and thermal under layers that releases moisture while retaining heat.

It is best to choose jackets, sweaters and shirts that can be unbuttoned or unzipped. That way, you may open up the clothing rather than removing it when you start to become overheated. If you start to cool down, zip or button up the clothing to preserve body heat.

An approved helmet with ear protection is essential. It will provide you with the best protection from the cold and noise. A face shield is also important to protect you from wind, snow, branches and objects that may be thrown up by other snowmobiles. Shields should have adequate ventilation to prevent lens fogging. Avoid the fixed bubble type of face guards as they will frost up. Always keep your helmet strap buckled.

A face mask will also provide extra protection. Many riders wear a face mask under their helmet at all times. A face mask helps to reduce the possibility of frostbite. Orlon knit pullover face masks are commonly used.

A scarf is not recommended for use while on a snowmobile, because it can get caught in the moving parts. If you do use one, be sure to tuck it in underneath your clothing so no ends are flying loose. It is better to use a neck warmer.

Mittens are warmer than gloves. They should not be too tight and should have an inner liner. You should always carry an extra pair of mittens. If you prefer gloves, look for a pair that have extra insulation across the knuckles. Mittens and gloves must be kept clean to preserve their insulating capabilities.

A light pair of socks under a heavy pair of high-bulk socks will keep your feet warm. Polypropylene socks will wick away moisture and retain good insulation value even when wet. Be sure your socks do not make your boots too tight because this will cut off the circulation. This is a common cause of cold feet.

Snowmobile boots with a removable felt liner are the best choice for footwear. Most popular snowmobile boots have nylon or leather tops, rubber bottoms, and felt liners. Consider wearing an buoyant snowmobile suit if you plan on traveling across ice as they will assist to keep you afloat but most of all help to protect you against hypothermia.

Snowmobile suits should have reflective trim for night visibility.

With high tech winter wear and proper layering, winter comfort is easy.

Night Riding
A disproportionate number of snowmobiling incidents, including nine out of ten fatalities, occur after dark, most often night riding also includes alcohol consumption and excessive speed.

Forward visibility is reduced by darkness and it is much more difficult to spot and identify potential hazards in time.

Over driving headlights can also be a serious problem, so slow down when snowmobiling after dark. Becoming disoriented or lost is much more likely at night.

Always wear outer clothing with reflective trim on the arms, back and helmet. Never ride alone at night.

Use a rigid tow bar, never a rope, so the sled will not hit the back of the snowmobile when you stop. Sleds should be loaded with the weight in the bottom of the sled. This is called lowering the center of gravity.

All passengers should stay seated, with hands and feet inside the sled. Passengers should get out and walk when crossing roads. Every towed sled should have reflectors on the sides and rear. It is also a good idea to have a safety flag attached.

Riding with care and control is a personal choice you make every time you operate a snowmobile.
To make snowmobiling a safer recreational activity and reduce your own risk of personal injury or death, here are
some of the safe riding behaviors for riding with care and control:

* review your sleds safety materials
* avoid alcohol until you are completely finished riding
* slow down while riding at night
* stay on OFSC trails
* keep to the right side of the trail
* slow down on corners and when cresting hills wear an approved snowmobile helmet
* stop before crossing every road and railway track
* use the approved snowmobile hand signals
* wear reflective clothing at night
* carry an emergency survival kit and cell phone

The legal provincial speed limits for snowmobiles are:
50km/hr on trail; 20 km/hr on highways with automobile speed limits of 50 km/hr or less;
50 km/hr on highways with automobile speed limits of more than 50 km/hr.

REMEMBER: Know your capability and drive within it, and always reduce your speed to drive according to conditions

The OFSC has endorsed a zero (0.00) tolerance for alcohol while riding a snowmobile on prescribed OFSC trails.

So please make every ride alcohol-free -- and do not ride with anyone who has been drinking

A Safe Rider is a snowmobiler who:
* has made the personal decision to ride responsibly
* is committed to making smart choices to reduce the risk of personal injury or death while riding a snowmobile
* rides defensively and makes snowmobile trails safer by not putting others at risk
* has read and understands the safety information on this card, and has pledged to make responsible practises and techniques a life time riding habit

If you agree with the Safe Rider practises outlined above then signal that you have taken the Safe Rider pledge by affixing the reflective Safe Rider decal, from the card that you receive with the OFSC TOP Trail Guide, in a prominent place such as the back of your helmet or the side of your sled near the registration information.

To join the Safe Rider Club simply sign the card and mail the address portion, keeping the remainder as a reminder of your Safe Rider pledge.

Be part of the solution, not the problem. Make the smart choice to become a Safe Rider today.
Remember: Riding OFSC snowmobile trails is an off road activity that you do at your own risk.

Many snowmobile accidents include some personal injury. The most dangerous situation occurs when a person is injured and alone, miles from help. But any injury can be dangerous if you handle it incorrectly. You may need to care for your own injuries or someone else when you least expect it.

In any emergency, be calm, and reassuring to the injured person. Do as much as you can for the injured person, and send others for help. For your own and others' protection, everyone should take a first aid class. Your local rescue squad, fire department or police department can give you information about first aid classes.

It has been said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. You will not learn enough about first aid just by reading this section. A first aid course is essential to any person involved in sports. This section is meant to give you an idea of what is possible in the field. Learn the technique for artificial respiration and know about hypothermia, heart attack, and shock.

If a cut is serious, put a compress directly over the wound and bandage it tightly enough to stop the bleeding. If bleeding continues, raise the wounded part higher than the rest of the body if possible. If bleeding continues, use the pressure point technique by applying pressure to the brachial (upper arm) or femoral (upper leg) arteries. Learn more about this technique so you can pinpoint the specific areas.

Tourniquets should only be used when direct pressure, elevation, and pressure points do not control severe bleeding. The tourniquet should only be used as a last resort. Think of using one only if a person might die without it.

To prevent and identify frostbite, frequent checks of each others exposed skin is necessary. Frostbite turns the skin white. Warm the affected area as soon as possible, but warm it slowly. Do not rub the frostbitten part with snow or your hand. Warm pressure against the part is best. Place warm clothing or a blanket over the part, but do not try to warm it too quickly near a fire or heater. Get the victim indoors as soon as possible. Severe frostbite requires immediate medical attention.

Broken bones can be recognized by the odd positions of the limb or by the victim feeling pain. Immobilize the limb by splinting it with two straight sticks, one on each side of the limb. Tie one bandage above the break and one below it. Also tie down each end of the splint. Never tie directly over the break.

Move any injured part very carefully, trying not to disturb the break.

Never move a person with possible spinal injury until the situation is carefully surveyed. Check for the following signs which indicate spinal injury.

Loss of mobility or sensation. Ask the victim to move toes, feet, and legs and test sensitivity to touch. Any loss indicates injury to the spinal cord. The location of the injury can be identified with similar checks to the upper extremities. Whenever a person has a pain in the back or neck, following an accident of force, consider the possibility of spinal injury. If there are any symptoms of spinal injury, do not move the victim.

A heart attack is usually caused by hardening of the arteries. It also occurs when there is insufficient oxygen in the blood to the heart. The symptoms are pain or squeezing sensation in the mid-chest, shortness of breath, pain in the upper arms, nausea, vomiting, sweating and anxiety. Sometimes people have a pain in the upper abdomen and feel nauseous so they think it is indigestion.

The first thing to do is check the ABC's, loosen clothing, and seek medical attention immediately. Do not leave the person alone. Check to see if the person has any medication. The most important thing is to keep the patient comfortable. The patient may not want to lie down, but try to persuade the patient to lie down anyway without causing panic. If you must transport the patient, try to be as gentle as possible. Take the patient to a hospital immediately.

Shock is a failure of the heart and blood vessels to provide enough oxygen to every part of the body. Too many times a victim has been successfully treated for an injury but subsequently dies of shock. Some of the symptoms of shock are: restlessness, mental confusion, pale skin, rapid pulse, rapid, shallow breathing and profuse sweating.

To treat for shock: check the ABC's, keep the person lying down, elevate legs (unless a spinal injury is suspected), maintain body temperature by protecting the victim from wind and cold as much as possible. Seek medical attention.

Continual shivering
Poor coordination
Slowing of pace
Increasingly numb hands and feet
Confused Behavior
Slurred speech
Dilated pupils
Decreased attention spans
Changes in personality

Hypothermia First Aid
Gently move victum to a sheltered area
Remove all wet clothing
Redress in warm dry clothing, paying close attention to the head and neck area
Encourage movement but NOT at at the cost of shelter, shelter is more important than movement
Slowly feed the victim warm sugary tea or hot chocolate. Liquids should be warm to the touch
Keep the victim awake and talking
Keep the victims head level with the body and feet
If possible, put the victim in a warm bath
NEVER give the victim alcohol
Never leave the victim alone
Do Not massage or jostle the victim

You can make up this first aid kit

* six band aids
* two 2-inch compresses
* four 4-inch compresses
* four triangular bandages
* one roll of 2-inch gauze
* one roll of 1 inch adhesive tape
* scissors

Be sure the container is waterproof. Don't include any liquids that will freeze.

If you fall through the ice, follow these steps for a better chance of survival:

Try to Keep a level Head.
Your body will be in shock and your natural reaction will be to panic. You won’t be able to control
your bodies reaction to the shock, but you can control the degree of panic. Concentrate on steady breathing.

Gasp Above the Water
Your body will react to the shock by making you gasp for air. Do you best to get your head above water as quickly as
possible, or cover up your mouth with your hand before you gasp. The gasps will happen within 3-4 minutes of submersion.

Keep Dressed
In fact, try to zip up if you can. Your gear may offer a degree of floatation. It will also retain some body heat, even if it
doesn’t feel like it.

Think like a SEAL
Find what looks like the strongest piece of ice, usually facing where you fell through.
Put your arms on te ice anfd kick your legs until you become horizontal. Kick as you pull yourself alone the ice.

Plan B
If you can’t get out, allow your arms to freeze to the ice. This will keep your head above the water as you start to lose
motor control. Contrary to popular belief, most people can survive the cold water for more than 30 minutes,
as long as the head is above water.

You’re out, Don’t stand up
role away from the hole and crawl farther until you’re sure you’re on solid ice.
Now it’s imperative that you dry off and warm up.

Ice needs to be at least 12.5 cm thick (5 inches), for safe snowmobiling. Consider a floatation snowmobile jacket. Carry an emergency rope, matches/firestarter and supplies.