Traiilmeister.com - Full Article
by Robert Eversole
What Do You Rely on When the Day Goes Downhill?
As published by Western Mule Magazine Nov, 2104
My failure to look at a calendar recently resulted in the good fortune of meeting a fellow Western Mule reader, Mr. John H. of the Spokane, Washington area. John is the President of the North Idaho Saddle Mule Club, an all around good guy and a real backcountry resource who teaches the art of survival to military personnel. He’s the real deal.
I had pulled into the location where my Backcountry Horsemen Chapter holds its monthly meetings. That I didn’t recognize many of the faces that were milling about didn’t phase me since I’m not a regular at our gatherings; after all I’d rather be riding. Well I must have looked out of place and John greeted me with “Are you here for the Mule Club?” Well, Mrs. Eversole raised me to always look for the positive and the Mule Club was having a potluck so I stayed!
A few days later John and I ran into each other again and like riders around the world we started talking about some of our various trips. The conversation soon veered towards tales of trail accidents, what riders can do to prepare for these “just in case” situations, and the sad fact that most riders don’t prepare at all.
Even an easy front country “just a day ride” can very quickly turn into a nightmare should the unthinkable happen. If you’re injured and come off your mount how you’ve prepared for the unexpected can well make the difference between an inconvenience and far worse.
The core of these preparations is often referred to as the Ten Essentials that you should never leave the trailhead without. That means never. Ever. The couple of pounds that these essentials represent are not “extra” they are critical. I see many riders who have heard of this concept but still fail to head the advice. Why not? I think a lot of it is the “it won’t happen to me” syndrome. Well, maybe it won’t but are you willing to bet your life on fair skies and no accidents? I’m not...
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