The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is advising the public to plan ahead when it comes to recreational snowmobiling. In the past few weeks there has been a surge in calls for help from stranded sledders on local lakes.
The substantial snowfall this winter has produced extreme slush conditions wreaking havoc on area lakes.
There are a number of concerns in regards to these types of calls including location and time. With a drastic drop in temperatures during the night, getting stuck in slush could quickly become a life and death situation.
If you are going sledding please plan ahead.
- Check ice conditions on the route you are taking, avoid unknown lakes;
- Ensure you have a charged cell phone and an extra power supply. Keep them in a warm pocket;
- Stay on approved trails and don't venture into unknown areas;
- Avoid alcohol consumption while sledding;
- Always travel in pairs, never alone;
- Dress in layers and bring an extra set of mitts/socks;
- Always carry an axe and small shovel in case of an emergency;
- Bring a lighter and paper in your backpack;
- Advise someone of your plans and when you will be back;
- Try not to travel at night and reduce your speed;
- Bring snacks (granola bars) and water; and
- If you get stuck, monitor your body for signs of hypothermia.