Ski­ing or snow­board­ing out of bounds has many appeal­ing ben­e­fits to it. The qui­et feel­ing of being away from every­thing, fresh snow, and adven­ture of it all makes for a fun time out there. But on the oth­er hand, there are many risks that peo­ple don’t con­sid­er that, if addressed, sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase the chances of sur­vival when some­thing goes wrong. Because there is a lot that can go wrong when you are out in the wilder­ness on your own.

But things can go wrong any­where, and it’s how you respond to the sit­u­a­tions that can mean the dif­fer­ence between a good day and a real­ly ter­ri­ble one. Here are a few ques­tions that will help your plan­ning process before it’s too late to come up with a plan B.


Have We Been This Way Before?
A lot of prob­lems arise when peo­ple go into unchart­ed ter­rain. The appeal of fresh lines can turn off ratio­nal think­ing, such as “How long will it take to get out?” or “Is there a safe exit from here?”

While it may seem pret­ty straight­for­ward, it’s always a good idea to know the way out. Even if you haven’t been that way before it will get you into the mind­set of play­ing it conservative

Does Some­one Know Our Plan?
It’s always nice to know that some­one cares. If the unthink­able does hap­pen and you get strand­ed, hav­ing some­one call for help might be your sav­ing grace. So if you do plan on head­ing some­where out of range sim­ply make sure you tell some­one your plan. Just a rough out­line can help nar­row down a search for search and res­cue par­ties. Give peo­ple an ETA so that they can send for help if it gets too late.

How Long Can We Last Out Here?
Do you have spare food and water? Are your clothes warm enough to with­stand the night? Will the per­son you are with dri­ve you to delir­i­um if you are stuck togeth­er for an extend­ed peri­od of time? All these ques­tions relate to the big idea of decid­ing how long you could last if some­thing hap­pened. An injury can slow your day down sig­nif­i­cant­ly, and a 20-minute ride out can become hours.

Day­light is also a big con­sid­er­a­tion along these lines as well. Sure a quick lap out of bounds takes a half hour…on a good day. How long would it be in a worst case sce­nario? Of course, you nev­er want things to go wrong, but plan­ning back­wards from the longest case sce­nario will do a lot if the inevitable delay even­tu­al­ly does cause you some headache.

Are We Fit Enough To Do This?
Even if you have a plan set in place it is impor­tant to set real­is­tic expec­ta­tions based on the group’s fit­ness lev­el. You don’t want to bonk out of ener­gy out in the ele­ments. Even if you’ve done some­thing before, when was the last time you did it and were cir­cum­stances dif­fer­ent? I’ve seen many cas­es of peo­ple get­ting stuck out of bounds because they were over­con­fi­dent in the ear­ly sea­son. Even a cou­ple days a week at the gym a month before things get going can ensure a speed­i­er exit when pow time out of bounds