Mike Hattrup demonstrates how to build an emergency sled

Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you. That’s what my dad used to say.

We head into the backcountry for the wildness and adventure of it all. No matter how well-planned out, you still never know exactly what you’ll find, from terrain to snow, weather, and even people. Most of the time it goes to plan, or at least goes right. But being prepared for when it goes wrong can make all the difference in the world between an adventure, an epic, a challenge, or a disaster.

Travel over snow is relatively easy when you’re on skis or skinning. But subtract your ability to ski or walk when you’re several miles deep in rough or new snow, and that simple task can become daunting. If someone gets hurt on your tour, knowing how to build an emergency sled will let you quickly adapt to the situation and move efficiently out to safety or care. Watch below as Mike Hattrup demonstrates how a couple small backcountry essentials can expedite an exit from a backcountry injury with a makeshift emergency sled: