Brooks-Range Ultralite Rescue Sled
Price Paid: $200 (Long ago)
If there is any one piece of equipment that I think is lacking from most backcountry skier's packs, it is a portable rescue sled. The ability to travel independently is the essence of backcountry skiing. It is our responsibility to demonstrate this independence in times of trouble, not just times of reward.
In other words, it's awesome that you can escape the crowds and find your own powder. Now, can you get yourself out of a jam?
I am a Brooks Range ambassador, so I admit some bias. But the Brooks Range Backcountry Rescue Sled is the piece of equipment that introduced me to the company years ago. It's still one of my favorite pieces of gear.
I like the Brooks Range sled because it is simple to build, strong, and functional. It's extremely light, and packs down small. This type of system can be improvised with gear from the hardware store, but I really can't figure out why one would do that.
Brooks Range has figured out how to build this sled in a way that uses only gear you should be carrying anyway. There's no wing nuts or washers; no bungee cords; no bailing wire or duct tape. (Although you should probably have those last two.)
Here's a video on how to assemble the rescue sled. The Ultra-lite version has an integrated tarp that the one in the video doesn't have. I definitely recommend the Ultra-lite version.
The video is long. I don't anticipate that everyone will watch it in entirety. It is meant as a reference. Take what you need from it. I hope it helps.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
Brooks-Range Ultralite Rescue sled features a bright red tarp of their proprietary Ultralite rip-stop nylon fabric. This includes the straps for holding a victim securely in place, and for tying the tarp to the skis to become an integral part of the sled assembly.The Pro Stretcher bars are designed with slots cut in them so they can work as cross beams when mated with a pair of skis. The two Pro Stretcher Bars are made of four cylinders of aircraft quality aluminum that fit inside each other so that they pack down to a single, nested 10-inch long cylinder.Five extra long two-foot ski straps tie the skis, poles, and the expanded stretcher bars together to make a solid frame that wont fall apart under load. It all fits in a small, taco-style nylon pouch that practically disappears in your pack.To go super light, but remain prepared ,you can use the shaft of any of Brooks-Range shovels as the stretcher bars and leave the duplicate metal of the Pro Stretcher Bars behind.
The Ultra Lite Rescue Sled from Brooks Range is incredibly lightweight, yet sturdy and it actually works. Sled can withstand the trials that an emergency might bring without letting you down when it matters most. Designed to provide a sturdy platform for transporting a person whatever their size and once secured, the person won't drag feet or fall off.
- Mountain Gear