Mountain Safety
January 10th, 2019

How to Splint a Broken Leg in the Backcountry

Leg injuries are reasonably common in mountain sledding. These can be caused by a number of events, such as impact with a tree or rock, a slide down the slope, a slip on the running boards or a foot getting caught in the footwell.

A broken leg in the backcountry can be a serious problem. First of all, it’s going to be a painful injury to deal with. In addition to the pain, a broken leg has the potential to become an emergency situation due to excessive bleeding or a loss of sensation or circulation. Furthermore, a lack of mobility can make it difficult to extract the victim from the backcountry. Weather, remaining daylight and available resources are all things that will need to be considered in making a plan.

But first of all, treatment will require the broken leg to be immobilized with a splint. Here’s how to splint a broken leg in the backcountry.

And remember! When in doubt, call for help. Use a satellite communication device or phone (if there is coverage) to contact emergency services. It is always better to cancel an emergency call if the situation improves than it is to delay until it is too late.

Watch the video above to find out how to splint a broken leg in the backcountry.
How to Splint a Broken Leg

Thanks to Lisa and Golden and District Search and Rescue (GADSAR) for their help with this video. Check out more mountain safety advice for your snowmobile adventures in the backcountry this winter!

Stay safe and have fun out there!


– MS