Learn to back up trailers and survive an avalanche

There's no end to the sticky situations that can befall you while travelling, and it's always best to be prepared. Here's how to back up a trailer and best survive if an avalanche strikes.

Learn to back up trailers and survive an avalanche

Back up a trailer

Driving forwards with a trailer is a breeze, but reversing to turn around or to manoeuvre into a parking space requires a little know-how and some practice. In time, though, it will be second nature to you. Here's some advice:

  1. Go very slowly. Begin by turning the steering wheel slightly in the "wrong" direction, opposite to the way you actually want to turn.
  2. As soon as the trailer starts to turn, begin to straighten up while continuing to reverse. You should feel that your car is "following" the trailer.
  3. Carry on past the neutral point of the steering wheel and begin to steer left, following the trailer.
  4. Bring the car around the corner, just as you would without a trailer.
  5. Start straightening up. Use your side mirrors; if more of the trailer begins to appear in the mirror, steer towards that mirror.
  6. Continue straightening up until the car is fully in line with the trailer and the manoeuvre is complete.

Be an avalanche survivor

If you're going into an avalanche zone, consider hiring or buying an avalanche transceiver (available online). Worn inside your clothing, it transmits a signal that can be tracked.

  • In the first moments of being involved in an avalanche, shout as loud as you can to let others know you're in trouble. Try anything - like running or rolling - to get off of the moving snow. If this doesn't work, brace for impact.
  • When the avalanche hits, fight to stay at the surface. Swimming motions sometimes help. As the drift slows, before the snow hardens, put your face in the crook of your arm to make an air pocket.
  • Stay calm and control your breathing to conserve oxygen while you wait for help. Shout only if you hear someone close by.

With a little practice, you'll be backing up your trailer without a second thought. And although you'll hopefully never need to use this avalanche survival advice, having peace of mind is always a good thing.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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