There’s nothing like a crystal clear day out on the fresh groomed trails. Snowmobiling can make the long months of winter more enjoyable. Before you start the engine of your snowmobile, it’s a good idea to make sure you are prepared for whatever the day may bring. Here are some quick tips for your next snowmobile ride.
1. Wear Appropriate Gear
Before you hop on your snowmobile, don’t forget your helmet. A visor or goggles can protect your eyes so you can see obstacles clearly. It’s a good idea to dress in layers, so you can be prepared for changing weather conditions. For your outmost layer, look for jackets that are waterproof.
2. Inform Others of Your Plans
Before you hit the trails, tell someone you trust what your planned route is, and when you expect to be back. It’s also a good idea to bring along another person with you, in case you need assistance on the trail.
3. Cross Roads Cautiously
Whenever it is necessary to cross a road, come to a complete stop before entering the road. Ensure no vehicles are coming from any direction before you cross.
4. Pack Extra Supplies
A wrong turn on the trails could make your trip longer than you expected. Safely pack extra fuel in case you need it. Always take maps of the trails and general area. Other emergency supplies to consider bringing along are hand warmers, a fire starter, a first aid kit, and rope. A portable shovel could come in handy as well.
5. Avoid Bodies of Water When Possible
Crossing frozen bodies of water can be hazardous on a snowmobile. In addition to the added risk of falling through the ice, crossing a lake or river gives the snowmobile less traction and makes it harder to handle. If your trail does happen to cross a frozen body of water, check with your state’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for their recommendations on ice thickness. Remember that ice quality can vary, especially around currents.