Snowmobiling is an enjoyable sport. At the same time, it can be dangerous if snowmobile safety tips are not ensured while going on a ride. You should never let your adrenaline get the best of you!
Keeping your snowmobile safety tips in mind and close to your heart before going on your adventures will guarantee you the best experience ever. Preparing your snowmobile and yourself is crucial when going out. You don’t want to end up getting injured or with damage to your snowmobile or gear.
I must admit to being guilty of trying my luck sometimes when out riding in the snow with my friends. But when I’m out with my family I am extra careful and mostly stay on the tracks.
With proper knowledge, practice, and precaution, you can be safe when snowmobiling out on the snow. Keeping these in mind, you could even add more tricks and tricks and different terrains and trails without injury! Here are some great tips you can keep in mind for your next snowmobile ride.
15 Snowmobile Safety Tips
1. Wear Proper Clothes and Gears
Wearing appropriate clothes to keep you warm enough in the snow even with extended stay is important. This will allow you to enjoy and safely ride the snowmobile. With snowmobiling, you have many instances of getting stuck in the snow longer than intended. Your extra precaution with insulation will protect you for a longer time against the cold.
Wear a good and safe snowmobile helmet with the proper fit. Along with the helmet, you should also wear anti-fog snowmobile goggles that will help you to see clearly. You don’t want to be driving blind with foggy glasses!
2. Survey the Weather and the Trail Conditions
Despite all the effort you put into your gear and in the maintenance of your snowmobile, the practice you’ve had, or the precautions you’ve taken, if the natural factors are not on your side, all the snowmobile safety tips will come to nothing.
I like to plan for parts of the winter that have little chance of storming or snow blizzards.
While going for a trek, checking the weather and the trail conditions becomes your best friend. If the weather and trail conditions aren’t right, you might be tempted to just go for a short ride but the risks involved are too great. Better cancel and reschedule for a different time.
3. Diagnose Your Snowmobile
A thorough inspection and maintenance of your snowmobile with the manufacturer’s manual will save you from the plethora of problems that could occur later on. You should have the owner’s manual handy when you go out riding, especially if you are new to your snowmobile and not yet very sure about its parts.
Before going on a ride, double-check all your vital equipment such as reliable batteries, brakes, sturdy drive belts, and handlebars. It doesn’t matter how expensive your snowmobile is, it is still a machine and deteriorates over time and use. It is redundant to say that making sure to check the fuel and oil levels is essential.
You don’t want to be stuck out on the starting line or in the middle of your ride because of some mechanical issues or due to fuel running out.
4. Take Friends with You
Going snowmobiling alone is risky and greatly increases the chances of being in trouble if something bad happens. A friend or a group of friends can always be helpful while going through challenging areas.
My snowmobile trip last season was with my close friends and I had a blast going down the steepest slope I’ve ever attempted. Of course, your snowmobiling companions provide security but it is also 10 times more fun and adventurous to ride with the right squad.
5. Take Snowmobile Safety Course
Proper certification is required for riding a snowmobile. Special rules and regulations are there for riding snowmobiles. A snowmobile safety course will help you in riding the vehicle safely and will teach you all the rules and regulations. It is especially required for first-time drivers or riders. Proper riding techniques will be taught in order to operate the snowmobile and avoid hazards.
6. Carry Safety Kit
You should carry a first-aid kit, an emergency kit, and a handy tool kit in your snowmobile gear bag. It should include all the essential tools and aids to provide in case of any injury to you or damage to your snowmobile.
Installing a GPS on your snowmobile is a good investment. it allows you to trace the trails and your squad when on the trails. If you don’t have one, you can check out the best snowmobile GPS units of 2023.
Along with the safety kit, it’s crucial to have the best-rated snowmobile boots on your feet that’ll save you in extreme conditions.
7. Stay Alert
Be observant while going on a snowmobile ride. Your best bet is to keep your head up and your eyes focused ahead rather than down. this allows you to effectively calculate the oncoming obstacles and twists and turns.
It is similar to when you are riding a bike. When you look down, you fall, or, in this case, crash.
8. Avoid Frozen Lakes & Rivers
Frozen lakes and rivers look beautiful. But, they are also very dangerous.
You should not ride over the frozen water. The ice can easily get cracked and can easily make the snowmobile submerged in water causing severe injuries. Frozen water is also slippery and your snowmobile is not built to traverse through spillery terrain. Make sure you do not go over areas with frozen water.
9. Drive at Moderate Speed
Driving your snowmobile at a fast speed may cause unexpected occurrences, like overheating, or you might lose control of your machine. Be sure to drive the snowmobile at the appropriate and prescribed speed. Always follow speed limits as they are set for a reason.
Of course, when out with your friends, you wanna race and get the adrenaline high but you must ask yourself if having to sit out an entire winter because of your recklessness is worth it. This is not even taking into account damage to property or injury to others.
10. Stay on the Trail
You should stay on the trails because marked trails are much safer as they are specially marked safe and are not likely to have hazards. If you go off-trail, the risk and chances of accidents double. Be careful while riding, follow all the posted signs, and follow the marked trails.
This is an especially important tip if you are a less experienced rider or you are riding with young children or a pregnant woman.
11. Legal Age and passenger age
The driver should be 16 or older. The reason is that the young child won’t have the proper skills to operate the snowmobile. This will cause accidents and injury for the driver as well as the others around him.
It is strictly recommended that children under the age of 6 should not be a passenger. Even following all the snowmobile safety tips is not going to help a child. The snowmobiles are heavy equipment and not fit for children under the age of 6 as they lack strength and will be unable to handle the snowmobile or the fall.
12. No Overloading
Proper instructions in the manufacturer’s handbook about the weight capacity of your snowmobile should be followed. The approved number of passengers and the weight that the snowmobile can carry should be kept in mind. Overloading the snowmobile will weigh you down and can cause severe accidents and injuries.
13. Know Your Limit
No matter what you do, knowing your limit is one of the best snowmobile safety tips you can follow. Your limit with your speed, the knowledge you have to perform tricks, physical limits, etc., are all extremely important and foremost to keep safe on the mountain.
14. Don’t Drink and Drive
Operating a snowmobile and car is just the same. So, you should not mix drinking and driving. This can cause accidents and severe injuries which can be harmful to the driver themselves or to others. So, make sure not to drink before driving a snowmobile.
These are some of the critical things that should be taken care of while going snowmobiling.
15. Prepare for Emergencies
When out snowmobiling, getting into various unexpected situations like getting stuck or crashing is part and parcel of the activity. Learning how to traverse through these, whether you have people to help you or whether you’re alone with the help of the best snowmobile safety tips will prove crucial for you.
Being prepared mentally and with the necessary tools and kits are all part of the preparation.
As the saying goes: Health is Wealth! So, as snowmobile enthusiasts, we always hope that our journey is joyous and safe. One minor ignorance can lead to fatal consequences. Therefore, proper care and instructions should be kept in mind along with the snowmobile safety tips mentioned above.
You might want to break some of your own speed scores when out and riding amongst your friends and it’s of course a good thing to help you improve and level up. I also crossed a new milestone in my recent snowmobiling journey. I was with my friends and I’d advise you not to push yourself when you are riding alone.
Preparedness is the key to the safest and best snowmobiling adventure!