Photo courtesy of Bluelemur via Flickr, CC BT 2.0
Winter’s here, and it’s been here for a while (too long for some). Large areas of our country are covered in snow, and it seems like there’s more to come. For the snowmobile enthusiasts among us, that’s awesome news. But before you hit the big, white, wide open, why not check out these suggestions to make all your rides really outstanding?
Not all of us live near trails or slopes where we can unleash our inner snow speed racer. Whether you have 10 miles to go or 200, you need to transport your snowmobile safely so it’s ready to go when you arrive at your destination. For long-distance transport, you can always look at professional shipping companies, but the price might be steep. For DIYers, trailers are a popular method of transportation, but over the years, many of us have heard—or told our own—stories of blown-out tires caused by dry rot or flat spots from improper storage. Another drawback is that you need a place to store a trailer. But like boat owners, snowmobile owners can employ some simple trailer maintenance that may be able to prevent some breakdowns.
According to American Snowmobiler, truck-mounted sled decks are increasingly popular. Available in a range of prices, styles and materials, they can easily be secured onto most pickup trucks’ beds. Then, all that remains is to load up the snowmobile(s), and you’re ready to hit the road at a moment’s notice.
The snowmobile experience isn’t the same without the right accessories. Here are some of the most popular items for your sled-riding season:
Action camera. Capturing the action is half the fun! Action cameras allow you to capture high-speed quality footage while you’re on the move. They’re waterproof, mountable and most come with a remote control. (Photo courtesy of Badzil via Wikimedia, CC BY 2.0)
Earmuffs. Do you love the action, but can’t stand the noise? You’re not alone. In fact, wind and engine noise can even cause tinnitus,or a ringing in the ears. Protect your ears by wearing in-helmet earmuffs that can reduce noise levels significantly.
Communicator. Want to chat with your friends while you’re riding? Get a communicator set. Easy to activate and connectable to a number of other riders, many also offer Bluetooth mobile phone connections, built-in FM radio and an MP3 connection. These devices can help you talk with other riders for 12 hours or more (depending on specific battery life) with a range of up to 1 mile.
Balaclava. Let’s not face it: You know you’re going to get cold. So when the temperatures are really arctic, you need something that protects your whole head, including your face. Made of nylon or insulating fleece, balaclavas are cloth headgear that covers the whole head, exposing part of the face (think ski mask) and can be worn either alone or under a helmet. Just remember to take it off before cashing your paycheck at the bank. (Photo courtesy of ikeX via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)
Neck brace. While neck braces aren’t typically required for casual riding, if you’re into racing,a neck brace my be a good idea. Neck braces for snowmobilers are specially designed to direct impact energy away from the cervical area and onto the torso. A little bit of protection goes a long way.
Take a look at the following suggestions to enhance your snowmobile social life.
Snowmobiling should be invigorating, social and safe. Make sure to observe good rider safety while having all the fun you can possibly pack into winter!