Snowmobiling can be an exhilarating way to experience and take in the beauty of winter. To ensure a great ride, it's important to be prepared before hitting the trails. By following these tips, you'll be having fun on the snow, creating memories with friends and family that will last a lifetime.
Each state and province has their own snowmobile licensing and operating age requirements. You can find all the info for the areas you plan to ride in through your state or provincial snowmobile association, natural resources office or highway department.
Before you leave home, spend some time getting to know the controls and functions of your snowmobile. Reading your operator's guide will have you hitting the trail with confidence. We also recommend looking into any trail permit or sled registration requirements for the area you plan to ride. And always check the weather as well as your sled's fuel and oil level before hitting the trail. Being properly prepared is the first step to a full season of fun on the snow.
The right riding gear is as much about comfort as it is about safety. Essentials include helmets, jacket, high pants or bibs, gloves, boots and goggles. Even if not required in all locales, a Department of Transportation approved helmet can provide warmth and protection. Understanding how to layer is also essential for maximum comfort. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add a mid-layer that provides insulation but breathes, then an outer shell to protect from the elements.
Respect everyone on the snow and adopt a fun and safe riding style. Stay on the trail and be sure to clearly understand if there are any areas near your planned route where riding is prohibited, such as private land or restricted public lands. Learn traditional hand signals for turning, slowing and stopping, and stay to the right when approaching hills and turns. Be mindful of trail signage. Planning your route in advance can help you enjoy the ride even more.
Snowmobile clubs are a great way to connect with other riders in your area. You'll also have opportunities gain confidence in your riding abilities through snowmobile safety and education courses, and enjoy social outings like club rides, vintage shows and other events with friends.
The free BRP GO! app for your smartphone provides GPS and turn-by-turn navigation for the trials. You can also track your riding buddies and download maps to your phone to use when service is limited.