Hi and welcome to mountain riding, and the safety that should go along with it. I’ll try to keep this updated as thing change and try to recommend products and safety items that should be brought with you in the steep and the deep. For More information on Clothing, Equipment and Accessories.
Let’s start the basics, first thing first. Snowmobiling is a dangerous sport and any time you ride you need the proper equipment. First know your machine – how to start it and turn it off. Things you probably know but in a panic situation is easy to forget. Make sure to keep the simple stuff like that in your mind. Always check your snowmobile over before riding. This is a lot simpler to do in a garage or on the trailer before hitting the trail or the mountain side. Look for loose bolts, nuts, and all adjustments are where you like them. When starting your snowmobile, there a quick check list to follow:
Snowmobile Starting Check List:
- Air Intake: make sure nothing has clogged your intake
- Throttle: squeeze the throttle and make sure it moves freely
- Brake: squeeze the brake lever to ensure it works properly
- Track: check tension and alignment
- Idler: check to ensure they turn freely
- Slide rail/high-fax: check for wear
- Skis: check for proper alignment
- Wear bars and carbides on skis: check for wear
- Lights: check bulbs and connections
- Injection oil levels
- Gear oil level: check level and quality
- Spark plugs: check color and condition
- Drive belt: check for wear and adjustment
Before You Move The Sled (I like to use a track stand):
- Track: make sure it’s not frozen to ground and moves freely
- Brakes: make sure they are not frozen and stop the track properly
- Skis: should be lifted and check the carbides for damage
- Kill switch and or tether: test to ensure it’s working
- Engine: should be warmed up to proper temp
- Belt: warm up belt and clutches, put on a track stand and give it a spin.
Stuff to check before heading out:
- Weather: check the weather condition before heading out. Weather changes very quickly and if you know stay on top of it you can plan your trip around it or at least be prepared (Example: if it’s going to snow heavily we prefer to ride in the trees because they’ll protect you from the snow and you can still see).
- Gas: Always check gas and I carry extra. You never know when you will need it.
- Location: Plan to ride in an area and tell someone. That way if you get lost, broken down or worse injured someone knows where you started and planned to end the ride. This way if they don’t hear from you they know where to look.
- Ride with a buddy: not only is it more fun riding, but like they always say ” TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE” That goes for both mountain and trail riding.
- Equipment: check all batteries to make sure everything properly works.
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