Cold Facts Of Winter: Dressing warm will prevent Hypothermia and make for a more enjoyable ride. Hypothermia can happen in water or on land and does not require extreme cold and accelerates with wind and wetness.
Snow Blindness: This occurs when direct and reflecting sun glare are too bright for the eyes. Riding without good quality, UV protected sunglasses can cause permanent damage.
Please follow the nationally approved snowmobile hand signals to ensure safety on the trails for everyone.
Frostbite: Frostbite is most common on extremities and exposed skin. It can be identified by unnaturally white and numb skin surrounded by harsh red colouring. Cover up and layer well, making sure that socks fit loosely within your boots. Remember mitts with liners are warmer than gloves.
Wind Chill: Wind chill is lower temperature caused by wind and/or the forward momentum of a fast moving sled. Wind chill exposes you to severe cold which in turn can cause hypothermia. Wind-proof outer garments, extra layers and a balaclava will offer some protection, but keep your face shield down to prevent wind burn and to protect your skin and eyes.
Water, Ice & Snowmobiling: If you do travel across lakes or rivers know the conditions before you go. Follow these self rescue tips:
- Place hands/arms on unbroken ice while kicking hard to propel your body onto the ice, like a seal. Carry ice picks.
- Wear a buoyant snowmobile suit.
- Kick vigorously into a horizontal position and swim to the nearest ice edge.
- Once clear, stay flat and roll away to stronger ice.
- Quickly replace wet clothes, keep moving to generate body heat, and find immediate shelter and warmth.
- If you don't know the ice condition, then don't go.
Night Riding: Nine out of ten fatalities, occur after dark. Slow down, don't overdrive your headlights. Becoming disoriented or lost is much more likely at night. Wear outer clothing with reflective trim on the arms, back and helmet. Never ride alone at night. Always dress in your full snowmobiling outfit even if your intended destination is just next door.
Don't Drink And Ride: Alcohol is involved in over 70% of snowmobiling fatalities. Even small amounts of alcohol can impair your perception, slow your reaction time and limit your ability to control your sled at that critical moment when your life is in the balance. Operating your sled under the influence of alcohol is punishable under the Criminal Code of Canada. If convicted of driving a snowmobile while impaired, you will lose all driving privileges (car, truck, motorcycle, off-road vehicles and snowmobile). Therefore if you drink and ride both your driver's license and insurability are at risk.
Defensive Snowmobiling: Engine noise and your helmet may impair your hearing, so be extra alert for danger. Never assume what another snowmobiler will do. Your safety is in your hands, so watch out for:
- Obstacles hidden by the snow
- Trees and branches on the trail
- Slow grooming equipment
- Oncoming sleds
- Other trail users ( skiers, walkers )
- Trail wash outs and flooding
- Snow banks and moguls
- Road and railway crossings
- Unexpected corners, intersections and stops
- Bridges, open water and unsafe ice
- Logging operations