The sense of peace and serenity that comes from the stillness of snowy landscapes is inherent in snowshoe adventures. But what about those long winter days when cabin fever takes its toll and you need a little more excitement? Stirring up a little snow-plowed ruckus might be the answer to freeing the cooped-up soul. A snowmobiling trip among breathtaking views of the country’s most scenic trails makes for an exhilarating change of pace. Not convinced? Read on to see why every avid outdoorsmen can benefit from this full-throttle sport and how to power-sled your way to a new adventure-seeking routine:
Why choose life in the fast lane? Unlike other winter sports, snowmobiling allows for breathtaking views of back country trails often unattainable by foot, ski or snowboard. Though there is a learning curve, snowmobiling is easily picked up by novice riders. Of course, the more you ride the more stamina and confidence you’ll build for maneuvering your motorized sled. Imagine buzzing across trails in Colorado or going full throttle in Yellowstone’s fields of powder. Where else can you go? Visit snowtracks.com for a complete guide to the nation’s best snowmobiling trails.
Learn the Ropes
Just like any new sport, you’ll need some guidance and training before you hit trails. Snow may seem easy enough to ride on, but maneuvering tactics vary depending on different types of snow. You’ll need to learn how to handle your vehicle in deep snow, packed snow, ice and raised terrain. Operating the machine takes precise control to turn and brake based on various conditions. Depending on your comfort level, choose from a slew of learning styles:
Buddy system — Before embarking on a solo snowmobile ride, buddy up with an experienced snowmobiler that can teach you the basics. Who knows, you might end up learning something from each other.
Join a club — Just like snowshoeing, snowmobiling enthusiasts share an unmatched camaraderie. Even if you’re a rookie snowmobiler, joining a club presents a great opportunity to not only make new friends but also learn new techniques among experts.
Take a class — Taking a class can be the best way to learn in the company of other novice riders. Depending on where you live, snowmobiling training is available at most major snow belts. Snowmobileinfo.org provides a state-by-state directory of training classes based on your location.
A lot goes into preparing for a successful, injury-free ride. For starters, appropriate clothing is essential. You’ll experience rapid changes in climate as you climb to different altitudes and travel at varying speeds. Top-notch gear is a must to keep you comfortable under severe weather. Bikebandit.com carries snow gear you can use for all winter sports, in addition to appropriate safety gear. Essential items like helmets, goggles, gloves and boots are not only for style but imperative for safety. Thinking about skimping out on the proper attire to save money? Gear that’s not professionally designed for snow sports can leave you cold, wet and stuck in the middle of nowhere. Be smart, stay safe and ride on.