Trail Safety

Safe Snowmobiling

Hand Signals

Permits

The OFSC Trail System

What are Top Trails?

Trail Riding & the User-Pay System

Snowmobiling & The Law

SAFE SNOWMOBILING - Part 2

Survival Kits

You can easily snowmobile beyond immediate help. Basic repair and survival kits, expandable for longer tours, are essential.

The Repair Kit should contain:

  • Spare belt;
  • Spare spark plugs;
  • Manufacturer's tool kit;
  • Extra wrenches;
  • Nuts & bolts sized for your sled;
  • Tow rope;
  • Pry bar;
  • Duct tape;
  • Wire;
  • Extra ignition key; and
  • Work gloves.
Dressing Right

With high tech winter wear and proper layering, winter comfort is easy. Start with polypropylene and thermal under layers that releases moisture while retaining heat. Add other heat retentive layers depending on the temperature. Also consider the fact that your forward motion will add to the wind-chill factor. Avoid cottons and sweat shirts which retain moisture, making you cold and clammy which leads to hypothermia.

Good snowmobile wear contains materials that retain heat, release moisture and resist both water and wind. Even better are suits that are water and wind proof. Consider wearing a buoyant snowmobile suit if you plan on traveling across ice as it will assist to keep you afloat and will help to protect you against hypothermia. Snowmobile suits should have reflective trim for night visibility. Carry extra clothing, socks, boot liners and mitts for layering. A helmet and face shield combat cold and hazards, while waterproof, insulated boots and leather snowmobile mitts provide warmth and protection.

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, );
  • Wildlife;
  • Trail wash outs and flooding;
  • Snow banks and moguls;
  • Road and railway crossings;
  • Unexpected corners, intersections and stops;
  • Bridges, open water and unsafe ice; and
  • Logging operations.
Don't Drink and Ride

Snowmobiling requires constant care, caution and attention. Don't drink and ride. 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. Alcohol is involved in over 70% of snowmobiling fatalities.

Moreover, snowmobiling often takes you to remote areas that are miles from help, increasing your risk of permanent injury or death after an accident. Contrary to popular opinion, alcohol increases your susceptibility to cold & hypothermia. This will decrease your chances of survival if you have to wait long for help to arrive.

Finally, 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.

The Snowmobile Trail Officer Patrol (S.T.O.P.) officers are trained volunteers empowered to enforce the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act. This OFSC program is continuing to expand into many communities in Ontario.

Keep your wits about you. Don't Drink and Ride!

>>> Back to Safe Snowmobiling - Part 1