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Snowmobile Trail Etiquette

Living in Minnesota means one is no stranger to snow.  Whether a light snowfall or an intense storm that leaves behind several inches, dealing with snow is part of life. To make it easier to navigate during snow season, many people opt for snowmobiles to traverse their property or perhaps for sport. After all, what’s not to love about racing over the snow?

But racing across the snow means more than knowing how to ride. You must understand how to ride safely and use the proper etiquette when encountering other snowmobile riders.

The Dos and Don’ts of Snowmobile Riding

  • Snowmobile

    It may be common knowledge, but it bears repeating: Don’t operate your snowmobile if you have been drinking or using drugs.

  • Don’t go snowmobiling alone. Sadly, things can happen on the trail. You could run out of gas, hit something, have engine failure, etc., that leaves you stranded on the trail. Riding with a friend ensures you have help with you.
  • Don’t ride without an emergency kit on hand. There are many lists online that can help you determine what to put in your kit.
  • Expect oncoming traffic at any time. Unless it is your private property, anticipate someone could come in your direction at any moment.
  • When riding at night, always use your lights!
  • Pay attention to the hunting seasons in your area, and stay off the trails where hunters frequent. Some areas may have specific times for hunting versus other activities. Be sure to know what the stated rules are.
  • When parking, always do so in a way that maximizes the available space so that others can park, too.

Trail Etiquette

  • Always be able to stop your sled within the distance you can see. If you can’t see around the corner or over the hill, that is not the place to park!
  • Only ride trails you have permission to be on. Also, just because there are tracks off-trail doesn’t mean it is open for just anyone to ride there.
  • Always give right of way to those you encounter on the trail, especially if the others are not on snowmobiles.
  • Uphill riders always have the right of way. This is because it takes more momentum to go uphill, so stopping is more challenging for them.
  • Learn the basic hand signals for riding and use them. The only exception for not using the signals is when taking a hand off the steering wheel could cause you to lose control of the snowmobile.
  • Drive single file and on the right-hand side of the trail.
  • Slow down for wildlife, other people, and parked vehicles.

Before heading out on the trail, spend a few minutes inspecting the parts of your snowmobile. You will also want to top off any fluids. When it comes to getting the best from your ride, opt to use AMSOIL synthetic oil, filters, and engine boost. You can get these products from Cardey 4Ever Oil. Then your snowmobile will be ready whenever you are.

Snowmobile trail etiquette, riding safety, and using quality products are all part of enjoying this great winter sport. Do your part to make your experiences everything you want them to be.