The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Enjoy the Snow with Snowmobiling

Randy DeVaul

Posted on December 15, 2018 10:56

0 user

Snowmobiles can be lots of fun while enjoying the crisp fresh air of winter but they can also be very dangerous. Know your hazards so you can stay safe and enjoy all that the winter season brings.

Now that I live in Florida, the odds of snowmobiling as a winter recreational sport is unlikely. But for many around the country, winter months provide some great snow opportunities for enjoying outdoor family activities. One such activity is snowmobiling.  It can be exciting, even exhilarating. To avoid tragedy, it must be done safely. Follow a few safety tips to keep your experience enjoyable.

Whether running the snowmobile trails or taking your experience to the open wilderness, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. If a search for you is conducted, having emergency teams begin where you said you would be can save hours of time and save your life! Having a good description of your sled – such as a photograph – should be readily available.

There are numerous reasons as to why you never ride alone. An incident causing injury, running out of fuel, getting directionally disoriented, and other occurrences can happen at any time. Traveling by the ‘buddy system’ helps ensure if something does happen, help can be summoned quickly. On that note, take your cell phone but don’t trust it as your only source of communication. There is no guarantee it will continue working if dropped or cold.

Unseen obstacles are always a potential. I had a science teacher in high school whose son was killed and he was seriously injured due to striking an unseen barbed wire fence. Be on the constant watch for snow-covered hidden obstacles, trees and branches that protrude into paths or trails, oncoming sleds and skiers, and even wildlife. Depending on the weather, there could also be trail washouts, flooding, open water, and unsafe ice, to name just a few.

Dress properly to avoid hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia is caused by a general cooling of the skin. Frostbite is actual frozen skin tissue caused by skin being uncovered and exposed to the elements. Wear layered, breathable clothing under your snowmobile suit and always carry extra clothing. An extra pair of socks and gloves is a minimum to consider.

Most snowmobiling fatalities occur after dark. Visibility is reduced, making it hard to spot hazards. Overriding your headlights can be a serious problem, so slow down when snowmobiling after dark. Becoming disoriented or lost is much more likely at night.  Remember to put reflective strips on your clothing and helmet so you can be seen by headlights and found by search lights, if necessary.

Like every other situation involving things that move, do not drink and drive. Alcohol impedes your thinking and reactions and makes you ‘feel warm’ while you die cold.  Alcohol will not warm you and it will dehydrate your body.  Watch your speed, as well, to stay in full control of your sled.

Be careful on frozen bodies of water, always carry a first aid kit, keep an eye on the weather, and always stay with your ‘buddy’ or group.

These are but a few reminders to ensure your safety and your enjoyment.

Randy DeVaul

Posted on December 15, 2018 10:56

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: WLWT

Snow and a day off for many meant winter fun

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest