Want some great snowmobile riding guidance and a checklist for the 2024 season? In this post, we’re sharing everything you need to know about snowmobile safety. The point is to keep yourself, friends, and family out of harm's way and have fun! So let’s get into it.
Snowmobile Gear Checklist
Before hitting the powder, you need to have the appropriate gear that is durable and protective for your ride. Plus, you wouldn’t want to catch a cold out there, would ya? Below, we’ll share the utmost essentials to take on your trip:
- Certified snowmobile helmet - https://a.co/d/j0TpxsA
- A waterproof, insulated snowmobile suit - https://a.co/d/63mMGR2 (men’s) https://a.co/d/gGe01WR (women’s)
- Rugged, waterproof snowmobile boots - https://a.co/d/19fzKEA (men’s) https://a.co/d/3FcP7N0 (women’s)
- Thermal socks (we prefer smart wool or regular wool) - https://a.co/d/fsebAQT Snowmobile goggles (some even go over glasses, too) - https://a.co/d/bxyFkfa
- Layered clothing (including thermal long johns or underwear) - https://a.co/d/gUBF94O
(men’s) https://a.co/d/9GbccMv (women’s)
- Neck warmer (for added protection) - https://a.co/d/bxCeykW
- Hand warmers (for better comfort in colder weather) - https://a.co/d/51PRGkT
- Avalanche beacon and probes - https://a.co/d/88d80Qd
- Compact snowmobile shovel - https://a.co/d/1uj1lNw
- Two-way radio or helmet communicator (for large groups) - https://a.co/d/8ciVims | https://a.co/d/eh2NuQp
- First aid kit - https://a.co/d/6qhDtdv
- Flashlight with spare batteries - https://a.co/d/0SYKre5
- Multi-tool - https://a.co/d/aef7IeY
- Fire starter kit - https://a.co/d/5MqNpSa
- Water bottle - https://a.co/d/c4ELQ85
- Energy bars - https://a.co/d/0RRBKKJ
- Backback or waist pack - https://a.co/d/d38AF9b | https://a.co/d/36yj4oM
- A small blanket for emergency warmth - https://a.co/d/3t9I64c
- GPS device (or smartphone with satellite navigation) - https://a.co/d/cY0uvXR
- Personal ID and medical information
Get To Know Your Snowmobile
Understanding how your snowmobile works will be key to the safe operation of the motorized vehicle. Get familiar with all of the controls and what they’re designed to do to help provide a smooth and fun ride. The more you practice riding the snowmobile, the more comfortable you will be when going on long excursions.
Throttling, steering, and breaking are important to get a good grasp on when riding by yourself and especially when with other drivers and riders.
Know how and when to use the engine killswitch when facing emergencies. (visible red button on steering system in the main image above)
And if you own a snowmobile, keep up with regular maintenance (i.e. oil changes, brake fluid, track, skis, and suspension) to ensure that everything functions properly on the vehicle before taking it out for a ride.
Snowmobile Trail Etiquette
It’s extremely important to learn snowmobile trail etiquette so that you can respect other drivers who are enjoying the trail with you!
First things first, follow the designated or marked trails and avoid going on alternative routes that were not designed for snowmobiles. There also may be specific trail or route regulations you and your group need to follow to stay safe. Always stay on the right side of the trail, and pass fellow drivers on the left just like driving a car on an interstate highway. Make sure to use your electronic signaling for passing other vehicles. Watch out for trail signs that may signal hazardous areas, speed limits, and intersections.
Group Snowmobile Riding
Image referenced from Backcountry Access
When going on snowmobiling excursions in a group, you’ll want to make sure everyone (including yourself) is aware of their surroundings and ride itinerary. Communication is your number one priority. Make sure the group knows basic hand signals along with two-way radios or helmet communicators to talk with each other.
The other important thing when riding snowmobiles in groups is to keep safe distances. Allow ample distance between your vehicle and another to avoid collisions as unexpected stops or maneuvers can happen.
Ready to plan your next snowmobiling adventure? Check out our snowmobile rental packages here.
Snowmobile Safety Course
A lot of new riders will take a snowmobile safety course to ensure they are confident on their rides alone or in groups. Before signing up for a course, check to see if it’s a state-approved certification.
The website Snowmobile-Ed offers state and country-approved courses including a course for riders in Utah. The Utah snowmobile safety course on their website costs $34.95 and certification is required for anyone under 16 years of age.
Check out this study guide for snowmobile education in the state of Utah.
Snowmobiling Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions from our users about snowmobiles.
We would advise you to check with your local government on whether or not snowmobiling is street-legal. In the state of Utah, registered snowmobiles are only allowed on public roads that are designated for this type of use. Learn more about Snowmobile laws here.
Snowmobiles are motorized vehicles that are designed to travel over terrain covered in snow and ice. They are comprised of a two-stroke or four-stroke engine similar to motorcycles or compact cars. The engine sits in the rear for balanced weight distribution and drives the track via a belt that is connected to the engine crankshaft. When the snowmobile throttle is opened, this gives gas to the engine which drives the clutch for engaging the belt and ultimately gives power to the track for forward propulsion.
The average top speed that a snowmobile can achieve depends on the model along with the engine size, but typically ranges between 90 mph and 120 mph.
Joseph-Armand Bombardier, a Canadian inventor, created the first snowmobile and introduced it to the world in 1937. Bombardier played an important role in the evolution of snowmobiles and became a household name in the transportation industry.
If you are traveling to Utah for vacation and want to rent snowmobiles for a day, please come visit Daniels Summit Lodge in Herber City! We provide guided and self-guided tours along with lodging and dining aside from our outdoor activities.
Make sure to bookmark this page in your browser to come back to, and don’t hesitate to reach out to our front desk for any questions regarding snowmobile safety on our trails.