Whether it’s a prolonged adventure or a quick getaway, a family vacation in the snow can be a marvelous thing. However, sitting by a fire roasting marshmallows just won’t cut it. In snowy areas, there’s fun to be had all around: Hiking, skiing, snowman building and many other activities that everyone loves are available to the public. However, few things are as exciting and family-bonding as snowmobiling. All about discovering and conquering new terrains as a team, snowmobiling is an activity that creates a true sense of partnership between family members. At the same time, it’s an action-packed sport that will get everyone pumped up, eliminating the possibility of anyone being bored altogether.
What is Snowmobiling?
Snowmobiling started out not as a fun sport, but as a means of transportation in places with heavy snowfall. However, people quickly realized how fun and exciting snowmobiles were. This, in combination to the natural softness and ease of snow, made for an adrenaline-pumping activity that could be enjoyed by people of all ages. Soon, snowmobiling became popular.
Confirming the popularity of the sport, today there are over 3,000 snowmobile clubs thriving in North America. Amazingly versatile, snowmobiling can be done at various levels of skill that range from simple trail touring to high-performance extreme motor sports. Because each member can decide what approach to take depending on their skill and confidence levels, snowmobiling is a perfect activity for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Types of Snowmobiles for the Family
There are many different types of snowmobiles that are suited for different needs. While some of them have been built for heavy riding, competition and extreme sports, there are others that can appeal to different members of a family.
Entry-level Snowmobiles: For amateurs and beginners, there are entry-level snowmobiles, often referred to as trail models. Easy to ride, light and relatively inexpensive, these models range from 60-70 horsepower, making them perfect for casual snowmobiling, sight-seeing and calm rides around smooth trailed areas.
Performance Snowmobiles: These feature slightly higher horsepower engines, which allows them to go off-trail – to a certain extent. They have a bigger engine and more powerful suspension and shock absorbing systems, making them heavier but more powerful and resistant.
Touring Snowmobiles: With its main feature being their capability to be ridden by two individuals, touring snowmobiles are an attractive option for families, particularly if they have small children. Because of their larger size and superior power, they are heavier than both entry-level and performance snowmobiles. However, they are not recommended for difficult off-trail riding.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Snowmobiling
- Contact state and provincial snowmobile associations and clubs to obtain information regarding the best locations to practice the sport. This should depend somewhat on the season, but there are places in the entire North-American Snowbelt area, making it easy to find a spot no matter the time of the year.
- Get the right type of snowmobile gear. This includes bibs, jackets, gloves, boots and helmets.
- Before riding, make sure the snowmobiles you and your family are using have been thoroughly checked by a professional.
- If you are a beginner, do not stray from the path. Not knowing how to ride the snowmobile in difficult terrain can cause malfunctions and accidents.
- Don’t go riding before having checked climate and terrain conditions with local experts. As you may have imagined, snowfall needs to have a certain level in order for snowmobiles to work properly on it.
- Finally, don’t forget to have fun with your family!
This guest post was written by SnoWest Snowmobile Magazine, dedicated to the hobby and sport of snowmobiling in its various forms and providing the most up to date information and reviews for enthusiasts. Digital and print forms available.