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August 19, 2015 / kevinbrandes

Staying Safe While Riding Snowmobiles

An avid backcountry explorer, Kevin Brandes enjoys spending his free time snowmobiling and exploring new terrains that many people have not reached. Kevin Brandes is particularly fond of riding through the woods in Winter Park, Colorado, and he describes riding through open tundra as a breathtaking experience.

Riding at high speeds across frozen terrain is what makes snowmobiling such a popular activity for many individuals. However, it can also be dangerous if the proper safety precautions are not taken. Before setting out on a ride, make sure you are familiar with how your snowmobile works. Completing a snowmobile safety course may be especially helpful if you are a beginner, as you can learn about the rules of the trail, state laws, and important hand signals. While riding, alertness is critical, so do not consume any alcohol immediately before riding.

There are several common snowmobile hazards you may come across during your ride. If you are riding at night or at a time of poor visibility, driving slowly increases your chances of spotting hazards with plenty of time to react. Keep an eye out for hidden obstacles like rocks and tree stumps, and ride with a friend whenever possible.

Further, it is best to avoid riding on ice, as drowning is one of the main causes of fatalities for snowmobile riders. If you have to ride over a frozen river or lake, cross carefully over an area of packed snow. If you reach a slushy area, do not release the throttle. If the ice breaks and you fall in, swim to the nearest edge and kick hard to boost yourself up onto the ice. Instead of standing up, roll to a thicker area of ice.

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