Everyone who loves snowmobiling knows that you just can't get enough. Even if you get out frequently, you still want more when it's time to go home. One of the best solutions is to do a multi-day trip. This is easy if you have access to a cabin or a home close to the trails, but what if you don't?
In order to escape excessive travel, you may consider camping. Bear in mind though, that camping in the winter isn't as simple as setting up a tent and lighting a fire. Cold weather camping requires a great deal more planning.
Planning your winter camping trip means doing some research. Is this an area you know well? How many people will be accompanying you? How much snow is there, and is it soft powder, packed, or crusty? With these questions in mind, plan out how you will transport everyone to the camping place, your meals, and what to do if an emergency arises.
Keep in mind that everything you do is going to take about twice as long, and plan accordingly. That means setting up camp, cooking your dinner, even going to the bathroom. Make an effort to have everything set up before dark if you are planning an evening arrival. It's always best to set up camp first thing, so you aren't scrambling because you rode or played too long.
Don't plan on just lighting a fire. You'll need something to contain it or it will just melt the snow underneath and put itself out. By the same token, if you have a stove or fire barrel, you'll need something underneath it, such as a piece of plywood. Be sure to bring your own wood, or if you're using a propane stove or something similar, double check that you have enough fuel.
Your tent should be set up near trees if possible, as a shelter from wind, but never right underneath them, as the snow building up on tree branches can dump on you in the middle of the night. Be sure your sleeping bag is rated to the temperature you'll likely be experiencing. Also have a pad underneath you to insulate you from the cold snow. You should have at least ½ inch of insulation.
Wear your clothing in layers, so you can adjust to the temperature and activity. Sweating in the winter is a bad thing, because once you slow down you will get even colder as the sweat cools. Also be sure you have plenty of food and water. If necessary, you can melt clean snow to drink, but just eating the snow takes a lot of energy because your body has to work to heat the snow and maintain your internal heat.
Finally, keep your snowmobile in good condition. Check the snowmobile shocks and other components before you set out. Bring plenty of fuel to last the duration of the trip. The last thing you want on an extended snowmobile trip is a broken down snowmobile. Bad shocks or running out of fuel can really put a damper on the trip.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 2:57:59 PM America/Denver
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