On Thin Ice: Safety Tips To Remember When Snowmobiling This Winter

snowmobile dealer in michiganWinter is right around the corner and soon there'll be enough snow to take your snowmobile out for the first ride of the season. But, it's important to remember not to take your snowmobile out onto the ice this season.


It's never a good idea to go snowmobiling on the ice, but snowmobiling on ice in early winter and early spring can be even more dangerous. Ice isn't stable and snowmobile riders who try to take a shortcut from Point A to Point B over a frozen lake or stream can end up in a life-threatening situation.


Avoid sledding on thin ice

Avoid sledding on ice altogether, but especially avoid thin ice. There's often an allure to driving your snowmobile over a wide expanse of untouched snow, even if that snow is on top of a frozen body of water.


But, no one can guarantee your safety once you decide to sled over an icy area. An ice heave can happen within only a couple of hours and what may seem like a frozen body of water may not be as frozen as you think.


In fact, nine people fell through thin ice on "frozen" lakes in Maine in just 24 hours in January 2018.


Don't trust ice to hold you. If a frozen lake can break under your body weight, there's no chance it will hold the weight of your snowmobile.


How can I stay safe while snowmobiling?

While snowmobiling, don't expect a frozen body of water to be solid even if it looks smooth and debris-free. Even a frozen lake can have logs, rocks, cracks, and ice heaves appear suddenly and knock you into the water. Keep in mind that wind can move ice, too.


Another way to stay safe while snowmobiling this winter is by always paying attention to your surroundings. Your environment can change and the wind can blow debris into areas that were debris-free when you rode in on them. That said, don't assume a trail is automatically safe when you go to ride back out.


To help you stay safe out there while snowmobiling, here are three more tips to keep in mind on every run:


  1. Know what to do if you fall in the ice. If you choose to drive over a frozen lake, you do so at your own risk. But, it's good to know what to do if you fall through ice even if you never intend to drive over it. The initial shock of the icy water can cause you to hyperventilate, so it's important to slow your breathing and keep control over it until you can be rescued.

  2. Wear a set of ice picks around your neck. By wearing a set of ice picks around your neck or in one of the arms of your jacket, you can use it in an emergency situation to carefully get out of the ice. Don't attempt to stand on the ice.

  3. Carry a set of flares. This is important for every emergency snowmobiling situation. Flares or an avalanche beacon can be used if you've been in an accident, you've fallen through the ice, or your snowmobile has broken down.


Where can I find a snowmobile dealer in Michigan?

It's no secret snowmobiles are popular; up to 118,657 snowmobiles were sold worldwide last year. Whether you're looking for an ATV dealer, motorcycle dealer, or snowmobile dealer in Michigan, Nelson's Speed Shop is the place for you. To learn more about our snowmobiles for sale and snowmobiling accessories, contact your local snowmobile dealer in Michigan at Nelson's Speed Shop today.

Visit Our Other Locations: Lakeside Motor Sports and Lakeside Indian.