By Christa Thompson
Snowmobiling is a wonderful winter activity that can be enjoyed by family members of all ages. A typical two-hour guided tour is a good way to begin snowmobiling. The trips usually involve a mild, scenic ride through some amazing scenery.
My family went snowmobiling last winter in Finland. However, my son Sean had never been snowmobiling before, so when auto dealership Kia asked us to join them for a Sorento (SUV) family winter adventure in Lake Tahoe, we were stoked.
First time or not, snowmobiling is the jam! If you are snowmobiling for the first time you can get nervous. Here are a few things to know before you head out for your first snowmobiling adventure.
Snowmobiling for the first time: In my opinion, the most important thing to know about snowmobiling for the first time is that you can get hurt. However, it’s really hard to do if you’re trailing a guide.
Snowmobiles are wide and made to withstand impact so you can take bumps. Still, it’s smart to always be on the safe side of a moving vehicle and it does require some skill and physical strength.
Below are some helpful tips.
- Be sure you are dressed for the wind chill. Where there’s snow there’s chill, and when you’re moving 40 mph it’s even colder. Make sure you plan your gear for expected (and unexpected) temperatures.
- Use a GoPro to catch all the footage (rather than trying to hold your cell phone). There are many talents which can be performed on a snowmobile. Holding your cell phone while driving with one hand is not one of them.
- Get ready to react. Unfortunately, I learned this one on my own. While you may be able to react quickly in a car should a situation arise, don’t expect to be as sharp when reacting on a snowmobile. We don’t have the same muscle memory when we’re operating a snowmobile for the first time or even a second or third time for that matter. Make sure you are overly familiar with where the gas and brake are located.
- Wear warm gloves that fit. This is another thing I learned the hard way. If your gloves are even a little bit too big, you can slip when trying to clench the brake and end up bumping into something or someone.
- Be sure to use the restroom before your trip. When you’re up in the mountains like we were in Tahoe, there’s little in the way of restrooms. Make sure you go at the trail base before you head out.
“Snowmobiling should be fun, even for first-timers,” Christa Thompson said. “To insure you have a certain amount of knowledge before that first ride, make sure to pay attention to the instructions from your guide. Many times they provide easy tips designed for first-time snowmobiling. If you listen and follow directions, you should have an incredible experience.”
Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day.