How to Stay Warm While Snowmobiling: Advice for Beginning Riders
A snowmobile tour is a fast-faced, fun way for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. But like any outdoor activity, snowmobiling requires that you come prepared for the elements! While Snowmobile Vermont provides some of the key items you’ll need to stay warm and dry during your tour, you’ll want to be sure you’ve got these basic winter-wear items along for the ride—on your body or packed, just in case you find you need something extra once you’ve left the lodge.
Helmets and Boots: Must-Haves (and provided by Snowmobile Vermont)
Whether you’re cruising down a groomed snowmobile or ski trail, speeding across a wide-open field, or winding through the woods, Snowmobile Vermont wants your ride to be a safe one. We provide a D.O.T-approved helmet, checked by our staff for proper fit, as part of your tour. We also fit you with ultra-insulated, rugged snowmobile boots that will keep the cold and snow out, and the toasty-warm in. (You’re free to wear your own helmet, but we must check to be sure it’s D.O.T.-approved and in good condition.)
This is one of the reasons we require you arrive 1 hour before your scheduled tour departure time: we want to make sure that you are fitted properly with the right sized helmets and boots.
Part of the fun of snowmobiling is feeling the crisp, winter breeze as you zoom through breathtakingly beautiful terrain. But the speed of a high-tech snowmobile can make already chilly mountain temperatures feel even colder! It’s important to dress appropriately for wind and winter weather.
What’s under there? Underwear…lots of it! Warm socks and base layers (also known as “Long Johns” or long underwear) will keep your body warm from head to toe. Wicking materials like polyester, silk, or performance blends will keep you warm and dry without the bulky feeling of some other materials. Long ski socks in nylon, silk, polyester, or even wool, are perfect inside snowmobile boots. Layering your clothing will trap body heat and keep you warmer. Start with form-fitting long underwear (not too tight!) and socks, then add several layers: You can always remove one if you feel too warm. Pro tip: Avoid cotton fabrics, which can trap perspiration and moisture next to your skin and make you colder.
Suit up. Once you’re layered underneath, add warm, waterproof and windproof snowpants and a parka or heavy winter coat on top to ensure full-body warmth. If you’re a skier or snowboarder and have gear that you like, it’ll also work great for snowmobiling. Bib snow pants are particularly good for keeping blowing snow from sneaking between your waist and the bottom of your jacket. Brrr! If you don’t own warm outerwear appropriate for active sports, we have snowmobile suits that you can rent.
Protect your head, face, and neck. Your helmet is designed to protect your head from impact, with the added bonus of shielding your ears and face from the wind. Additional items can add warmth and wind protection without bulk. Consider wearing a lightweight helmet liner, a thin, snug-fitting cap that covers your head or in some cases, your head and neck, to add warmth and keep the wind out. A balaclava, or even a neck warmer or scarf in a performance fabric like fleece or polyester (no cotton!) will shield your face and neck from the wind. Goggles, which can protect your eyes from the sun on bright days, should also be worn if your helmet doesn’t have a face guard. Frostbite is serious business: Make sure every inch of your face, neck, and ears is covered.
Fingers and hands need special attention. Just like the sensitive skin on your face, neck, and ears, your fingers need special protection from cold winds. You’ll need waterproof and windproof gloves designed for skiing or snowmobiling that fit well—not too loose, not too snug—and will be comfortable for steering your snowmobile. If you tend to have cold fingers, add thin glove liners, often available in wool, silk, or performance blends, to add more warmth without the concern of sweaty hands. Consider bringing along an extra pair of gloves if you’re riding with a child or if you’re one of those unlucky people who seems to always lose one glove!
As with all winter outdoor activities, little preparation goes a long way toward making sure you have a good time and stay warm while enjoying the snow and cold temperatures. We want your snowmobile tour to be fun, enjoyable and safe! If you have any questions about your gear or our tours, please don't hesitate to contact us.