When I start reminiscing about my early days riding snowmobiles I remember all the fun and excitement that went with day trips and cookouts—sunny days, smiles, laughter and delicious lunches shared with friends at local restaurants. The thing is, we tend to remember the good things before we remember the bad. When I really sit down and think about snowmobiling in the ’90s and early 2000s, I start remembering the frozen toes and fingers, the bumpy trails, the ice-covered and fog-filled visors, and of course, occasionally getting “turned around.”
Much like the new camping trend “glamping,” where campers utilize the latest technologies to go camping with amazing amenities like giant pop-up tents with mini-portable air conditioners or full-on canvas cabins with pillow-top beds, snowmobiling also has its own form of “glamobiling.”
As technology advances, snowmobilers get to benefit from these new technologies as well. Here is my quick list of the best ways to up your snowmobiling game to “glamobiling.”
You Don't Need to be Cold
Heated seats are requested more and more these days, and why not? All four OEMs offer heated seat kits and some snowmobile lines, including the 2017 Ski-Doo Renegade Enduro, have heated seats already built in. Aftermarket companies like Heat Demon have been offering heated snowmobile accessories for quite some time now. Contact your local dealer to get your hands on a heated seat kit for your sled.
Snowmobile gear has also taken a step forward both in the electric and non-electric sense. Everything from heated gloves, boots and insoles to jackets, pants, and vests are now available to the masses!
If you don’t want to go the electric or battery route, companies like KLIM offer waterproof, breathable, durable and comfortable gear designed with 3M Thinsulate Insulation and Gore-Tex for some of the warmest gear on the market.
Heated visors are almost a standard on most snowmobile helmets these days. And for those that don't come with them, they can easily be added.
Don't Go Hungry
Sometimes it takes us longer to get to our destinations than planned. And sometimes we just want to eat right there on the trail. Either way, new technology and the accessibility to tasty easy-to-pack foods have made this a lot easier.
Everyone’s favourite on-the-trail-or-mountain food warmer, the Muff Pot is definitely the first thing that comes to mind. Simply strap it to your exhaust, enjoy your ride and when you're hungry there's your lunch, piping hot and ready to eat!
Another option is to fill one of the latest and greatest thermoses full of soup or stew and throw it in your gear bag. Many of the new thermoses claim to last upwards of 24 hours, including the Vacuum Insulated 61 Ounce Stainless Steel thermos from Thermos.
If you're looking to keep your tummy full on the go, pack some yummy beef jerky, trail mix, or any of the various high-protein bars available on the market today.
I know no one likes to admit when this happens, but getting lost or at the very least “turned around” can be a serious issue when travelling through unfamiliar trails. New Apps like iSnowmobile, Ride Command, and Snowmobile Ontario can help keep you on track and show you where to get food, gas and a place to sleep!
Other Bells and Whistles
If you're going to be using your cell phone while on the trail, you probably already know that batteries and the cold don’t mix. Shoving your phone in your warmest pocket or relying on an external battery pack doesn’t always do the trick. More often, people are concerned with their phones overheating rather than freezing, but Snow Lizard Products looks to have the best options to meet the sledder's needs. These cases are waterproof up to 2m, drop-proof up to 2m, and solar-powered with a built in battery to charge the phone.
Helmet speakers and communication devices have become extremely useful in allowing riders to chat amongst themselves or listen to music. Companies like Cardo Systems and Sena offer hands-free communication devices for small and large groups of riders while also allowing the user to listen to music and hear their GPS directions.
Just because you take advantage of one or more of these “glamobiling” products it doesn’t mean you're any less of a snowmobiler. You're just going to be warmer, and able to ride longer and ride happier than your cold counterpart on his or her ’90s triple-triple with their vintage one-piece suit!