Riding in the Cold – UTV Safety Tips
Riding your UTV year round can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience. A new season can add splendor and variety to old and familiar trails. In the winter, beautiful snow covered views and crisp frosty scenery await you. But winter riding conditions are no joke. The cold weather can be potentially dangerous if you aren’t prepared. If you plan to go out on a ride, make sure you are ready to handle cold conditions, just in case things don’t go as planned.
Before you head out into your winter wonderland, make sure you have fully prepared your vehicle for winter riding. You’ll want to keep your UTV running as smoothly as possible as we head into the winter season. Changing your oil to something more cold weather friendly, using a fuel conditioner, cleaning your air filter and properly maintaining your battery are all ways to keep things running well. Having your vehicle in its best condition is will reduce your chances of becoming stranded and keep you safer out on the trail.
Dress appropriately for the colder weather. Your regular riding gear may not be warm enough to see you through a winter ride. Wear several layers of lightweight clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing, so that you can accommodate changing conditions. Your outer garments should be water proof to help keep you dry. Wear warm, waterproof boots and gloves. You may also want to consider a balaclava or facemask to keep your face nice and toasty.
Adding a few accessories to your vehicle can help keep you safe and warm on winter rides. Bigger and more aggressive tires can help prevent you from getting stuck. Or you could add chains to your tires for better traction. Of course, tracks are amazing for snow riding. Also, a winch could help you get out of a sticky situation. Adding a windshield, cab heater or steering wheel heaters can help keep you warm and add to your comfort level. Naturally, we recommend our Clearly Tough full folding windshields. They allow you to adjust to different riding conditions quickly and will keep you warmer on a cold ride.
Keep emergency supplies on hand, just in case things don’t roll your way. If you do happen to run into some trouble on the trail, here are some things you may want to have with you:
- Matches and Other Supplies to Start a Fire
- Extra Blanket and/or Extra Clothing
- First Aid Kit
- Cell Phone, Radio or Some Sort of Communication Device
- Tow Strap
- Sand for Traction
In addition to bringing extra gear with you, you’ll want to be able to recognize symptoms of frostbite, hypothermia and other cold weather injuries. If possible, get off the trail or call for help you see any of these conditions. Knowing basic treatment for these ailments could help as well. And, as always, you need to let someone know where you are going to be riding. This is always a good idea, regardless of the season.
Riding in the snow is really no different than riding in the warmer seasons. You’ll just want to be prepared for the unexpected. Using your UTV during the winter can be a great source of entertainment for you. If you do a little preparation and use some of these UTV safety tips, you can enjoy those winter months comfortably. Your beautiful winter landscapes await you. So get out there and ride. Most of all, be safe this winter.