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preparing your snowmobile survival kit

Snowmobiling is a one-of-a-kind experience — sadly, the same could be said of a snowmobile accident (but for much different reasons). Breaking down on your winter cruiser can leave you vulnerable to some unique risks you don't find with other vehicles. That's why it pays to spend a minute fine-tuning your snowmobile emergency kit.

Car vs. snowmobile emergency kit

Many people already have a road safety kit for their car. If you're one of them, you might wonder if you can simply transfer this kit to your sled and avoid buying all new snowmobile supplies when you hit the trail. In short … probably not.

Of course, some items from your road safety kit — such as a flashlight, water, compass, and first-aid supplies — go great with snowmobiling, too. But for the most part, due to snowmobiling's unique circumstances (riding far off road and in extreme cold or snow), staying prepared for a snowmobile accident or mishap requires survival items you'd likely never carry in your car.

12 things you need in your snowmobile survival kit

Chasing thrills on your cold-weather ride is a whole lot easier when you know you have the following snowmobile supplies to fall back on:

1. Avalanche beacon and probe

Avalanches don't factor into most normal driving situations. But out snowmobiling, they're a risk you should be prepared for. An avalanche beacon can transmit a signal from underneath snow if you ever get trapped. Friends or family who also have beacons can receive your signal and find you.

An avalanche probe, meanwhile, is a nice failsafe in case someone else (who doesn't have a beacon) is buried and you have to help find him or her. Avalanche probes are long poles that slide through the powder, helping gauge snow depth and locate whatever's underneath.

2. Shovel

Whether you're digging someone out from under an avalanche or unpacking your sled from a ditch, a shovel is one accessory you'll be grateful for.

3. Waterproof matches and flammable material

Lighting a fire not only helps you stay warm, but also makes it easier for help to find you. Also include flammable material (like drier lint or tinder) to help get things burning.

4. Snowshoes

Not something you immediately consider when snowmobiling. But trying to stomp to the nearest rescue center in your boots after your ride breaks down will get you nowhere fast.

5. Plastic whistle

Perhaps the cheapest item in your snowmobile survival kit … but perhaps the most effective, too. If you're stranded — or, worse, injured — being able to give out a loud signal for others to hear can mean the difference between life and death.

6. Signal mirror

This is another potential lifesaver if you're injured and need to get out of the wilderness in a jiffy. This small glass mirror can reflect the sunlight to signal an SOS up to 100 miles away.

7. Saw

A sturdy saw can help get you or your sled untangled after a snowmobile accident.

8. High-energy food

After a snowmobile accident or mishap, high-energy foods take on major importance, helping stimulate your body and raise your core temperature amid frigid surroundings. Granola bars, raisins, peanut butter, almonds, and flax seeds are all tidy options to toss into your snowmobile emergency kit.

9. Warm layers

The riding gear you started with doesn't feel so cozy once you've been sitting still for a couple of hours. That's why it's smart to include sweaters, coats, space blankets, gloves, hats, foot warmers, or anything else you can fit into your snowmobile survival kit.

10. Spare snowmobile parts

Keep an extra drive belt and set of spark plugs with you (plus some basic tools) in case you need to make a quick repair to your sled.

11. Block and tackle

This involves pulley blocks and rope that can be used to pull your snowmobile out of a ditch or snowdrift.

12. Tarp

If using all of the above snowmobile supplies fails to get you help, you may need to use this to make a temporary shelter.

Snowmobile insurance: your ultimate protection from the unknown

Perhaps the most important piece of snowmobile preparedness is something that can't go into any kit: snowmobile insurance. When you protect your sled with Esurance, we cover you year-round from collisions, theft, property damage, and much more. That way, once help does arrive, you can get your winter cruiser back on the trail as quickly (and painlessly) as possible.

To start your coverage, grab your free snowmobile insurance quote today.

Related links

Snowmobile maintenance
Avoid breakdowns altogether with these tips for a smoother-running snowmobile.

Snowmobile types
Get acquainted with the types of snowmobiles you can buy.

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