The purpose of this column is to provide examples of the many ways to enjoy an ATV/UTV in all weather conditions.
This time of year, many of the hunting seasons are over, fishing hasn’t really kicked into high gear yet, and the turkey season in much of the country is still about a month away.
But despite the cold and snow we’ve been experiencing across the country there are plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy the winter weather on your ATV/UTV. One just needs to be prepared for the conditions. This doesn’t pertain to you folks in the Southwest or Florida, and hey, you guys in Florida, 60-degrees F is not considered cold!
The first thing you need to do is inspect your vehicle before you take it out in the snow and cold. With just a little preparation, you can be out enjoying yourself in no time at all.
Here’s a simple checklist:
- Fill up the gas tank…that means all the way to the top. Running out of gas is bad anytime, but in the snow and cold, it can be life threatening.
- Carry your emergency gear – flashlight, extra water, some candy bars, a two-way radio with fresh batteries, an emergency space blanket (one of those tiny silver things), a knife, extra gloves, and a hat. Take along something to help start a fire – matches, a lighter — so you can at least have a fire if you get stranded. It will all fit easily into a small backpack or in the storage area in your vehicle.
- Leave a note or a text message letting others know where you will be and when you plan to be back.
- Dress warmer than you think you need to. Riding your ATV/UTV in the cold is just like sitting in the wind on a cold day – the wind chill will make it seem much colder than the actual air temperature. Be prepared.
Stop frequently to make sure the cold isn’t affecting you in ways you aren’t aware of such as dealing with things such as frostbite, dehydration and so forth. Drink plenty of fluids even in the coldest weather.
Do your best to stay dry while you are out in the cold. It can be tough to do that, but dry means warm, wet means cold – even with the right clothing. Staying dry is essential to staying warm.
The idea is not to fear the cold, but to definitely respect it. Do that, and you’ll be able to spend many cold days on your vehicle enjoying the great outdoors.
Now, get out there and have some fun!
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