Four-Wheelin’: Necessities For Riding in Cold Weather

It’s cold. It’s winter. Complain about Mother Nature, but don’t let chilly temperatures stop you from enjoying time outdoors on your ATV. Cold weather can be brutal when you’re outside having fun, especially when riding. So here are a few items to make your cold weather ATV outings more enjoyable.

Laugh At The Rain/Snow
Being dry means being comfortable especially in weather below 55 degrees. Carry a packable rain jacket, such as the Guide Gear® Packable Waterproof Rain Jacket, to protect you from sudden rain or snow. Just like the warm clothing you wear when riding in cold weather, staying dry is essential to enjoying time on your ATV in the cold. A rain jacket also doubles as another layer to stop the wind and adds warmth when riding.

Let There Be Light
If the headlight on your ATV/UTV fails, how will you see the trail to get back in the dark? Simple answer: use a flashlight. I always pack one of my tactical lights when I head out because they are tough enough to take a beating, small and light enough to pack in a pocket without noticing the weight, and they provide enough light to see the trail many yards ahead of where you are riding. Suggestion: try one of the HQ Issue™ tactical lights: bright light in a rugged, lightweight package. I also take a headlamp with an elastic headband so I can have hands-free light in case I need to make a repair.

Sustenance
Energy bars, a package of crackers, an apple or banana, a sandwich and a couple of bottles of water in your ATV rack pack can come in really handy when riding in the winter. I always bring along my stainless steel Stanley vacuum bottle (we used to call it a Thermos) full of hot water. That allows me to make soup with my sandwich or instant coffee or tea.

Tool Time
No one wants to carry a whole set of tools with them, but I make sure I carry one of my Gerber or Leatherman multi-tools in my rack bag. And, even though my multi-tool has a knife blade on it, I always carry an extra folding knife just in case.

You can never have enough knives around when you are outdoors and they can come in extremely handy in so many situations — from peeling or cutting that apple or sandwich you brought with you, to cutting small branches to start a fire when you stop for lunch.

Stay In Touch
Being able to stay in touch in case of an emergency is vital when you ride — no matter the season. But it is especially important in cold weather when things tend to break more (at least they do for me) and the weather is more critical. Take your cell phone and/or a two-way radio (if possible) to stay in touch with your home or those riding with you. I’ve used both when riding and promise you won’t regret including them in your gear. I always pack mine in a plastic zip-shut bag to protect them from the elements.

Having these items with you will make your time on your ATV or UTV much more enjoyable when you are riding in cold weather.

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