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 Snowmobiling for Kids
Detailed information on cost, clothing, and safety for snowmobiling with kids

AGE GROUP BOYS AND GIRLS  - AGE VARIES BY STATE

What is Snowmobiling?

A snowmobile is a land vehicle that is commonly propelled by a track at the rear and steered by skis in the front.   People who ride snowmobiles are known as snowmobilers. Snowmobiling can be done for recreation, remote travel, rescue efforts or as a competitive sport. Today they are most commonly used for recreation or for just plain transportation.  The three main types of riding are racing, trail riding and mountain climbing.  There are various sports, Snowcross Racing Series, Snowmobile Skipping Races, and Grass Drags, which are centered around snowmobiling.

Snowmobiles can achieve high speeds, between 90 mph and 150 mph, depending on whether they are made for recreation or racing.   In addition. there area variety of styles to select from such as single rider or two passenger.

Snowmobiling can be very dangerous so it is extremely important to ride responsibly

When to Start Snowmobiling?

Snowmobiles are exciting to children and they are extremely eager to try it out.  A parent must use good judgment when making the decision whether their child is mature enough to handle a snowmobile.  Age doesnít matter at all if your child isnít trustworthy. Note that it is recommended that children under the age of six should never ride on a snowmobile, even with an adult driver. Every state with snow has its own set of regulations governing who can and cannot ride snowmobiles. Some states are quite liberal, mostly those states that embrace the support as a family recreation and rely on it as an income source, and others are quite restrictive. The minimum age to operate a snowmobile can vary by state or province. For many it is 15 or 16, it can however be as young as 12, or as old as 18.  The age law will specify what age a child can operate a snowmobile if directly supervised and on their own land,  if they are directly supervised but not on their land or when they may operate by themselves, with certificationIT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU CHECK THE LAWS FOR YOUR STATE OR THE STATE WHERE YOU WILL BE TRAVELING FOR AGE RESTRICTIONS.

There are models of snowmobiles developed specifically for children but don't think that these smaller snowmobiles are any safer.   As far as kids and snowmobiles go there are certain precautions that are necessary to take for the sake of safety. For example, anyone operating a snowmobile should have already taken a formal safety training program for the vehicle because learning to drive a snowmobile properly is not as simple as it may appear. In addition, warn your children against excessive speed, over confidence and carelessness.  Click here for some details on snowmobiles for children.

Cost To Snowmobile....

Like skiing, snowmobiling is an  expensive sport. You have to take into consideration in most situations you will need some or all of the following: accommodations, travel expenses, meals and clothing.  In addition, you will need a snow mobile.  You have the option to purchase new, purchase used, or rent a snow mobile. 

Renting a snowmobile is a smart option for people new to this exciting sport. If it makes sense to purchase a snowmobile for your family it is more economical to purchase a used one.  There are many makes and models as well as price ranges to select from.  The model that you purchase will be determined by how and where you plan to use the snowmobile.  If you are interested in purchasing a new snowmobile can cost close to $10,000.

You can rent snowmobiles for 1/2 day, full day or multi-day excursions.  You have the option of a single, double or high performance model.  Additional costs may be incurred for fuel, taxes and forest service fees.  Half day rentals are approximately 3 hours and can be morning or afternoon.  All day rentals are usually 8 hours.  Rates may vary based on time of year and location. There are also guided snowmobile tours that cost substantially more.

Approximate Snowmobile Rate Range

 

 1/2 Day

 Full Day

 Multi-Day

 Single

 $120 - $160

$200 - $240

 $175 - $215

 Double

 $155 - $195

$230 - $270

 $200 -$250

 High Performance

 $155 - $195

$230 - $270

 $200 - $250

 

Equipment Required?

Snowmobile, similar to ski apparel, is necessary to keep riders warm and dry during their excursions.  If you are just starting out check to see if you can rent the clothing. Some locations will do this at a fairly reasonable price. 

Your snowmobile outfit should be windproof and waterproof with a hood.  It is normally made of breathable materials that allow perspiration to escape from the body.  The temperatures where you are snowmobiling  will determine what you need to wear underneath.  Layered clothing is important to keep warm .  Thermal underwear, next to the skin provides proper insulation.  

Your hands should be protected by a pair of snowmobile gloves that permit your thumb and fingers to operate the controls and that  extend well beyond the wrists to shield the skin from low temperatures and the wind.

Approved helmets, resembling motorcycle helmets, are required at all times. They provide warmth and protection for the snowmobiler as well as optimal visibility.  A helmet-mounted face shield will widen the field of vision and keep your face warmer. Some helmets feature microphones for communication with other riders. Select a helmet with a safety-approval label from the Department of Transportation (DOT). 

Tinted lens sunglasses or goggles should be worn to reduce glare and enhance vision. Gray lenses are for bright days, yellow for overcast days, and clear for nights.

Rubber-bottom, leather-top boots or rubber-bottom, nylontop boots with heavy felt liners are best for snowmobiling. They provide good foot traction and the necessary warmth. Adding wool socks gives your feet additional protection as the temperature goes down.

Never wear long scarves or loose clothing that can get caught in the equipment and cause injury.