6 Tips for High-Mileage Snowmobiling

Looking to cover a lot of ground on your sled this season? Here's how to do it...

Who doesn't love putting miles on the sled? We all have a passion for this sport. And there’s no better way to fuel that passion than going the distance riding Ontario’s extensive trail system. Two of us just returned from riding 1,100 km in two days. We rode long days with minimal stops to cover as much ground as possible. A lot of planning went into our route before leaving out of Sudbury, ON with a final destination at the Best Western Swan Castle Inn in Cochrane, ON. Having packed everything that we may need with us made this journey possible without a hitch.

Whether it's an extended day ride or conquering multi-day loops, high mileage that you never thought possible can definitely be accomplished with today's modern day snowmobiles and grooming equipment. Here are a few tips that can make planning your high-mileage days safer and more enjoyable.

1 - Reliable equipment

Having a snowmobile that is in good working order is a must. Doing regular maintenance can avoid breakdowns and mishaps that could ruin your adventure. Following scheduled maintenance recommendations and keeping an eye on wearable parts can make your life a lot easier. Routinely checking belt condition, idler wheels, carbides, sliders, and stud wear are simple things you can do to keep your snowmobile running at peak performance. Always carry a spare belt and a small tool kit whether riding short or long distances.

2 - Plan your route

Keep in mind how far it is to reach your final destination. A great tool that can help is the OFSC interactive trail guide. You can plot your route on their website and it will give you the exact mileage for your journey. Pre-planning fuel stops, accommodations and places to grab a quick meal will keep you on a schedule to accomplish those long days. Knowing the range that your snowmobile is capable of or carrying extra fuel will put your mind at ease between stops. Use Ontario's Go Tour Trip Planner to plan your next trip.

3 - Dress accordingly

Staying warm in
Northeastern Ontario with Klim gear

Being underdressed for the weather can put a damper on your plans. Make sure to have the proper gear designed for snowmobilers. Having extra clothes in case they are needed could be the difference between having an enjoyable day and having to cut your ride short. Something as simple as packing a spare set of dry socks or warmer gloves may be all you need to keep going.

4 - Physical Fitness

Knowing your own limitations is key. High mileage for one person might mean 600+ km a day, while for others it could be a lot less. Staying within your own means will allow you to make realistic goals when planning. Physical fitness comes even more into play when doing multiple high-mileage days in a row.

5 - Nutrition

Staying hydrated can prove difficult when on the trail. Packing sports drinks, water, and something quick to snack on can keep you going. Stopping for an extended period of time for meals will cut into time spent on the trails. Snowmobiling is a demanding sport, and having the extra calories available will help fuel your body. Click here for a list of trailside restaurants in Ontario.

6 - Smaller riding groups

The size of your group can determine the amount of ground you can cover in a day. The more sleds in the group, the greater potential for breakdowns or something unexpected. Riding in small groups and with others that are of the same ability will maximize the distance that you can travel together. More isn't always better when covering high mileage.

Stopping to enjoy the scenery

These are just a few tips that can maximize your time spent on the trails and continually keep you moving.  Whether it’s for the love of the sport or to accomplish a goal of riding long distances, snowmobiling is an adventure. With proper preparation, you can rest assured that you have the basics covered to accomplish your goals. 

Stay tuned for a future article on completing the RAP Tour within 24 hours, along with some other high-mileage destinations this season. Ride safe and keep that odometer rolling.

About Ryan Hawkins

Ryan Hawkins (Canuck Powersports) eats, sleeps, and breathes snowmobiles and motorcycles. As a freelance writer and aspiring photographer, he can be found carving up twisty roads and trails year round.

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