December 2013 Newsletter

December 2013 Newsletter

Happy Holidays from Snoman!

All of us here at Snoman would like to wish you Happy Holidays, and all the best in the New Year. Ride safe and gear up for a great season!

-Snoman Staff and the Snoman Board of Directors

Make it a Safe Ride

Snowmobiling is an immensely popular winter activity in Manitoba. Whether you are a beginner or you have participated in this recreational activity for a number of years, knowledge of how to operate your snowmobile safely is imperative to ensuring an enjoyable ride both on and off the trail system. The following highlights what you need to know to own and/or drive a snowmobile safely:

  1. Prior to your first ride, ensure that your sled is in good operating condition and if necessary have it checked by a qualified service person.
  2. Prior to departure, check the expected weather conditions.
  3. Check the conditions of the trails on the Snoman web site
  4. Never ride after taking drugs or alcohol.
  5. Always dress appropriately for the weather and the length of the trip you are taking. Wear layers of clothing. This enables you to add or remove clothing in order to adapt to changing conditions. A windproof outer layer, warm mitts/gloves, warm boots and an insulated, approved helmet are recommended.
  6. Do not ride alone. However, if you must, tell someone where you're going and when you will be back. Remember to drive within the limits of your ability.
  7. Always carry a survival and first aid kit.
  8. Extreme caution should be used when riding over frozen water. Do not venture onto ice unless you are absolutely certain it can support the weight of you and your sled.
  9. Reduce your speed at night. Snow dust will reduce visibility. Also remember to reduce speed in unfamiliar territory.
  10. Always obey road and trail signs, and always be prepared for the unexpected.

Snoman's Trail Numbering System

Well, we finally did it! We brought you the best trail numbering system to help you stay on track, and bring you safe and sound to your destination!

A group of volunteers and Snoman Directors gathered and analyzed the advantages of having a trail numbering system. We came up with the following purposes of our trail numbering system:

  • To assist snowmobilers in planning their travel through our amazing trail system
  • To guide the riders through our trail system and reduce the chance of getting lost (we do not guarantee success!)
  • To give snowmobilers peace of mind in terms of their ability to know where they are on our trail system
  • To ensure provincial, regional and club maps have numbered trails
  • To allow for orderly growth of possible trail expansion (essential connector trails and community connections)
  • To provides emergency organizations with a tool to better determine the location of a snowmobiler in need of assistance

Since none of us had the opportunity to ride every trail in Manitoba (which totals about 12,000 kms) we really had a challenge. We had to figure out how to create a trail system that would make sense to the riders. We needed to find a way to let them know if they are on a trail that will lead to a community or town, or on a loop that travels through a scenic location. So we decided to break it down to provincial trails and club trails.

Provincial trails: Provincial trails will tend to connect communities and regions, and run in a north/south or east/west direction. East/West trails have a one or two digit odd number and North/South trails have a one or two digit even number. When looking at the provincial map, you can see that some of these trails will bring you from one side of the province to the other or from Flin Flon to the US border.

Club Trails: Club Trails tend to run off of and/or connect to provincial trails. They are normally loops and connector trails that lead you to a scenic area or destination. Club trails are three digit trail numbers. Some of our club trails will connect communities that are not near our provincial trail. This is one of the challenges that our Trail Funding Committee had to deal with. Be assured that it does not make a club trail less or more important. Provincial and club trails are both important!

We finally agreed that the numbering of the provincial trails would start with the lowest numbers in the northwest corner of the Provincial Map. I think this was one of the hardest decisions at that time. Thanks to all 52 hardworking groups of club volunteers and the best volunteer Snoman Directors you could ask for, you now have a safe and comprehensive trail system. Let your local club know how much you appreciate our trails. It doesn't cost anything and they deserve appreciation for all of their hard work. Have a safe and enjoyable snowmobile season!