Hitting the Trails: The Ultimate Guide to Sled Safety

“Keys, wallet, phone” – the classic quick-check before you leave the house. But if you’re headed out for a sled run, you’re going to want to make sure you have a few more items on you. 

Even if it’s just a day-time trail ride around your own area, emergencies can happen. This list may seem like a lot, but when packed properly, all of this can fit into a standard backpack. And you never know what could happen. If you find yourself needing to fend for yourself, it’s better to be prepared! 

Nighttime Riding

If you get stuck or break down at night, you can see the parts of your snowmobile, or see what’s around you. 

Two lighters; one on your person and one on your snowmobile
If for any reason you need to light a fire, having a lighter and a back up lighter is essential. Keep a small bottle of lighter fluid as well, in case the conditions make it difficult to simply light a fire. 


A pot and all-weather cubes
If you end up somewhere overnight and want to boil water to cook or for any other reason.

Kit of fishing gear
You may find yourself needing to find a source of food.

Any number of emergencies could require the use of a knife.


12 volt outlet, phone charger, and cord for your GPS
Each of these items could help you reach someone for help, or navigate your way to safety.

Prepare for battery operated items to lose power and have backups.

Maintaining Clear Vision

Paper towel with Sunlight soap on it
If your glasses or goggles get dirty, you can easily clean them off.

Sunglasses and clear glasses
It’s always a good idea to keep your eyes protected, but at night sunglasses won’t be of use. Keep a set of clear glasses with you to keep your eyes protected at night.

Snowmobile Issues

Snowmobile parts
Sledding can be unpredictable, and you don’t want to be far from home when your snowmobile encounters a parts issue.

  • Keeping tire wire on hand can help you tie together minor issues such as a ball joint
  • Keeping a spare sled belt can allow you to get back on the trail if a machine malfunctions.

If you find yourself out of gas, you will have cash to buy some.

Life-Threatening Emergencies

Throw rope and ice picks
In the very unfortunate event of ice breaking and someone falling in, a throw rope and ice picks will be absolutely essential in saving that person’s life. Make sure you keep these on your person, and not on your sled. 

Basic flare
If you’re stranded, a basic flare can help alert someone to your presence.

Weather Preparedness / Personal Preparedness

You should always be wearing a helmet, and bring an extra one should you need to let someone ride with you.

If you get wet, get stuck on a trail, or have to sleep outside, stay warm with these extras:

  • Space blanket
  • Extra gloves 
  • Extra socks and t-shirt 
  • Foot warmers 

Bottle of water
Hydration is important. 

If you find yourself needing to look for shelter, you will have a much easier time getting through tough snow terrain with snowshoes

Axe or Saw
Should you find yourself having to create your own shelter, these items will come in handy

Need coverage for your snowmobile? Find a local Steers rep today to find out how we can help.