The Estevan area has been hit with plenty of snow lately, which means it's time to dust off your snowmobile.
In conjunction with International Snowmobile Safety Week, this week marks Provincial Snowmobile Safety Week in Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan has over 11,000 km of snow-covered trails and safety should be top of mind before you head out.
Along with operating your snowmobile at appropriate speeds for the terrain and driving within your own capabilities, Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association executive director Leah Switzer said do not operate a snowmobile under the influence of drugs and alcohol and let someone know where you will be going.
“Plan out your trip and know where you’re going. We really recommend never riding alone. Ride with a buddy or group and, when you go out, let somebody know what your plan is, where you plan to go and your plan to be back,” Switzer said.
It is also recommended that you have a survival kit that includes food, matches, flashlights, batteries, shelter-making material and spare parts and tools.
Before heading out, Switzer said you should check the trail conditions.
“You can see our interactive map on our website at sasksnow.com and it shows you what is open and what is closed. If you’re going to venture anywhere other than those open trails, definitely know the ice conditions in the area you’re going and ensure you have permission to ride in the area,” she said.
The Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association provides a snowmobile safety course that is a requirement before operating a sled.
“Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1989, is required to have their certificate as well, even if you have a valid driver’s license. So, we offer both online and classroom courses for $50 per person,” Switzer said.
You can find more information about snowmobile safety, trail conditions or to sign up for the snowmobile safety course on the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association’s website.