snowmobiling in west yellowstone

Old Nov 23rd, 2016, 04:53 AM
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snowmobiling in west yellowstone

My friends and I (55-60 years of age) are from Central Florida and are planning a snowmobiling trip to West Yellowstone in March 2017. We have never (except for one of us) gone snowmobiling before although we have jet skied. This will be a new experience for us and would love to get some tips. Please excuse any questions that seem silly but I am so ignorant of what to expect that I don't even know what questions to ask!

1. What type of clothing should we be taking? The tour company, Back Country Adventures, rents snowmobile clothing but other than layering are there any specific types of clothing we should be taking? Florida winter duds just won't cut it.
2. Can our iphones/SLR cameras survive the cold?
3. Can we pack food/water what with all the critters roaming around us?
4. Should we ride one or two to a snowmobile? I've read that two makes for an uncomfortable ride.
5. We are planning 3 days of snowmobiling. Is that too much? Will our behinds tolerate this ambitious plan?

Any and all help would be appreciated!
normal1983 is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2016, 05:40 AM
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3 days?! Too much. Maybe throw in some snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing (a little goes a long way...do it in an open meadow, non-hilly area).
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Old Nov 23rd, 2016, 06:57 AM
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1. What type of clothing should we be taking? The tour company, Back Country Adventures, rents snowmobile clothing but other than layering are there any specific types of clothing we should be taking? Florida winter duds just won't cut it. Do a google search using such topics as ""snow & cold weather clothing" or "What to wear while snowboarding" and you'll find scores of links with detailed info written by both amateurs and professionals. There's tons of info already written on this subject.

2. Can our iphones/SLR cameras survive the cold? - Yes, these types of objects tolerate the cold better than extreme heat. Keep your devices in protective cases to keep them dry and protected from the elements when not in use. It's really just common sense. Battery life may be shortened.

3. Can we pack food/water what with all the critters roaming around us? Yes, just make sure food and water are in sealed containers. Really, there won't be a lot of "critters roaming around" you.

4. Should we ride one or two to a snowmobile? I've read that two makes for an uncomfortable ride. I think this is a personal choice and depends on the individuals's capabilities and how comfortable you are as a driver or a passenger. Obviously, with a two rider snowmobile the passenger has less control over the situation. I'd opt for one rider per snowmobile. More expensive, of course, but probably more fun for most people.

5. We are planning 3 days of snowmobiling. Is that too much? Will our behinds tolerate this ambitious plan? Depends on a number of different factors including your stamina, physical condition, the terrain you are traveling through, how you adapt to a new venture and how much actual seat time you have on any given day. 3 full days of snowboarding would probably be excessive for beginners (and even for some seasoned veterans). However, some might find a 1 to 1 1/2 hour session each morning and afternoon over a 3 day period to be acceptable while others will be content with a single session each day. Snowmobiling is a little like driving a race car, there's an adrenaline rush but it can be very exhausting. As sylvia suggested, plan on other less exiting/less strenuous activities during your 3 day adventure.
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Old Nov 28th, 2016, 09:24 AM
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Your post indicates March 2017 - so be prepared that you could have temperatures close to zero or even upwards of 40F possible! Avg high is mid 30's however. Either way, if you are from Florida you will just want to rent snowmobile clothing so you don't have to buy a bunch of stuff you won't use again. Rental places will supply you for a reasonable daily rate a lined zip-up snowsuit, boots, gloves, helmet etc. You just need to have layering undergarments/sweatpants and nice thick socks, etc.

In terms of how many days, I guess it is up to your preference and the weather - going in March will give you better chance of warmer sunny days which makes snowmobiling much more fun than being out in below zero blizzard type weather more commonly found in January/February.

Typically I find that it is not your behinds so much that pay the price, but rather you will find that your hands and shoulders may be a bit sore from new riders' tendency to tightly grip the handles and from the vibration of the machine.

I'd suggest that for your first day, you do a guided trip into Yellowstone park (assuming you are going early march as I think the park closes mid-late march for snowmobile tours). It's an all-day trip if you do the one to Old Faithful and gorgeous.

Then, you can decide whether you want to do another guided trip or an unguided trip on the other day/(s) - there are tons of trails in the National Forest around West Yellowstone.

To your question on 1-2 passengers per sled, I agree with above posters that it depends on personal preference. I prefer to ride alone but now they have these very large touring models that comfortably seat another rider so is really up to whether individuals prefer to drive or be driven. I assumed you'll be taking all groomed trails so it is pretty easy even for beginners but if someone wants a break from having to drive/steer, maybe you allow for slightly less snowmobiles than the total number of people and then can take turns driving.
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