Sledding the County - Accessories

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 5:38 PM EST
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While the snowmobile itself is the central focus of the sport, accessories can be just as important for a rider that’s looking to get the most out of their time on the trails. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has this week’s Sledding the County.

“Because we’re a winter sport the big thing is trying to stay warm outside in the elements.”

Kevin Freeman, Owner of The Sled Shop in Presque Isle says having the right snowmobile gear can mean the difference between having a good or bad day out on the trails.

“If you’re going to be out all day or if you’re going to go a couple hundred miles like you can do here in Aroostook County, you’ve gotta be warm to enjoy it.”

Specially designed jackets provide snowmobilers with wind chill protection, insulation, waterproof membranes and more which can extend the distance you’re able to ride.  They typically retail between 250 to 350 dollars each.

“When someone’s brand new to the sport, I think their number one thing really is a good helmet, that’s where it all starts.”

Freeman says snowmobile helmets are a bit different from their motorcycle counterparts, in that not only do they provide protection, but they are better insulated. Some even have heaters which run off the snowmobiles 12 volt power outlet.

“They have a temperature control that you can work with on the helmet, it features a safety light on the rear, and of course it’s DOT and crash tested so if you have an emergency situation, you’re going to keep your head safe”

Freeman went on to say that riders can further accessorize their helmets, adding Bluetooth audio and communication devices to listen to music or communicate with other riders.

“4 decades ago, gloves were a big deal because we didn’t have heated handlebars”

Freeman says that while bulky mittens are often a popular choice for new riders, not having individual fingers can inhibit a riders ability to operate their machine. He also says that gloves made of synthetic materials perform better as they provide better water resistance than leather gloves.

“Nylon, gortex membranes, stuff that will keep your hands dry, have the dexterity, also they have to be thin enough to feel the heat from the handlebars so that’s what makes this glove unique from another winter glove.”

Freeman says the best way to find the gear that works for you is to visit a local store and try the gear out for yourself.

“You’re making an investment in a recreational activity and if you’ve got the right products, you’re going to enjoy it much better.”

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8