5 Tips for getting your snowmobile unstuck
I just got back from a snowmobiling day with some friends and I can’t help but think, what if somebody got stuck? What are the steps to take to get free?
One of the worst thoughts is getting stuck in the woods alone and not being able to free a stuck snowmobile. Based on a recent expedition I was pushed to do some research on how to avoid this situation or get out of it. Slowing down in deep powder and moving in reverse are common culprits of getting stuck. Let’s look at a couple of ways that will help you the most when getting out of a sticky, snowy situation.
When may you get stuck?
If you are running through some fresh deep powder and must slow down because of some obstacles, you may find yourself stuck. Likewise, if all is well but you land in reverse trying to get around a friend or turning back for the day. The same thing could happen. These may be a couple of obvious examples to avoid but when in powder, it could happen easier than I once thought. Here are some ways I have found that really seem like they can work.
Dig Dig Dig
Always bring a shovel with you. If you are stuck the first thing is to try and dig yourself out. Dig under the front of the machine, get it as clear as possible. You want to be able to see the bottom almost. While you are doing that, dig the skis out. I am sure they are both pretty deep if we are stuck right now. Make a nice launch pad in front of the machine and get those skis free. Just a haul on the skis may be needed. Depending on what your depth and angle are under the snowmobile. When you feel things are stable and you have done what you can with the shovel. Hit the throttle and hopefully, you are home free. If not…try the next step.
Dug your heart out already and it doesn’t seem to be working? Try having a bud give you a pull. You should have a nice launch area still and have a friend grab onto the ski loop while you push the gas and give it a go. As always, you should be out in the winter with friends, it is safer and more enjoyable. If you have a lot of friends, it could be easier. If you have one friend, it is still possible. This is a pretty successful technique that many have used. Friends are there for you when you need them.
Shake’n’Bake is exactly that. Grab onto your bars and start hauling left and right while thrusting the throttle. You may just inch forward but if you inch and inch then you may get a mile. Shake and inch and you may be able to pop out of anything. Try putting some weight on the track using your body. Maybe this will give you some grip in the deep snow. Shake and jump and jiggle that thing free!
Stop, drop, and roll
A more advanced technique would be the roll. From what I can see, if you are on an incline you have a chance to roll, you may have to get the machine parallel to the decline of the hill by lifting the track a little. After that is done you can grab the bars and give it a pull. Trying to get the snowmobile to roll out of the hole it was in and back onto the tracks and skis that will get it out. Make sure you are clear of the machine as it will automatically roll downhill with no control. The last thing we need now is a broken leg. Most of the time there is no cell service out here. If you are in deep, untouched, powder. There may not be many humans around either. It is possible that this is just part one of your steps that day, but it can be a great start.
Build a platform
Staying on the decline situation. You can build a platform under the machine through the powder if you are on a hill. Dig yourself a nice big platform down the hill from your snowmobile, almost like digging into the hill. Take the time to really set up a nice spot. The more time you spend making this platform, the higher your success rate will be when you try to get out. You will have to haul the Polaris by the skis into the trench you have made, so make it count. After the platform is built, maybe three times the size of the machine you are on that day. After you have a nice launching pad in front as well. Grab the ski loop and haul down the hill into the platform. It should be easy if you have done it right. Then give a little gas to see if you are going to be able to ride out. If you can, on your way.
Peace of mind
These are some steps that have given me peace of mind moving forward with friends. Now that I am educated on situations that can happen and how to get out of them, I feel better going deeper and having longer trips with friends. If I go out alone it is possible I don’t stray too far, but now I have more knowledge and my family isn’t as worried when I decide to hit the beaten path on my own! Hopefully you and your friends and family feel the same way after reading this! Safe travels!