Be prepared and act responsibly during winter recreation

February 2, 2017 - 8:08 am

Recent winter storms brought plentiful amounts of snow to the White Mountains creating a prime time for winter recreation on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. There are plenty of activities to do in the winter to help squelch that cabin fever, but it’s imperative to be prepared and recreate responsibly.

Winter recreation preparation tips:

  1. Dress warm: wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing
  2. Carry food and water: have a supply of high energy snacks and bottles of water
  3. Have survival items readily available: flashlight, batteries, blankets, first aid kit, knife, matches, extra clothes
  4. Check the weather before you leave: weather can change rapidly no matter what time of year
  5. Make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back, cell phone coverage throughout the forest is spotty at best

Snowmobiling can be an exhilarating and adventurous way to get some fresh air in the winter, but can also be dangerous if they are not used responsibly.

Tips for responsible snowmobiling:

  1. Travel at reasonable speeds
  2. Be considerate of others on the trail
  3. Yield the right of way to skiers, snowshoers and those passing or traveling uphill
  4. Comply with signs and respect barriers
  5. Be aware of unmarked hazards, obstacles and snow depth
  6. Do not disturb historical sites or wildlife habitat
  7. Don’t mix riding with alcohol or drugs
  8. Check the weather forecast and avalanche conditions
  9. If possible never ride alone

Please remember, motorized and mechanized vehicles are not allowed in area designated Wilderness. Low snow, don’t go!  Plants and soils just below the snows surface can be damaged by a snowmobiles spinning tracks. Climbing hills with low snow pack can be especially damaging.

For more information on responsible snowmobiling riding visit www.treadlightly.org.

Follow the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests on Twitter @A_SNFs or join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/apachesitgreavesnfs.  

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