Snowmobiling on a Budget
A different approach of thinking
This article is about an alternative planning approach to Snowmobiling in Ontario
Depending on your stage in life with snowmobiling, you may or may not relate to my article...but here goes! What if you sold your $20,000 snowmobile and $15,000 trailer and tried a different approach. Have you considered purchasing a $3000-$4000 low-budget sled, then trailering it once only into Northern Ontario and leaving it there for the winter or the entire year. Or maybe, just purchase a sled from within a Northern-Ontario small-town and not even worry about the one-time trailer run. That's right, find a small community in Northern Ontario, preferably in the snowbelt, then negotiate with a home-owner a permanent storage place for your sled. We have many small towns in Northern Ontario and some of the citizens are looking for ways to generate extra cash. With the surplus money you'll be saving, I'm sure you can provide an attractive donation to the home-owner. Jump in the SUV and head north for an extended weekend of sledding, then back home to work for Tuesday.
Snowmobile from November to May
Northern Ontario has an abundance of crown land and depending on where you place yourself in the province, you could be riding from late November to early May. North of Sault Ste. Marie, we are able to do so. I am fully aware, there are other places in the northern part of the province where you can do the same. Should you decide to participate in organized snowmobiling, you can still get your permit and take in the trails when they become available.
Many years ago, in my prime of snowmobiling, I was buying new sleds every 2nd year. It was great to rack up 5000+ miles each winter with all my riding buddies. Unfortunately it was a selfish act and an expense for the rest of my family. Instead of having a healthy bank account for the entire family, it was a draining hobby. Then, a transition took place. I decided to hang onto my snowmobile and prolong it's life by doing maintenance and repairs. Soon, the bank account started to flourish, no more bank loans. Then, I moved from organized snowmobiling to bush trail riding. That was an additional cost saving, not because of any trail pass purchase or lack of, but the amount of fuel you save. Although organized snowmobiling is an absolute pleasure, bush riding also has its own, unique alure. You can still put in a full day of sledding but at a much slower pace. There's something about being in the bush where you are off-the-beaten path while taking in unique challenges and wondering where the next logging road or bush trail is going to take you.
Author: Dan Kachur - https://sled-x.ca