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Winter Camping Discussion => General Winter Camping Discussion => : Bioguide January 15, 2018, 11:41:45 AM

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: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 15, 2018, 11:41:45 AM
Who uses a snowmobile to winter camp and when did you start using it for winter camping i.e. before or after hauling a traditional toboggan/sled to winter camp?

Are there any members here that snowmobile and winter camp in the Adirondacks in NYS?

I have more questions but I'll start with these.

If this subject shouldn't be included on this site Hoop just let me know and I or certanly you can remove it.

: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: AunNordDuNord January 15, 2018, 11:56:51 AM
Ha man, there you go, all down hill from here.... hahahaha

I couldn't help you, other than I did my share of skidooing... Mainly to break trail when I was still out east running dogs.  We did a trip last year for bison hunting and we had 2 sleds for the 3 of us and I have to say you cover a lot of milles in a short time... Lots of people up here do use sleds to get to places like these friends of mine https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/26165443_10155684182436195_6915144320430848549_n.jpg?oh=5d6c7d6af49d5ea2fb297a9bf8e40d91&oe=5ADD6FF7
They have two machine for the four of them....

But I heard lots of horror stories about machine break down to far to walk out, machine stuck in frozen slush, machine gone through the ice................ And that is enough reason for me to stay away from them as well as the prohibitive price to buy one(that will take you back out of the bush) and maintain them!!

That said, there is hundreds of them up here doing it, maybe not for extended camping trips, but for a day or two, like trappers, surveyors etc...
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: GearFreak January 15, 2018, 12:09:49 PM
I am trying to - but currently we have had very cold temps and a lack of snow.  Add to that the fact that I cannot seem to line up work & home responsibilities to get any time off and the machine sits.  Have not even been out on the local trails - I got in a 20 min ride when Elk hunting but that's it so far.  I have some great plans - but need the planets to align.  Sadly, I have not even been out for one night since mid June.

I think the goal of this site is clear - as long as it does not go too far OT I assume Hoop is ok with the odd post/thread.  Mew lake car camping trips are allowed - not much difference there.  My Moon lake trips helped me build the confidence to do more in a safe manner.

ANDN makes very good points - a reliable machine is going to cost you $ and you have to learn how to start it when it doesn't want to go.  Most groups advise strongly against snowmobiling alone for the very reason that they can get you in trouble really fast. 
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay January 15, 2018, 01:08:12 PM
I think it's fine to post stuff about winter camping from skidoos....it's just another aspect of wintercamping.  Here's my post from last year.
http://www.wintertrekking.com/community/index.php?topic=4358.msg39652#msg39652
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 15, 2018, 02:03:41 PM
I think it's fine to post stuff about winter camping from skidoos....it's just another aspect of wintercamping.  Here's my post from last year.
http://www.wintertrekking.com/community/index.php?topic=4358.msg39652#msg39652

Thanks ANDN and GearFreak for your comments.

memaquay, I recall reading your trip report and it was good to read it again... it intrigue's me to think about owing a machine to enjoy winter camping trips like in your post.

I'll have to look into the laws here in the Adirondacks regarding going "off trail" or at least off trail on a lake to access camping locations that are abundant on several lakes that allow snowmobiles. I know the law here on public land allows you to set up camp anywhere there is a designated site or you can camp anywhere as long as you are located 150' from any body of water, stream, road, or trail. This is a pretty liberal law IMO and well there are over 1,800 miles of snowmobile trails in the Adirondack Park and one could essentially just park along the trail and back off into the woods 150' to set up camp.


: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: rbinhood January 15, 2018, 02:23:11 PM
Bought a Skidoo Tundra for ice fishing last year. $4000+. Started it once over the summer before. Went to start it again, and over 5 gallons of gas ran out of the carbs due to a stuck needle valve. Took it into the shop and get the report. Needle valves are fixed for $250, but now we think you have a fried cylinder. Another $900 later, I have a machine that I used once to ice fish last winter.

They are expensive and finicky. Haven't tried to camp with it yet, but it has crossed my mind. I got my pulk stuck in slush last year and about died trying to pull if off the lake. That made me think maybe there is an easier way to haul all of my stuff. Some places are wilderness, and you can't take in any kind of motorized device without risking high fines.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay January 15, 2018, 03:10:13 PM
Up here in Northern Ontario, we go wherever we want in the bush, there are no restrictions.  Skidoo trips of 100 miles or more are not unusual.  We are planning one for March that will probably be at least a hundred miles round trip.  If we did get into trouble, we could still manage to get out, perhaps without one of the sleds.

rbinhood, what year was your tundra?  The old ones like mine are very simple, one piston, only 269 cc's.  I changed the fuel pump on mine, 40 bucks and five minutes. I keep a spare fuel pump with the tools, although I expect this one will last me for the rest of its life.  The old tundras, if lightly used, are very reliable.  My buddie's 1990 is still going strong, he hasn't done a thing to it.

However, if you think getting stuck with your pulk in slush is bad, wait till you get a skidoo stuck.  It's very bad.  The big new sleds with 800cc's and 2 inch paddles can power right through it, but not the old ones.

I'm looking forward to setting up a semi-permanent base camp about 6 miles from my place, and old prospector tent and stove so I can zip out on my sled after work and do some ice fishing and chillaxing.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bothwell Voyageur January 15, 2018, 03:15:17 PM
OK so please don't take this personally but..

I know folk are gonna cry "not in my case" and "we know better" but from what I have seen the easier it is for folks to get access to the wilderness then the more likely it will be to see environmental impacts. This can range from small things like garbage right the way up to illegal hunting though of course I'm not accusing anyone on here of that. Then there is the noise thing. Last thing i want to hear all weekend is is a load of whining engines or a big group out partying late into the night. And last week someone blew out there cooling system along a local river dumping antifreeze all over the ice. Nice!

Snowmobiles can also rip up a trail so much as to make hauling more difficult though of course I do enjoy hauling on a good packed trail as well so there are two sides to that coin. I have also encountered sections of portage trails where snowmobiles have cut down through thin snow to expose bare rocks and dirt. Not only is this a pain in the butt for hauling but can also damage the trail and lead to increased erosion in the spring.

Manual hauling is generally sufficiently miserable that it is self limiting, does snowmobile powered camping just make things potentially too easy?
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay January 15, 2018, 03:26:35 PM
I used to hate skidoos too.  However, my family genetics have caught up to me.  At 56, I thought I had escaped my dad's prolific heart problems, but alas, I have something going on too.   Cardiologist has ordered me not to "exert" myself, which is pretty hard not to do when you have been living an active life. So for now anyway (maybe I'll get a couple of stents and be as good as new) I'll be on the sled if I want to winter camp.

The skidooers you refer to are not my pals.  We skidoo to parts unknown, to get away from people, especially the kind on skidoos, lol.  If I found a winter camper who had man-hauled into one of those places, I wouldn't know whether to shake his hand or run away, as he would either be a bush guru, or a fugitive from justice.  We are not bound to certain trails and such not in N. Ontario, so we are usually far off the beaten track.

And I hate it when skidoos go on my snowshoe trails too.  Keep off them damn trails!
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bothwell Voyageur January 15, 2018, 03:36:24 PM
I can see why you do it, especially where you live and good on you for getting out there still but the other folk often follow trails they see.

I guess it is more of a problem round here, but the quads and skidoos seem to be everywhere, along with empty beer cans, two stroke bottles and shotgun cartridges.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 15, 2018, 04:28:43 PM
I too use to despise motor boats and snowmobiles (maybe because I couldn't afford them back then) but I'll be 60 in a couple of months and well... I'm looking to enjoy the remaining time I have and not necessarily make it all a brutal workout. On my last trip "that wasn't" getting bogged down in the slush got me thinking pretty hard...

In the Adirondacks snowmobiles are limited to specific areas in the Park and there are a lot of "wilderness" areas that are strictly designated as non-motorized land and water just for the hiker and paddlers.

I don't think snowmobiles will or have made it "easy" for winter campers as I believe most snowmobiles like their creature comforts at the end of the day... if anything is making it easy for winter campers, or at least presenting the appearance of being easy, are the boom in all the winter camping symposiums and advertisement in winter gear etc. Although to me it seems this is attracting the winter car camper more than the back-country camper; not that I'm really a true back-county camper myself... just my opinion/observation.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay January 15, 2018, 05:10:44 PM
Not to get too far off topic, but after years of paddling and portaging, I went motorized this summer too. Built myself a square stern with a little 2.5 horse motor.  Not saying I won't ever paddle again, but once I got over myself, I sure had a ton of fun with the motor canoe.  You young fellers will get there someday too.

(https://i.imgur.com/Ow1AH4U.jpg)
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: rbinhood January 15, 2018, 06:36:24 PM
I'm 62, almost 63. I like to think I am in good shape, but at the same time I know I could be in better shape. I have a friend who is a gym rat and probably has about the same body fat level as when he graduated from high school 45 years ago. The day I got stuck in the slush, he was with me and panting just as hard as I was. Made me feel better that I wasn't the only one struggling.

The sad reality is, I know I won't be able to haul sled 10 years from now the same way I am able to today. Some compensation and motorized assistance will likely be involved at some point in the future. I hope that day is as long off as possible, but its arrival is all but assured. When it finally comes, the choice will be stay home because I can't do it by myslef anymore, or keep on going, but with help. All I know is, I sure don't want to die sitting in a barca lounger in front of the TV. I'd rather go out pulling my sled accross a frozen lake.

: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bothwell Voyageur January 15, 2018, 06:56:19 PM
Sorry, it am certainly being unfair to the motorized contingency on here. Most of the winter impact I see is certainly from day trippers, folk just passing through and like you say almost no one will be staying out overnight. Who needs to camp when you have a space ship to take you there and back in a day?

Hopefully all these symposia and workshops will include something about the environmental impact of winter camping, particularly in araes that see relatively heavy use in summer as well as winter. Unfortunately governments are often way behind he curve with environmental regulation. Trying to clean up afterwards instead of taking preventative measures before damage is done.

Unfortunately motor boats are another thing altogether. There are a number of beautiful lakes here trashed by the motor in and camp crowd. A lot of them will camp just once a year or even less, leave garbage and poop back in the woods and head back home to tell their friends what great outdoors folk they are. The first portages doesn't seem to stop them. They haul in boats with sleds during the winter then abandon them when they get too old and begin to leak.

One thing to think about though. I used to hike up Scottish mountains until I got too old and fat. Should I now be allowed to drive my 4x4 up to the top?
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay January 15, 2018, 07:39:53 PM
Should I now be allowed to drive my 4x4 up to the top?
I'd say only if it is allowed.  There is common sense in all these things.  There are areas that restrict motorized travel of any kind, and there are areas that are heavily abused.  One of the areas that I saw that received the most abuse came from paddlers on the French River.  No motor boats were involved.  Every square inch of land on the long weekend in August was covered in brown and white flowers, only they weren't flowers, unless there is a new classification involving toilet paper.

Many wilderness areas stay wilderness because they are just too far away for people to go to in a day.  That's what it's like around me, except for the fact that huge swaths of forest are being cut down in the areas i used to play in.  When you see a pristine area that you have used for 30 years completely cut over, the idea about how you get there becomes pretty minor.  There are worse things than the occasional skidoo or boat.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: AunNordDuNord January 15, 2018, 07:44:46 PM
Sorry, it am certainly being unfair to the motorized contingency on here. Most of the winter impact I see is certainly from day trippers, folk just passing through and like you say almost no one will be staying out overnight. Who needs to camp when you have a space ship to take you there and back in a day?

Hopefully all these symposia and workshops will include something about the environmental impact of winter camping, particularly in araes that see relatively heavy use in summer as well as winter. Unfortunately governments are often way behind he curve with environmental regulation. Trying to clean up afterwards instead of taking preventative measures before damage is done.

Unfortunately motor boats are another thing altogether. There are a number of beautiful lakes here trashed by the motor in and camp crowd. A lot of them will camp just once a year or even less, leave garbage and poop back in the woods and head back home to tell their friends what great outdoors folk they are. The first portages doesn't seem to stop them. They haul in boats with sleds during the winter then abandon them when they get too old and begin to leak.

One thing to think about though. I used to hike up Scottish mountains until I got too old and fat. Should I now be allowed to drive my 4x4 up to the top?



I'm with you on all you said. Up here you can go where ever you damn wish with these machine and I have to say probably 99% of them they don't give a rats ass about anything other then them self and the fun they're having, same goes for quads,  Argos, and jet boats, they are al the same people that usually want more access to further places in a hurry cause they don't have time... They wreck trails, forest, river banks, delicate ecosystems no matter what they say, they mostly think the same way as the rest and certainly act the same. But there is a few out there that show respect.... But not many!!
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: rbinhood January 15, 2018, 07:49:04 PM
BV- No. And if I get to the point where I am using a motorized sled to get in and out, it will not be to some pristine location populated by those who still can move by human power alone.

I have greatly struggled with the idea of using a snomobile, because at some point it means having to admit that I am getting older, and experiencing the physical decline that invariably comes with aging. Who ever wants to admit that? But, whether we all want to admit it or not, as Memaquay says, we will all be there some day.

I think there are ways to use motorized transport responsibly and ecologically. Trying to do that will limit options, but I accept those limitations and I will stay within carefully thought out boundaries that impose as little as possible on others.

There are too many people on the face of the earth already. Each of us, by simple virtue of living, leaves some impact, some way. Short of dying, there is no absolute way to stop the impact each of us has on the earth and its resources. I take steps to minimize my impact by recycling, not littering, participating in silent sports like snowshoeing, canoeing, mountain and snow biking, hiking, rowing, and simply walking instead of driving a car.

Bottom line is, we all have to make choices. Hopefully, the choices we make will not prevent others from making their own choices, because our choices preclude theirs.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: AunNordDuNord January 15, 2018, 07:51:01 PM
well said rbinhood!!
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: GearFreak January 15, 2018, 07:55:55 PM
Interesting discussion.  The best quote I read recently was on, of all things, Hard Core Sledders.  It read:

"Everyone wants to enjoy themselves but doesn’t want anyone else to. It’s getting ridiculous."

Agreed that when you use motorized equipment it is easier to bring stuff with you, its also easier to bring it back out.  It is the lack of education not the method of transport that causes the majority of the damage. 

Some areas, like Mantrario, should be non motorized.  Humans can't get along in a parking lot - why is the bush any different. 
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: rbinhood January 15, 2018, 07:56:11 PM
Memaquay, that is one fine looking canoe! Beautiful craftsmanship.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 15, 2018, 08:00:51 PM
They haul in boats with sleds during the winter then abandon them when they get too old and begin to leak.

One thing to think about though. I used to hike up Scottish mountains until I got too old and fat. Should I now be allowed to drive my 4x4 up to the top?

I agree with a lot of what you have pointed out BV. Here's a video related to your abandon boat statement. I was pretty disappointed on this trip: https://youtu.be/R4FY7eXxb6g

Regarding your Scottish mountains and 4 x 4: is it legal, i.e. sanctioned by the government, to drive up those Scottish Mountains? Is so, then go for it.

As I pointed out... here in the Adirondack Park there are motorized areas and non-motorized areas. I wouldn't think of driving my 4 x 4 or putting my 60 hp outboard on a lake in a non-motorized area. It seems to me that governments should/do try to provide designated areas by regulating the area for their citizens so that their citizens can experience and utilize these areas using a variety of transportation modes all the while trying to protect the environment to a degree... it's a balancing act for sure and most likely it's a loosing one at that...
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bothwell Voyageur January 15, 2018, 08:48:46 PM
I guess what we can all agree upon is enjoy yourself, think about others and don't be an A'hole.

Not saying humans are good at the second two but maybe that should be our goal in life.

Yes, in most cases it is legal as the vast majority of the land in the UK is private because the rich folks kicked the poor folk off so they could grow sheep and shoot the occasional deer and the poor folk all came to Canada. So as the rich folk make all the laws they can do what they want regardless of the moral or ethical implications of their actions.

Sorry, that was a very potted summary of the land use issues of the last three hundred years in the UK.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 15, 2018, 08:57:28 PM
Sorry, that was a very potted summary of the land use issues of the last three hundred years in the UK.

And similar to the land use issues in North America as well. A good listen or read:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/619Lo3WmDpL._SL500_.jpg)

This is so off topic!

So, I like the Skidoo Skandic WT...thoughts anyone?
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: GearFreak January 15, 2018, 09:02:50 PM
I have watched some of the land use explanations on YT - You probably have a perspective on our crown land that many here may take for granted not knowing anything any different.

Bioguide:  Uncle bought an 08 last year for 8K.  Rides on top of the snow and as long as you keep it level and don't outdrive your abilities it will groom a track for the others.  When it does get stuck - its a beast to get unstuck. 
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay January 15, 2018, 10:17:34 PM
So, I like the Skidoo Skandic WT...thoughts anyone?
I spent five and a half hours on a skandic on Sunday grooming ski trails.  It was a 2013 550 wide track.  It has low gear and high gear and can pull a mighty load.  You sit up nice and high and it has hand warmers and all the bells and whistles.  It will be tough to get it stuck, but if you do.....good luck.  It's a big machine, and many commercial fishermen up here use them.

I was thinking of upgrading from my 97 tundra, but after breaking trail with it for miles the other day, I think I will stick with it.  It's really light, and really hard to get stuck.  You can throw it around really easy.  Once you get used to driving it, I think it's the perfect sled for winter camping.  Problem is they don't make those small sleds anymore.  The modern tundra is not similar to mine at all.  All those old sleds like the tundra, the bravo, if you can find one in good shape get it, shouldn't be more than 2 grand.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: rbinhood January 15, 2018, 10:26:58 PM
+1 on Gearfreak's and Memaquay's comments on getting the Scandik unstuck. I looked at Scandiks before I bought my Tundra, and they are a heavy beast. I talked extensively with a friend of mine who is a retired conservation warden and spent a great deal of his time in Winter on a snowmobile. He owns two Tundras, and believes they are the ideal back country, ungroomed open trail sled. He owns a place in Ontario and he says he will go practically anywhere to ice fish on the Tundras, where other people on different sleds will get buried.

I buried a Honda 450 Rancher ATV in a big slush pocket two years ago while ice fishing. Two of us struggled for a long time, to the point of exhaustion, to get that Honda out of the slush. It is the last time I took the Honda out on the ice. You do not want to get anything big and heavy buried in deep slush. You must also understand that you are standing in that stuff while you are trying to get something unstuck, and even with high boots, one wrong step and you have boots full of ice water, or worse yet, you loose your footing and fall down in that stuff and get soaked from head to toe.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 15, 2018, 10:38:09 PM
Thanks for the input.

rbinhood which Tundra, year model, do you own?
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: trapmusher January 16, 2018, 07:24:40 AM
Anyone that really wants to be a purist should walk to the destination. Those dang cars pollute a lot and the roads the require really messed up a lot of habitat. ;)

A Yamaha Bravo, long track, with ski skins is really tough to beat. They start really easily in any weather and will have no problem pulling camping gear. Not the most comfortable machine to ride but if you kneel on the bench it is fine. Good luck finding a good one around here for 2 grand. They are sought after. We had three of them. Now we have 2 and one for parts!

Tundras have a reverse which is great. But some Tundras are finicky to start. It's a carb thing. Knew a guy that had to make certain the nose of his was not pointing downhill when he parked. If it was, it wouldn't start.

The big machines are in a different class. I am semi shopping for a Skandic now. I want fan cooled. But 4 stroke or 2 stroke? The 4 strokes are VERY quiet. They sneak up on the dogs and I when we sled. But sometimes they are tough to start in the cold.

One thing about going out with one snow mobile. Never go further than you can walk. Because, if you do enough of it, one day you will walk.

: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: rbinhood January 16, 2018, 09:36:31 AM
Trapmusher--If it were me, I would go with 4 stroke. My Tundra is a 550 fan. Problem is the fan is on the side and blows crosswise over the two cylinders. The near cylinder runs cool, but the far cylinder runs hot. Guess which cylinder fried on my sled? Also, to get the two strokes to meet the emission standards, they run them very lean by using small jets in the carb. Too lean = HOT! If the carb jets get at all gummy, they shrink even more in size, causing the engine to burn up or scorch the cylinder. I did a lot of reading on Skidoo forums and learned these are common problems with the 550 2 strokes.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: lifeintheround January 16, 2018, 11:04:18 AM
I use to have a Polaris 340 long track with a 12' komatik. It worked wonderfully. That sled wieghed less than a tundra and didnt have a jack shaft so there was less to go wrong. Wish I never sold it, but I didnt have the storage space at the time. Just because you have a motor doesn't mean you have to use it irresponsibly.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: AunNordDuNord January 16, 2018, 11:13:13 AM
The problem with lots of four stokes is that they are harder to start when it is cold, like below -30c they can be a real pain in the but! Again, pros and cons hahaha
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: AunNordDuNord January 16, 2018, 11:16:18 AM
I use to have a Polaris 340 long track with a 12' komatik. It worked wonderfully. That sled wieghed less than a tundra and didnt have a jack shaft so there was less to go wrong. Wish I never sold it, but I didnt have the storage space at the time. Just because you have a motor doesn't mean you have to use it irresponsibly.

I agree with that  and there is some that are really respectful and I would think that people here on this forums would be part of these persons!!
But up here we see lots of people that leave a lot of "trace" and usually are the one that are motorized and the one that drink cheap beer  ;D
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 16, 2018, 11:41:18 AM
...usually are the one that are motorized and the one that drink cheap beer  ;D

Well I'll admit I don't drink cheap beer... anymore.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: trapmusher January 16, 2018, 12:29:56 PM
Funny story: I went for a dog sled this a.m. and getting back to the parking lot there's a guy I know. He has a Skandic, 20 inch with a 600 Ace. We chat and I ask him about the reliability of his ride. He tells me that it starts like a top even when it is cold. Cold to him is -30 c. which is pretty common.

He then asks me if I want to try his machine. 

It wouldn't start! I had a booster pack in my truck. No go. Must be a relay. He went back home. He was supposed to be going to his camp 16 clicks away.

My dogs started and ran quite well. 8)
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Forse07 January 16, 2018, 12:38:31 PM
I feel lucky being close to an area where I could use a snowmobile if I wanted to or I can go to an area where they are not allowed. I have never used a snowmobile to winter camp but at some point I may want to. As for now I prefer to have the silence and seclusion and I enjoy the physical challenge of getting to an area that isn't easy to get to. I do agree that sites with easier access tend to get trashed more often and take more abuse which is really sad.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Quinn January 16, 2018, 12:54:44 PM
We have a 2011ish skandic swt with the 800 four stroke.  It's a beast and you'd be screwed if you got it stuck, but man it would take a lot to get stuck with it.  I never have besides pulling heavy grooming equipment on steep hills.  The closest I've come was driving down the lake with a giant rooster tail of slush behind me.

It spends most of it's time in the winter outdoors, and rarely doesn't start.  There have been a few times at -25f that I've had to wait for it to warm up a bit, but over all it's a pretty reliable starter.  Anecdotally not any worse than the 550f it replaced. 

The newer gen skandics with the forward riding position and Alum frame feel like a much smaller sled.  They're still heavy but much more manageable.

We have a tundra with the 600 ace as well, that is a great way to get around.  We haven't had it long enough to get stuck with it.

In the non-motorized BWCA go out in the spring and you can find a good bit of evidence that plenty of non-snowmobiling campers are pretty irresponsible in regards to their impact on the land.  Overall a very small percentage, but they do a surprising amount of damage.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: kinguq January 16, 2018, 01:13:42 PM
I gave up snowmobiling when I left Nunavut. Had enough of it there. Damaged my back and suffered some hearing loss because of the noise. But there it was a way of life.

For deep snow, forest trailbreaking, it seems to me all the new machines are too big and heavy. They just don't make lightweight machines any more, like the old Elan, Tundra and Bravo. (I realize they still make a Tundra but it is totally different from what it used to be).

A friend of mine in Yellowknife has just bought one of these. https://snowdog.com/

They are a Russian machine with a Briggs and Stratton engine. Quite light, slow, low power and inexpensive. If I was going to get a snowmobile, I might get one of these. I can just see one pulling a line of Wintertrekkers toboggans to a nice secluded camping area.

But for now, I am happy to be on skis or snowshoes, without the bother and fuss of an engine. I am getting older, so maybe someday.

Kinguq.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bothwell Voyageur January 16, 2018, 01:26:21 PM
The Snowdog reminds me of the tracked power barrows used for path maintenance on some of the hill paths in the UK. Many years ago they used to use ponies but these things are more reliable and take less looking after.

Now if they would integrate some of that drone technology so you could walk along behind and it wave your arms to tell it where to turn.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: GearFreak January 16, 2018, 01:43:23 PM
For deep snow, forest trailbreaking, it seems to me all the new machines are too big and heavy. They just don't make lightweight machines any more, like the old Elan, Tundra and Bravo. (I realize they still make a Tundra but it is totally different from what it used to be).


One reason I went with my sled.  Fan Cooled, two stroke, 15x136 track and "comparably light"  I learned much last year and now I can get it out and back going before the skandic and WT drivers turned around and noticed I wasn't behind them.   I can go camping & Ice fishing and ride the trails with someone.

One trick I learned this past year to get it going on  -30 morning after sitting all night.  Remove the plugs to the stove for a bit.  Pour a bit of two stroke mix in the cylinder, pull the rope a few times to loosen everything up.  Add a bit of mixed fuel, reinstall the now warm plugs and pull.  Fired.

Not as reliable as dogs - but then it won't eat half your goose sausages off the counter when you go fetch the next tray.  (It will eat your bank account though)
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: ravinerat January 17, 2018, 04:29:42 PM
So snowmobiles. There are so many thoughts on them. To me it is a form of transportation. Whether you get to the trail head in a car, snowmobile or a bus it's all the same. People look at the renegade of snowmobiling and generalize them as all of us. Just like the Antis generalize all hunters as cruel and inhumain. It's not the vehicle they drive its the disregard those ppl have for others.

Snowmobiles come in different models for different purposes. Trail sleds and Utilitiy sleds. The most abundant are trail sleds. The Utility sleds are the work sleds fishermen, hunters, trappers and companies use. They are made to go off trail and usually have longer tracks.

Each province governs them differently. This is a 3 billion industry in Canada and 2 billion of that is in Ontario. Here in Ontario we have the OFSC. Our trsil are like highways connecting communities across the province. Anyway. I could go on and on about organized snowmobiling but really want to address the original question.

I use a snowmobile for winter camping. Currently I have a 2011 Tundra Lt 5f. 154" track with 10" ski skins. I'vs yet to get stuck and I have tried. I have an Equionox trail boggon to haul my gear. I too am almost 60 yrs old and boddy failing. Back, hip Arthritis. I am  still skiing and snowshoeing but who knows how long. The great thing about the snowmobole is it gets me far back and away from all ppl. Most ppl who haul gear by hand don't go that far from the highway. We are doing a trip this nth and hauling by hand.

Lots of ppl get a sour taste from buying an old snowmobile and have nothing but problems. Improper storage in the spring leading to blown piston the following winter. No different than buying a 20 year old car that no one kept up on proper maintenance and just drove it.

No sure if the post is still here but I did a post on getting stuck and how to get yourself out. It was picked up and posted an numerous snowmobile sites and fishing sites. I find snowmobiles the most unprepared group and travel the most remote wilderness. Dootalk is a great site to talk to ppl who use snowmobiles as a way of life. Places like Labrador, Que, Alaska to Norway. Both yar Tundra and Skandic sections have everything you ever wanted to know.

I have also done a thread on snowmobile camping a few years ago.

RR
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: ravinerat January 17, 2018, 04:34:30 PM
Sorry for all the spelling errors. New tablet with small keys and bad back pain. House bound for a bit now.

RR
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 17, 2018, 05:20:41 PM
Good discussion everyone. Thanks for your replies I've learned a bit especially the fact that heavier machines may not be the best machine with the potential of having to get it unstuck thus one of the reason for looking for an older lighter model. Although as ravinerat and some others have pointed out to me an older model is just that... old and most likely pretty well used. I'm not one to take the time nor would I have the knowledge base to properly evaluate the purchase of an older, pre 2000 Tundra, Elan, Bravo, etc, and I certainly don't posses the ability to do any major engine repairs if need be. That said I do pride myself on my "jerry rigging" and "what would MacGyver do" fix it ability but as far a mechanical repair... notta. It's limited to spark-plug and oil/filter changes. So that brings me to potentially purchasing a new machine.

I should mention in addition to hauling a sled with camping gear I would, at times, have my wife with me and the sled would need to carry the two of us.

So, if money wasn't a concern and you were going to buy a sled to haul gear for winter camping and another person which sled and what size engine would you purchase?

Thanks for the consideration. Cheers.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: GearFreak January 17, 2018, 06:46:35 PM
So, if money wasn't a concern and you were going to buy a sled to haul gear for winter camping and another person which sled and what size engine would you purchase?

two options:

I would get two nearly new sleds & a trailer for the same budget - unless the other person was adamantly never going to drive it.  My kid tells me that she really only sees my back - not the scenery. 

Otherwise I would get this  http://www.polaris.com/en-ca/snowmobiles/550-widetrak-lx
 or
https://ca.www.arcticcat.com/snow/sleds/model/2018-en-ca-bearcat-2000-lt-es/

probably lean more toward the cat - but I just love the look of the polaris.  Ya gotta like what you got.

My must haves were:
Electric start, Reverse, not liquid, good shape body wise, low KM, and I checked it out as best as I could.  Having said that it cost 2400 to rebuild the engine after a 15 min ride. 

I think you are looking at 4-6K for a reliable used sled.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: ravinerat January 17, 2018, 06:48:39 PM
Skidoo Expedition. Comes in 550fan, 600 Ace 900 Ace which are 4 stroke.  Eavh has a different. The 550 and the 600 Ace have the same Hp. The 900 Ace has the no and the gas range.

Another note on older sleds anything under year 2000 is starting to get hard to find parts.

Go to dootalk and poke around in the Tundra and Skandic forms.

RR
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay January 17, 2018, 08:11:32 PM
So, if money wasn't a concern and you were going to buy a sled to haul gear for winter camping and another person which sled and what size engine would you purchase?

For what you describe, I'd probably get the skandic with a seating rack on the back, or a super wide skandic(24 inch track)

I have only got the skandic stuck once, that was going uphill, pulling a very heavy cross country ski drag.  It was my fault, because I let off the gas at the wrong moment. However, as soon as I undid the drag, I was "unstuck".

One of my students helps his dad with commercial ice fishing.  They drag 1000 pound fish boxes out of the lakes, etc.  He said they had two skandics blow the motors within a couple of days of each other....both had 14,000 kilometers on them.  That's almost 10,000 mies.  He said they just fed them gas and oil before that.   Unless trail riding is your hobbie, you will probably never come close to putting half that amount of miles on your sled in the remainder of your life.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: AunNordDuNord January 17, 2018, 11:38:02 PM
I'd go skandic too.... Or maybe when they figure the Yamaha Vk 540 https://www.yamaha-motor.ca/products/details-build-price.php?model=4919&group=SM&catId=119  it used to be a great machine that they brought back a few years ago, but I heard they've been having a few hiccups... Simple machine made for the bush!! Not too big, not too heavy...
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: trapmusher January 18, 2018, 06:50:28 AM
I'd go skandic too.... Or maybe when they figure the Yamaha Vk 540 https://www.yamaha-motor.ca/products/details-build-price.php?model=4919&group=SM&catId=119  it used to be a great machine that they brought back a few years ago, but I heard they've been having a few hiccups... Simple machine made for the bush!! Not too big, not too heavy...

I have an old VK540. It's a tank but I really don't like it unless I am hauling wood. The first reason why is because it was really tough to start in cold weather until I had a primer installed on the carborator. The second is that it is a really tough to turn machine.  You build up muscle mass using the steering.

But if you have a sled of logs to haul, it is great.

For what most people on here seem to do a Snow Dog is probably enough. Compact, no license plate or helmet stuff .... and simple.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: ravinerat January 18, 2018, 08:34:21 AM
You know there are good used sleds out there. Really helps to know about sleds when looking. Low milage, maintance records. You can tell when you go look at it. Most two strokes are going to need the top end rebuilt around 14000 km. That's why you see so many with 10000 km for sale.

For years I did everything on a 98 Grandtouring 500. Wider skis, 136" track. It worked but wasn't perfect. A fan cooled sled would be best for you due to the low speeds you'll be travelling. Liquid cooled sleds need lots of snow on the heat exchangers and cool temps to keep it from over heating.

I had a Tundra 300. Great sled but not enough power at times. Especially when jumping pressure cracks on the lake.
Went to a 2011 Tundra 550f. Enough power but poor gas range.
Went to a 2011 Renegade 600 Ace four stroke. I was always trying to turn it into a Tundra. Hard for me to service as everything is encased.
Traded it to a guy looking for a 4 stroke and he gave me his 2011 Tundra LT 550f. With 10" ski skins, widening kit, 154" track and a few extras. I love this sled.mdoes everything I need except fuel range.

RR
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Hutchy January 20, 2018, 09:19:34 AM
After one of my trapping sleds got a bit long in the tooth I picked up a polaris voyageur 155 550 fan. Hauls everything I need to trapping and if I need to camp on my line it works perfect. Simple engine, starts at thirty below and with 155 inches of track refuses to get stuck. Also I can easily lift either end. I made a homemade covered sleigh for it modeled after the northern sledworks crossfox model.

Always bring snowshoes regardless. Never know what can happen. Another great addition is a thing called a powderjack. It is a lightweight jack that mounts on the running boards. Lifting a sled is easy until the track gets mired in slush or sunk in a beaver swamp. A powderjack lets you jack it up and cut poles to drive out on. Saved me a couple times.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Hutchy January 20, 2018, 09:53:55 AM
Another thing about the four stroke sleds. No pull start. Extra batteries, jumper kits etc work, but I like my two stroke because of the pull start. It has electric also, but it is peace of mind. Miles from anywhere with a dead battery sucks. Heavy sleds and the need for extra batteries, winches etc mean more weight carried all around. My powderjack weighs exactly five lbs and aside from my axe, leatherman and small tool kit is all I bring. Aside from trapping related stuff of course. Lots of guys I know with skandics bring chainsaws, chain, winches...lots of stuff. Whike I bring a chainsaw for under ice beaver trapping its only for that. Remember, guys used to trap and travel off trail for years with elans. And they managed just fine. I feel like trapping and winter camping functionally are the same with regards to snowmobiles.

In regards to littering, people who snowshoe have a generally better appreciation of nature than those in motorized endavours. This is coming from a lifelong snowmobile, atv, and boat enthusiast.  I prefer snowmobiling because you still are able to leave no trace aside from the occasional stud mark on an exposed rock. I still snowshoe camp, and for strictly camping prefer it. It saddens me to be canoeing through a flood or pond to set traps and come across a burned out firepit full of beer cans that could have only been left by the local yahoo snowmobilers. I get a sort of revenge however whenever a group of them atempt to follow my trapping trails. My sled floats over soft spots and I know which sections of creek require more speed due to thin ice. They generally get stuck long before anyone gets in real bad however its always amusing to see the story in the snow. Lol.

off trail snowmobiling be it either a day trip or camping is always rewarding and I encourage everyone to try it. Just remember that the means of travel doesnt change how you should respect the area you are traveling in
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: AunNordDuNord January 20, 2018, 12:41:36 PM
Another thing about the four stroke sleds. No pull start. Extra batteries, jumper kits etc work, but I like my two stroke because of the pull start. It has electric also, but it is peace of mind. Miles from anywhere with a dead battery sucks. Heavy sleds and the need for extra batteries, winches etc mean more weight carried all around. My powderjack weighs exactly five lbs and aside from my axe, leatherman and small tool kit is all I bring. Aside from trapping related stuff of course. Lots of guys I know with skandics bring chainsaws, chain, winches...lots of stuff. Whike I bring a chainsaw for under ice beaver trapping its only for that. Remember, guys used to trap and travel off trail for years with elans. And they managed just fine. I feel like trapping and winter camping functionally are the same with regards to snowmobiles.

In regards to littering, people who snowshoe have a generally better appreciation of nature than those in motorized endavours. This is coming from a lifelong snowmobile, atv, and boat enthusiast.  I prefer snowmobiling because you still are able to leave no trace aside from the occasional stud mark on an exposed rock. I still snowshoe camp, and for strictly camping prefer it. It saddens me to be canoeing through a flood or pond to set traps and come across a burned out firepit full of beer cans that could have only been left by the local yahoo snowmobilers. I get a sort of revenge however whenever a group of them atempt to follow my trapping trails. My sled floats over soft spots and I know which sections of creek require more speed due to thin ice. They generally get stuck long before anyone gets in real bad however its always amusing to see the story in the snow. Lol.

off trail snowmobiling be it either a day trip or camping is always rewarding and I encourage everyone to try it. Just remember that the means of travel doesnt change how you should respect the area you are traveling in

Well said Hutchy, lots of good in there!! And before Elan, people were walking and had dogs, usually 2 to 4 big dogs to pull the gear, most of the time they would be breaking trail fro the dogs and really seldom would they ride the planks.... But as human nature is we always want more, bigger, faster, lighter, but we want more, Human are really greedy and that is what kills us... I'm no different :'(

: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: southcove January 20, 2018, 02:25:08 PM

In regards to littering, people who snowshoe have a generally better appreciation of nature than those in motorized endavours. This is coming from a lifelong snowmobile, atv, and boat enthusiast.  I prefer snowmobiling because you still are able to leave no trace aside from the occasional stud mark on an exposed rock. I still snowshoe camp, and for strictly camping prefer it. It saddens me to be canoeing through a flood or pond to set traps and come across a burned out firepit full of beer cans that could have only been left by the local yahoo snowmobilers. I get a sort of revenge however whenever a group of them atempt to follow my trapping trails. My sled floats over soft spots and I know which sections of creek require more speed due to thin ice. They generally get stuck long before anyone gets in real bad however its always amusing to see the story in the snow. Lol.

off trail snowmobiling be it either a day trip or camping is always rewarding and I encourage everyone to try it. Just remember that the means of travel doesnt change how you should respect the area you are traveling in

+1 on that!  Especially the last line.

I love my toys, don't get me wrong, I used to race MX and ride off road all over southern CA, desert, dunes, etc.  But only where it was permitted and always with respect and thought to the next folks to follow along after me.  I still ride an off road bike but common sense still rules the day.

We've had several camps in parts of the ADKs of NY 'disturbed' by snowmobilers while we were out snowshoeing or ice fishing...meaning they went round and round our tents checking out our encampment...bit disturbing to say the least.  Or been approached by a pack of riders on a road or trail that was clearly marked as off limits to motorized vehicles of any sort.  You have to bite your tongue since your cars or trucks are parked and easily ID'd back at the trailhead (those being the one's w/o trailers...).   Anyone know Lake Lila?!

I have had just as many encounters that have been warm and respectful, most just wave or if they do stop, are interested in the whole winter camping deal.   When you are hoofing it, the noise, the smell can be disturbing but its gone soon enough, typically.    Daresay if I was a sledder, I'd still be winter camping, though I can't imagine I'd have much to comment about as far as my bipedal powered fellow campers.  Just the way that sort of thing seems to go.  Power vs human power.  Been there, done that.

While I don't ever expect to own or run dogs, there is something about that way of travel, for recreational purposes, that really speaks to my sense of adventure. 

: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: fisherman January 20, 2018, 02:27:42 PM
ive never owned a sled (maybe someday) but a friend of mine in the past has
flown me into the bush on a few occasions

while its true sleds can take you in further/ faster and
generally more remote, doesn't always equate to being less people

due to geography some lakes are completely inaccessible to atvs,sleds.
(some are sweet spec lakes :P)

thats a good point Hutch on the power jack as well as other
extrication tools. cant recall what my buddy used to bring but looked
more like a winch/ratchet thing.

the one year he got the steel tool cage  pinched between some narrowly positioned trees,
fortunately he was able to free himself and return home safely. could have been a serious situation.
this was after dropping me off and i had no idea it had even happened.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bothwell Voyageur January 23, 2018, 09:49:31 AM
We were out in Riding Mtn National Park at the weekend. On one of our day hikes we came across the tracks left by the ranger patrolling on a snowmobile. By the paw prints and urine marking the local wolf pack were taking advantage of the packed trail to make travel easier. This is a big issue out west where snowmobilers are pushing into the high country, impacting the mtn caribou, but I hadn't considered it down south and the possible implications for the cervid populations. Not sure how te park would get their work done without though. The days of big budgets and enough staff to allow them time to patrol with dog sleds or on skis are long gone.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: trapmusher January 23, 2018, 12:00:16 PM
The wolves would follow the dog trail anyways.

Last Friday I was sledding dogs while the wife was on her Hoks. We were doing a loop of about 4 km. and i pass her since the dogs are way faster.

On the second pass I thought I heard a howl but I thought Wifey was having fun as she went down a hill. When I caught up to her again she wasn't a happy skier. Wolves were howling up a storm. I towed her back to the truck and once the dogs were put away I gave a few howls and got an immediate response from one wolf.

I told the wife to join in my howl but to make hers higher pitched. She did and we got several wolves howling. I then told her to start higher pitched and I would join in. But instead of howling she went a little crazy doing some sort of cowgirl stung by hornets thing.

Dead silence. That was the end. I couldn't get them to howl back.

The next day there was one wolf track that went through. Yesterday I saw where the pack went by pushing a moose.

I have a few wolf sets in the area but they haven't been within a km of them. I figure they are eating moose right now.

Unless the patrols are by plane, animals will go where the walking is easiest. That means they will go where something has gone before.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Coldfeet January 23, 2018, 08:03:18 PM
The wolves would follow the dog trail anyways.

Last Friday I was sledding dogs while the wife was on her Hoks. We were doing a loop of about 4 km. and i pass her since the dogs are way faster.

On the second pass I thought I heard a howl but I thought Wifey was having fun as she went down a hill. When I caught up to her again she wasn't a happy skier. Wolves were howling up a storm. I towed her back to the truck and once the dogs were put away I gave a few howls and got an immediate response from one wolf.

I told the wife to join in my howl but to make hers higher pitched. She did and we got several wolves howling. I then told her to start higher pitched and I would join in. But instead of howling she went a little crazy doing some sort of cowgirl stung by hornets thing.

Dead silence. That was the end. I couldn't get them to howl back.

The next day there was one wolf track that went through. Yesterday I saw where the pack went by pushing a moose.

I have a few wolf sets in the area but they haven't been within a km of them. I figure they are eating moose right now.

Unless the patrols are by plane, animals will go where the walking is easiest. That means they will go where something has gone before.

Wow, may I ask where do you live?   I'm hoping, change that, I'm planning one winter to go far north.  One day.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 23, 2018, 08:23:35 PM
I'm hoping, change that, I'm planning one winter to go far north.  One day.

Coldfeet, lets make next month's trip a pre-planning shake out trip for a far north trip in 2019!
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: ravinerat January 24, 2018, 07:34:27 PM
Lots of room in our far North.

RR
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Rosseau January 25, 2018, 01:06:46 PM
Good discussion here!

I'm torn on the snowmobile camping.

On one hand you could argue that it is arbitrary to draw a line in the sand at the use of snowmobiles. Even though many of us seem to strive to travel in the spirit of "traditional" winter trekkers, what we include and don't include on these trips is fluid and certainly not black-and-white. I think that it comes down to assessing what it is that we want to gain from our trips, and then balancing this with our impact on the places we travel.

On the other hand, I absolutely understand some of the negative impacts specifically associated with running a machine in the bush -- greater noise disturbance (to other humans and wildlife); potential for noxious spillage; wear on trails; potentially encouraging others to follow along and thus your impact grows; increased danger (although, a snowmobile has the potential to get back to town real-quick in an emergency situation); and maybe there's less satisfaction, or personal/emotional return/stress relief/whatever you are looking for if you're rumbling around on a machine. Personally I love how a tractless frozen lake looks, but not so much when it is criss-crossed with snowmobile tracks...

I've used a snowmobile for work in both populated and very remote areas, and also for winter camping several times, but also try to get out without it when that is an option.

Recently we spent around 2 weeks in the Temagami backcountry. The snowmobile came along with the intention of it carrying us and our gear from a major access point north up Lake Temagami at which point we would ditch the machine and make a big loop on foot with the toboggans in tow through smaller lakes. Travelling so far along the big lake would have taken a few days on foot, but was done in a morning with the machine. Understanding how easily you can get into trouble with a snowmobile, I had always made sure that we would be able to walk back to safety if needed.

During the trip our plans changed a bit. The weather was mostly quite cold (my crappy little thermometer bottomed out multiple times around -35), and we had a fairly young dog (puppy? 9-10 months old) along with us. The added stress of the young dog in the cold partly led us to stay with the snowmobile for the duration of the trip. The pup did amazingly well, but we were wanting to be cautions while we learn her limits and tolerance. The snowmobile added a bit of flexibility for us. We only ran it when moving camp (which we usually did every 2-3 days), and on non-travel days we would pack food and travel out on long hikes, returning to camp around dark. In this way the majority of our time outside certainly was not spent on a snowmobile.

All went well, but the machine adds stress... For future trips like this it is tempting to bring along TWO snowmobiles for redundancy. Agh, it is a slippery slope, isn't it?


The machine is a 2006 SkiDoo MXZ 600 SDI. It's not exactly a utility sled, but it got the job done. As it is snow/liquid cooled I had to shut it down and let it cool on a few occasions when running on bare ice:
(https://i.imgur.com/RsUSsRs.jpg)

And here, fighting through some slush. The water on top of the ice at this point was nearly knee deep in a few places... I asked my partner to walk through the slush so that we'd be less likely to get stuck with the weight of a second person onboard. Plus, somebody HAS to get their feet wet, right?

(https://i.imgur.com/UpH2FuX.jpg)

On that note, a good/necessary skills to have is ice/slush removal. Being able to flip the sled on its side for de-icing is useful. Other items in kit: spare spark plugs, oil if you think you'll need it, spare belt and knowledge of how to change it. What else do you all carry?
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Hutchy January 25, 2018, 07:51:00 PM
People are either decent or not no matter if they are walking, driving a car, or riding a snowmobile.

I bring a leatherman, vice grips, multi bit screwdriver, clutch tool to spread the clutch to change the belt, plug wrench, plugs, axe, and powder jack. I always have trap wire, but a good bit of wire can be a huge help to do just about anything.

A snowmobile is a tool. An exhilarating tool, but a tool nonetheless.  I find the most memorable times I can remember involve human based pursuits. Canoeing, snowshoeing, etc. I look forward with excitement to mechanical travel more (ATV, PWC, boats and snowmobiles), but I look back on and cherish my human powered travel achievements more. I do them for different reasons. Kind of like, every activity I do has something different it brings to my life. For example, I ran my trapline today on a snowmobile because I only have minimal time to do that. I cherish the fact that I ended up with two fox today, and sledding to the spot doesn't diminish that. Id love to be old school and trap just off snowshoe, but in todays world I simply cannot afford the time. (someday I may do it on foot its a goal)

To each his own and far be it from me to try limit anothers enjoyment, or question their reasons for doing something!

 

: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Coldfeet January 25, 2018, 08:13:24 PM
I'm hoping, change that, I'm planning one winter to go far north.  One day.

Coldfeet, lets make next month's trip a pre-planning shake out trip for a far north trip in 2019!

From your mouth to G-d's ears!   Oh yea Baby!
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Coldfeet January 25, 2018, 08:21:46 PM
Hey bio, I see your looking at Mem's sled,  you bringing that in 2019?  Sweet!
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 25, 2018, 08:29:11 PM
Hey bio, I see your looking at Mem's sled,  you bringing that in 2019?  Sweet!

Ah, he had it pretty much sold before he posted it...

: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Coldfeet January 25, 2018, 08:54:31 PM
sorry  :(
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: AunNordDuNord January 25, 2018, 10:26:59 PM
Hey bio, I see your looking at Mem's sled,  you bringing that in 2019?  Sweet!

Ah, he had it pretty much sold before he posted it...

Bastard... Just teasing us with his toys for sell....  ::)
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay January 26, 2018, 10:54:17 AM
LOL! 

How bout I start posting guns for sale now?  I got a few I want to get rid of.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: AunNordDuNord January 26, 2018, 11:12:30 AM
LOL! 

How bout I start posting guns for sale now?  I got a few I want to get rid of.

Not now, i Don't have money... :(
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: walknabout January 29, 2018, 01:23:05 PM
as long as we are on topic of "alternative modes of transport"😁
some nice footage
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=41yx-44wC1M
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bothwell Voyageur January 29, 2018, 01:36:01 PM
as long as we are on topic of "alternative modes of transport"😁
some nice footage
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=41yx-44wC1M

You really know how to raise a fella's blood pressure don't you!
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: GearFreak January 29, 2018, 03:11:38 PM
looked like closed mountain logging roads - don't get the knickers all twisted and bunched up.  LOL HA Ha

C'mon we would make it a short distance before our flatlander hearts would give out and the Spot got hit triggering a 10K US$ heli-rescue!

pretty country.  For me that would be a summer time hike - watch some of joey Coconato's videos from Glacier NP.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2u9cXRD29jeYdJr6Ha0aqg

You can actually go hike with him too! as he posts his plans - but you better be up to it! 
 
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bothwell Voyageur January 29, 2018, 03:36:36 PM
looked like closed mountain logging roads - don't get the knickers all twisted and bunched up.  LOL HA Ha

At the start for sure. But not around the 3 minute mark.

Speak for yourself. Just coz I live here now. Not all of us were raised in the prairies. Some of learnt how to use a handbrake on a hill start.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay January 29, 2018, 06:25:00 PM
Was buying helmets for my new skidoo today.  The lady said I could have easily gotten $3500 for my old tundra.  This new skidoo better be a whiz-bang superstar!
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 29, 2018, 08:09:51 PM
The lady said I could have easily gotten $3500 for my old tundra.

I would have paid that in $US  ;)
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay January 30, 2018, 07:15:35 AM
Ha, well money and I have never been friends, so I only had momentary regrets, lol.   Wait till you see my new ride - it's a perfect fit for what you are looking for, especially for carrying the second passenger once in a while. 
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 30, 2018, 09:18:01 AM
Ha, well money and I have never been friends, so I only had momentary regrets, lol.   Wait till you see my new ride - it's a perfect fit for what you are looking for, especially for carrying the second passenger once in a while.

Got my eye on that. Make a video for me.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: ravinerat January 30, 2018, 04:41:10 PM
Memaquay your going to love the new sled. It will take you anywhere in comfort. I love my a Tundra but the Expedition would be my next choice.

RR
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: low-1 January 30, 2018, 11:08:29 PM
Expeditions are sweet sleds, not light at all though.  The SE comes stock with a winch, and I've had to pull it out a few times.  The 900 ace is an amazing motor.

Almost all of my winter camping is via snowmobile.  The simple fact is that where I live, we don't have roads to drive into the backcountry to venture out from.  As a Canadian Ranger, we spend many weeks out on the land every winter.  It wouldn't exactly be considered your traditional winter camping, though.  As others have said, snowmobiles are tools, nothing more.  An idiot can swing a hammer just as well as a craftsman.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay January 31, 2018, 05:14:53 PM
Salesman in Thunder Bay was playing with me, kept putting the date of arrival off, called my local guy, he said there are no more 550 fans readily available in Ontario, so I backed out.  No skidoo at all!  Instantly regretted selling my Tundra.  Then phoned another local dealer on the North Shore of Superior.  Upgraded to the same sled, but 900 ACE motor, for only a few dollars more!

Yeehaaaaa!

Picking it up on Friday if everything goes right.  Hopefully post pictures of winter camping within a couple of weeks!
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide January 31, 2018, 09:09:37 PM
550 fans readily available in Ontario, so I backed out.  Upgraded to the same sled, but 900 ACE motor, for only a few dollars more!

I'm interested in reading everyone's Pro's and Con's for the Fan vs. ACE motors. Which would you prefer and why?
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: rbinhood January 31, 2018, 11:31:45 PM
I have the 550 fan. Not great gas mileage, but good power because it's a two stroke. Already lost a cylinder to high heat and had to replace the piston and hone the bore. The fan blows cooling air across the cylinders from the side. The closest cylinder stays cool, the furthest, not as cool. Carb jets are small to meet emission standards, but that also means they clog easily. A clogged jet means your engine can run lean, which creates heat and all of the problems I've already talked about. I had a problem with needle valves sticking, resulting in gas running out.

Pros are light weight and very high flotation. One of the best off-trail sleds on the market, used by many back country trappers and travelers. Mine has electric and manual start, as well as reverse. There are few places I couldn't go with this sled. I'm not interested in doing 125 mph, and it will go as fast as I want it to, or need to. Can also carry a passenger. Easily tows a sled with my gear on it.

You need to look carefully at what you are buying the sled for. The 900 will be much heavier, and have more power. More power is not necessarily good when you have powder over a layer of slush. Easy to spin the track and bury yourself. A friend who is a retired warden, and who has ridden a lot of miles told me to steer clear of the 600 ace motor because of added weight and power. The 900 will weigh even more and have more power.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: low-1 February 01, 2018, 01:39:56 AM
I went with 4 stroke primarily because I'm sick of rebuilding 2 strokes.  I have a 550 fan Polaris and I've had to completely rebuild it at least a half dozen times, and that's with full cleaning the carbs every season (ultrasonic cleaner) and all proper maintenance.  On the plus side, they are pretty easy to rebuild, especially compared to liquid cooled machines.  Regardless, it's not a job that I really enjoy.

550 fans are definitely lighter.  Regarding floatation, weight is really only half of it, the other half is footprint.  A lightweight, narrow shorter track with narrow skis won't have as much floatation as a wide, long track with ski skins.  In the exact same chassis, the fan will have better floatation though.  Cold starting could arguably be better with a 2 stroke, although again, not necessarily.  More on that later.  Field maintenance should be easier with a 2 stroke fan as well.

My primary consideration was maintenance and fuel economy.  A good number of 600 and 900 aces have 20,000+ km with nothing done to them except oil changes.  The 900 gets insane fuel economy.  My expedition gets way better mileage than my truck.  On a good trail, the display reads 10L/100km.  I haven't GPS'd it with a measured fill up to confirm, but I have no reason to doubt it.  I can get probably 400km to the tank on a good trail.  My 550 gets 1/3 that.  The 900 isn't exactly a powerhouse, it's only around 90hp and the 600 is less than that.  The power band between 4 stroke and 2 is completely different as well.  The 4 stroke just pulls, nice and steady.  Regarding power and spinning out, that's all about throttle control anyway, not about power.  And as an added safety, low gear and eco mode will almost guarantee you won't spin out. 

Cold starting.  As a ranger, we do a lot of exercises up past Churchill.  On more than a few of them, at temps around -40C, the 4 stroke 600s and 900s have all started flawlessly while the 2 strokes have needed to have the plugs pulled and heated, hot water over the carbs, fuel down the cylinder, etc.  After sitting for more than a month, I decided to give my sled a shot at starting at -38C.  That was the limit on a somewhat depleted battery.  Using a li-ion boost pack, it fired up instantly.  Because we are often 1000 km from any type of civilization, most of us have installed block heaters and carry small generators as a backup.  Pull start is not a factory option, but it can be done by wrapping something around the primary.  It sucks, but it's possible, we've had to do it on more than one occasion.  That was on an 1100CC Yamaha VK with a failed starter, not any ski-doos.

I would absolutely choose a 600 or 900 over the 550F, personally.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide February 01, 2018, 06:49:37 AM
Thanks Rbinhood and Low-1 for your input; very helpful. Anyone else want to write in?
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay February 01, 2018, 07:04:42 AM
I've only ridden the 550 fan in the Skandic.  It worked well, but smokey and noisy.  Apparently the four strokes are very quiet, with none of the two stroke smoke.  On the other hand, the sales guy at the dealership told me that they sell 10 fan motors for every four stroke.  Most of them go up north to reserves.  Of course, he could have been fibbing about that too, lol.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: ravinerat February 01, 2018, 07:51:32 AM
I've had both 4 stroke and lots of 2 strokes. I went back to the two stroke. Low-1 covers pretty much everything. It really depends what 4 stroke is in what snowmobile your using. What your going to use it for. I haven't popped a piston since the late 80's. I watch were I buy my gas (ethanol) and I run a fuel stabilizer if I am not going to be using it for a few weeks. The 550 f and the 600 Ace have the same HP. The 600 Ace has incredible gas milage compared to my 550f but I carry two 1 gal Rotopax if I am going anywhere. The 900 Ace has lots of power. I know what to do with my 2 stroke but other than change the oil on the 4 stroke I was lost. So I went out with my buddy. 125 km of off trail. He had a Renegade Backcountry 800 Etech. A 144" track. Mine was a Renegade 600 Ace Sport. 137" track and wider skis up front. Following him no problem. Once I was breaking trail (logging roads) I would do great at first. Then my 600 Ace would go slower and slower until it sinks and stops. Not enough power. I think if it had been a 900 Ace I would of had the power. My other concern was below -30 C temps. One year in Cochrane with -35 C temps no ones 4 stroke started. Batteries had to be removed and brought inside. Alternative heat source on the crank to warm it up a bit. They all eventually started. Haven't had a problem starting my 2 stroke in those temps (yet). Same thing winter camping. Battery had to come into the tent to warm it up. If your looking new then 4 stroke is the way things are going. On two stroke you can run smokeless oil. The 4 strokes are quiet. My 2 stroke is not that loud.

RR
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: MCKROB February 05, 2018, 12:51:24 AM
Skandic WT 550f. Snowtrekker, Kni-co stove, and wannigan in the sleigh. This area is about 80km from where I park the truck and wouldn’t be able to access it without the snowmobile.

(https://i.imgur.com/YB4skP0l.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/NcRtCTdl.jpg)

I also use snowmobiles a lot at work (mineral exploration geophysics) and of the new machines the Skandic and Tundra lines are about the best for bush work. The old small Elans, Bravos, and Tundras II were better, but with them out of production for years now there is little else to choose from.

The steering and front  suspension on the Skandics and Tundra are “low drag” with less moving parts on the outside of the machine to get caught on branches and stumps.

The Skandic, while a large heavy machine is pretty hard to get stuck, and it is really comfortable on those long rides, even with two, and with the gearing they are great haulers. I’ve only ever owned/used snowmobiles with two stroke engines as it’s what I know. Reliable, yet relatively simple and easy to fix when there are problems. I always make sure to carry spare plugs and a belt, and I’m careful with the gas I use (big believer in running gasline antifreeze at all temps) and have very few problems.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bushtripper February 05, 2018, 01:21:29 PM
Hey, just joined the site and saw this thread for sled camping. Heading out for 9 days soon near Temagami basecamp style winter camping. Capitol Canvas custom insulated 12x14 Wall Tent/Baffle plated Kni-Co Alaskan stove with sand holds coals close to 7 hours. Bringing lots of gear! Dual in series boggans to tow in "one trip" and pull great behind my sled.

My friend and I bought camp/play sleds at the same time in 2016. He went utility with a Expedition Extreme and I went with 2016 Backcountry X with Up North rack/BRP gas can and  Sled Solutions Elevation bag with custom LINQ mounts. 800 Etec range is 260kms and starts at -38c so far. Pulls dual boggans with 500lbs of gear easily with no abnormal belt wear. Regular chain case/clutch maintenance is key to reliability towing heavy with a regular sled.

Looks like better ice this year so the slush horrors of the last 2 years should be avoidable.

BT

: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay February 05, 2018, 01:48:18 PM
Picked up my Expedition Sport 900 ACE on Saturday.  Have driven it quite a bit.  Couldn't go back to my old Tundra 2 now, it's a totally different experience.  Engine is so quiet you can hear the carbides and track noise.  We'll see how it holds up, hoping to get out for an overnighter within the next couple of weekends.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bushtripper February 05, 2018, 02:12:23 PM
Perfect sled for camping with.  The rad system is nice for low snow conditions and with some Vespel sliders you could do 100`s of kms with no snow at all.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: ravinerat February 05, 2018, 06:41:43 PM
The 900 Ace is a beautiful sled. My friend got the winch on hers. Never needed it so far and she has tried to get stuck.

RR
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: GearFreak February 05, 2018, 07:58:17 PM
This thread has a life of it's own!  Pics mem!  Nice photos Bushtripper!


Does anyone ride with a Tex Vest?  Read a couple of threads lately on HCS and curious.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bushtripper February 06, 2018, 09:12:30 AM
Hey GF
Were you referring to a Tek Vest? If so they are a motocross style crash vest for sledding to protect your chest from impacts. I have one from when I used to rip on the trails.

Any sled can work well for sled camping as long as your on top of your maintenance and run good fuel with gas line antifreeze.

Its just another dimension of winter camping and my friends and I tour all over once camp is set up. Great to cover distance for day trip ice fishing expeditions through portage trails to those back lakes full of specks and lakers.
BT
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: GearFreak February 06, 2018, 01:32:51 PM
Yup - that was what I was referring to. 

I have a 05 Polaris trail touring but work has had the better of me this year to date.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: ravinerat February 06, 2018, 02:59:18 PM
Nope

RR
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide February 10, 2018, 06:32:16 PM

A friend of mine in Yellowknife has just bought one of these. https://snowdog.com/

They are a Russian machine with a Briggs and Stratton engine. Quite light, slow, low power and inexpensive. If I was going to get a snowmobile, I might get one of these. I can just see one pulling a line of Wintertrekkers toboggans to a nice secluded camping area.

But for now, I am happy to be on skis or snowshoes, without the bother and fuss of an engine. I am getting older, so maybe someday.

Kinguq.

I came across this video which made me realize how easy this machine is transported. Not to mention the low cost, no need for registration/licenses, no need for a trailer, etc. I think it's just right for what my winter camping usually involves. And yes, I can see this pulling my toboggans to a nice secluded camping site I already have in mind.

https://youtu.be/AE6qkV8cGCw
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: rbinhood February 10, 2018, 06:58:54 PM
Yes, after buying my sled and having a lot of expensive problems the first year, I wish I would have known about the Snow Dog. I definitely would have gone that route.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay February 10, 2018, 10:43:21 PM
Expedition Sport, 900 ACE.  The four stroke is very sweet and quiet.  Started every morning last week at -30 to -32.
(https://i.imgur.com/4tcbduT.jpg?1)
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide February 11, 2018, 08:48:48 AM
That is one nice looking machine memaquay...
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: southcove February 11, 2018, 04:58:17 PM

A friend of mine in Yellowknife has just bought one of these. https://snowdog.com/

They are a Russian machine with a Briggs and Stratton engine. Quite light, slow, low power and inexpensive. If I was going to get a snowmobile, I might get one of these. I can just see one pulling a line of Wintertrekkers toboggans to a nice secluded camping area.

But for now, I am happy to be on skis or snowshoes, without the bother and fuss of an engine. I am getting older, so maybe someday.

Kinguq.

I came across this video which made me realize how easy this machine is transported. Not to mention the low cost, no need for registration/licenses, no need for a trailer, etc. I think it's just right for what my winter camping usually involves. And yes, I can see this pulling my toboggans to a nice secluded camping site I already have in mind.

https://youtu.be/AE6qkV8cGCw

Having recently joined the old guy 'trick and bum knees' society -and with what looks like a early lifetime membership; I looked at this video first with bemusement then with more interest. 

That machine could just be the ticket (other than the steep price) for the near future (or when the soon to be college graduating boys return as cheap hauling labor finally wise up...) to expand my ADK travels rather than keep searching for ever closer to the plowed road, easy in haunts...

Pretty slick I would say.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: kinguq February 11, 2018, 05:09:40 PM
I came across this video which made me realize how easy this machine is transported. Not to mention the low cost, no need for registration/licenses, no need for a trailer, etc. I think it's just right for what my winter camping usually involves. And yes, I can see this pulling my toboggans to a nice secluded camping site I already have in mind.


And you can use it while wearing skis! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8qGkUMwpc8&feature=youtu.be

Kinguq
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide February 11, 2018, 05:45:07 PM
I looked at this video first with bemusement then with more interest. 
Pretty slick I would say.

Me too on the initial bemusement and then interest. I think I've watched all the Snow Dog YouTube videos available including the one Kinguq posted!
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay February 11, 2018, 06:03:35 PM
I would say try a new ski doo, then try a snow dog.  My old tundra was basically a snow dog with a seat, and I'll bet riding it was a 100 times more comfortable than the seat in the sled thing.  You can ride a new skidoo for hours and climb off feeling pretty good.  I haven't tried a snow dog, but looking at the videos, I would say the same couldn't be said.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay February 11, 2018, 06:13:53 PM
Strangely enough, this just pooped up on my facebook feed, guy is selling snow dog and two sleds.  Not sure if you can get the link, but here it is..
https://www.facebook.com/marc.degeit?hc_ref=ARSSXMlnj84HsLMBBjv-GC-JZkIfFgswXVyZP8uGwOMe8-rMHXPBlL9GhzROfQ7XbTg&fref=nf&post_id=1710679285659042
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide February 11, 2018, 06:26:16 PM
I would say try a new ski doo, then try a snow dog.  My old tundra was basically a snow dog with a seat, and I'll bet riding it was a 100 times more comfortable than the seat in the sled thing.  You can ride a new skidoo for hours and climb off feeling pretty good.  I haven't tried a snow dog, but looking at the videos, I would say the same couldn't be said.

I've been looking at the new Skidoo's and I actually felt pretty intimidated by their size. Mind you I owned and rode a 750 cc Virago for a number of years and felt comfortable with it so I'm sure I could get use to the newer model Skidoo's OK. I especially like your model... that is a sweet looking machine. However, I'm not looking to spend hours on a Skidoo I'm just thinking of ways to get from the parking area point A to a camp site point B and then perhaps to point C (i.e. a stash of my hardwood cut the previous year).
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: rbinhood February 11, 2018, 08:26:52 PM
Strangely enough, this just pooped up on my facebook feed, guy is selling snow dog and two sleds.  Not sure if you can get the link, but here it is..
https://www.facebook.com/marc.degeit?hc_ref=ARSSXMlnj84HsLMBBjv-GC-JZkIfFgswXVyZP8uGwOMe8-rMHXPBlL9GhzROfQ7XbTg&fref=nf&post_id=1710679285659042

How much does he want for the Snow Dog, and what size is the engine? Couldn't find anything on FB indicating he was selling it. Do you know him? Where is Timmins Ontario?
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide February 11, 2018, 09:17:38 PM
Strangely enough, this just pooped up on my facebook feed, guy is selling snow dog and two sleds.  Not sure if you can get the link, but here it is..
https://www.facebook.com/marc.degeit?hc_ref=ARSSXMlnj84HsLMBBjv-GC-JZkIfFgswXVyZP8uGwOMe8-rMHXPBlL9GhzROfQ7XbTg&fref=nf&post_id=1710679285659042

How much does he want for the Snow Dog, and what size is the engine? Couldn't find anything on FB indicating he was selling it. Do you know him? Where is Timmins Ontario?

I asked him rbinhood. He said it's the standard size 10 hp 2017 model and he's only used it several times to and from his ice hut. He has two sleds with swivel seats and will sell everything for $3,500 CA.

You can Google Timmins Ontario to find it's location.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: memaquay February 12, 2018, 07:05:18 AM
That's a pretty good buy for the US dollar ($2786)  Timmins is about a 6 hour drive south east of where I am.  Should be easy to take across the border too, since it doesn't need a licence or registration or even insurance.  It could just be the thing for a winter camper.  I already have a ski-doo trailer and all that kind of jazz, but even still, the new skidoo was expensive, and insurance wasn't cheap either.

If you are looking for something that won't break the bank, sounds like a good deal.  Probably have a fairly high resale value too for when you decide to buy a real skidoo, LOL.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: rbinhood February 12, 2018, 07:22:02 AM
Its over 500 miles for me. The gas cost alone would offset any savings over buying a new machine. Besides, I would want the bigger 13 hp engine.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: AunNordDuNord February 12, 2018, 11:45:34 AM
I don't know what happen to this one.... It was a few years ago that it was into development... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcIwrdeP21s

I think the snow dog would be the ticket for me if I'g o that route...

And for Mem...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQyodS7CC0w
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: kinguq February 12, 2018, 12:04:12 PM
I asked him rbinhood. He said it's the standard size 10 hp 2017 model and he's only used it several times to and from his ice hut. He has two sleds with swivel seats and will sell everything for $3,500 CA.

Just wondering does he say why he is selling it? Didn't work out for him?

There is a dealer here in North Bay. Maybe I should go and try one out!

Kinguq.
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: Bioguide February 12, 2018, 12:29:56 PM
He said it: "Floats good cutting trail didn’t brake threw the slush was impressive I’m going with a different style".
By his FB page he has several snowmachines and quads.

Here are a few picks of his Snowdog:

(https://scontent.fewr1-3.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t34.0-12/27994822_10210456448837468_1813762996_n.jpg?oh=0a17c1655d7fa4bfc28ce3256c7b9e07&oe=5A83B700)

(https://scontent.fewr1-3.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t34.0-12/28052676_10210456448957471_533194336_n.jpg?oh=87bfc65ac471cceb121c2b311f805a26&oe=5A83B5F3)

(https://scontent.fewr1-3.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t34.0-12/28052584_10210456449037473_1288508336_n.jpg?oh=d628c1ae517491dc37adaa21e3cc4956&oe=5A84CD46)
: Re: Snowmobile winter camping
: GearFreak February 12, 2018, 08:57:10 PM
Bioguide

sound like its up your alley.  You know a handy guy with a used track powered snow blower could probably cobble something similar together - but the price sounds not too out there and you don't' have to freak out your dog trying to put it on a snowmobile or strap a kennel to the boggan. Have not tried either....yet...but its coming one day.  Have to get a couple days in a row off first!