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Author Topic: Snowmobile winter camping  (Read 9718 times)

Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #30 on: 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

Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #31 on: 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
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 11:54:34 am by AunNordDuNord »

Offline Bioguide

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #32 on: 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.

Offline trapmusher

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #33 on: 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)

Offline Forse07

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #34 on: 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.

Offline Quinn

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #35 on: 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.

Offline kinguq

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #36 on: 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.

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #37 on: 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.
www.canoepaddler.net for custom made gear and fireboxes

Offline GearFreak

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #38 on: 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)
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Offline ravinerat

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #39 on: 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
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Offline ravinerat

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #40 on: 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
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Offline Bioguide

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #41 on: 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.

Offline GearFreak

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #42 on: 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.
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Offline ravinerat

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #43 on: 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
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Offline memaquay

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Re: Snowmobile winter camping
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2018, 08:11:32 pm »
Quote
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.