Though it might only be October now, winter is fast approaching in the north. It’s time to get ready for heavy snow, harsh wind chills, and icy, impassable roads. However, just because it’s getting cold doesn’t mean your outdoor fun has to end! Northerners are notorious for making the most of the outdoors, no matter the terrain and no matter the temperature. It’s just too pretty out there to pass up! What better way to enjoy our beautiful winter scenery than with a CFMOTO ATV?
While CFMOTO CFORCE ATVs are built to handle almost all kinds of weather and terrain (it’s in the name, after all), the human body is not so hardy. When poorly protected, it’s vulnerable to frostbite—a painful ailment that can quickly put a damper on your winter ATV outing. To enjoy your vehicle to its fullest this season, it’s important to review how to keep yourself safe and warm.
CFMOTO USA, an ATV company, has some tips below to help.
Know the Signs of Frostbite
Frostbite is more than your ears going numb! It’s when your skin and the surrounding soft tissue actually freezes. This occurs as your body narrows your blood vessels and diverts blood-flow from your extremities to your core. While this helps your body to maintain its core temperature, the lack of circulation combined with cold exposure can mean that certain areas of your skin begin to freeze—in some cases causing long-term damage.
Frostbite is most likely to occur on the extremities, such as your fingers or toes, but noses and ears are also vulnerable. That said, any area of exposed skin is vulnerable (yet another reason why you should always wear a helmet while riding!). If the cold is severe enough, though, frostbite can even occur underneath warm clothes.
In severe cases, frostbite can cause blistering, joint stiffness, and even death of the frozen tissue. If you’re going to enjoy your ATV safely in colder weather, know the following signs of frostbite:
● A prickling, pins-and-needles sensation in the skin
● Skin discoloration—frostbitten skin can turn red, white, bluish, grey, or yellow.
● Stiffness in joints and muscles
● Hardness of the skin due to dying tissue
What Can You Do to Make Your ATV Outing Safer?
● Check in with your riding partners periodically. If you’re riding with buddies (which you should be doing anyway), make sure to stop your caravan periodically to ask how everyone is doing, cold-wise. Though nobody wants to be the party pooper that asks to go inside, it’s better to be safe than sorry in this case, because to be sorry could involve the loss of an entire body part.
● Always have a cell phone on you. Though this is a safety measure to take for all seasons, it can be the difference between life and death in cold weather, where the ability to promptly call for help is crucial. Make sure your phone is fully charged before hitting the trails, and keep it warm while you ride (a pocket close to your body is ideal), as the cold can sap battery life.
● Wriggle your fingers and toes. ATV riders put themselves at a high risk for frostbite due to their relatively stationary position. In other words, because accelerating and braking don’t require much repetitive motion, you're not promoting circulation to your extremities, which increases the chance of frostbite. Wiggling your fingers in your gloves and your toes in your socks as you ride can help stave off the cold.
● Watch the wind chill. Once the wind chill dips below 16.6 degrees Fahrenheit, frostbite can set in on exposed skin in under half an hour. ATV riders must be particularly aware of this factor, as driving in such an exposed vehicle definitely increases one’s exposure to the wind. Don’t be afraid to reschedule a ride if the weather is looking hazardous.
● Wear the right kind of clothing. In a 2005 study surrounding frostbite and mountaineers, roughly 45 percent reported that their lack of appropriate clothing was the cause of their various frostbite injuries. Moisture-wicking and wind-resistant clothing are musts for cold climates, and a double must for ATV riders who expose themselves to it for a prolonged period of time. Dress in layers, and take the functionality of the fabric into account when deciding which article of clothing to put on first. Finally, although they can be cumbersome, consider using mittens instead of gloves, as their smaller surface area means less of your skin is directly exposed to the cold.
● Keep your ATV well-maintained. Getting stranded in wintertime weather is no joke. Make sure you’ve taken care of all preventive maintenance and repairs before the season starts, or consider if it’s time for a new model.
Looking for the Best Winter ATV Manufacturer? Consider CFMOTO
Our ATVs are superior in quality, manufactured with an innovatively designed engine that has the horsepower to take on all sorts of winter terrain. Find your nearest dealer today and experience what it truly means to enjoy a fun, snowy winter.