10 Ways to Sled on a Budget
Andy Messner | On 22, Sep 2017
Snowmobiling will never be cheap. There’s no way around it. You gotta pay to play. I really can’t say it any other way. Snowmobiling is expensive! However, that’s not going to stop us. As long as there is snow left on this green earth, there will be happy sledders in the mountains—no matter the cost. And since sledders are going to ride even if it breaks the bank, here are 10 ways to sled on a budget.
10 Ways to Sled on a Budget
Truck pooling and ride sharing is a no brainer and if you’re not doing it, you should be. We all have a that friend with a deck or trailer that has an open spot, so take advantage of that. Splitting the cost of fuel for the drive makes a huge difference and you can essentially double your days on your sled.
Buy in Bulk
Purchase your oil in bulk. Most dealers, if not all, offer some sort of discount for buying a case of oil or having the jug exchange program. These savings are small at first for the weekend warrior but if you practice this over multiple season you will save greatly.
Leftovers for Lunch
Packing a lunch is a great way to save money and can be made easily form your leftovers from the night before. Throw your leftovers in a muff pot and you’ll have a hot lunch on the mountain that beats the heck out of a cold convenience store sandwich any day.
Save at the Pump
Settle for cheaper 91-octane fuel over the more expensive 94-octane that many riders choose. The top snowmobile manufactures call for 91-octane and the engine has been designed for that. Any additional octane is not even utilized by the engine and is just wasted and pushed out the exhaust. You are seeing little to no HP gains from the 94, so you are literally burning money.
Buy a Membership
Purchase a membership from your local club. Any club with groomed trails will charge daily fees of $20 or more. If you ride often you can save yourself lots of money by becoming a member of a club. Also by doing this you will be supporting an organization that provides a valuable service for the snowmobile community—keeping local areas open.
Consider opting for a cheaper, alternative-brand when buying belts. You can save almost 50% with an aftermarket belt that you should be able to find at any powersports shop. There are several brands of quality products that many race teams use, so you should have no performance loss or belt-blowing concerns.
New to You
Looked for used sleds at your local dealer or on the private market. This is an obvious choice when trying to save money, but you do run the risk of purchasing a sled with some hidden issues. But if you know what to look for when buying a used sled, you should easily notice any abnormalities.
Use social media as a tool to gain a following and attract sponsors. Social media has opened many doors for amateur snowmobilers that in years previous have been closed. Social media has made it so much easier for riders to get their content out to the masses and to get noticed in the industry. Snowmobile gear eats up a large percentage of a sledder’s budget so even a 25% discount on a $1000 monosuit makes your money go a lot further.
Search for second-hand gear like avalanche bags and beacons. We often see our local backcountry pro selling their one-year old gear that is usually in great condition. Facebook groups and athlete pages have also become a great resource for finding used gear.
Pick and choose your days wisely to ensure you have good weather and conditions to get the most out of your ride. Sometimes it is worth skipping a cloudy day here and there for the chance of a sunny day later in the season. This can be a hard call to make sometimes but when you are on a tight budget it is a great way to stretch your money out over the course of the season.
Now that you know all the penny-pinching and toonie twisting tips we have picked up on over the years you can finally have that 50-ride season you deserve! Happy trails.