We all need to practice safety – not just on the trail, but in every aspect of our sport and home life too. Safety encompasses many elements, including ATV readiness, driving, fueling, trailering (loading and unloading), proper gear, and clear minds. This Trailbox Talk focuses on safe gear and safe practices.

Riding gear should provide proper protection and be comfortable for the conditions you ride in. Helmets need to be fitted correctly for utmost safety and comfort. Various styles of helmets exist – some with visors and others without. If you choose a helmet without a visor, make sure you wear goggles to protect your eyes.

Boots are very important to keep your feet and ankles well protected. Branches, stones, and water can fly across the bottom of your machine. Make sure your feet and ankles are protected. Boots can also protect from hot engine surfaces and exhaust parts.

Gloves provide protection from these same hazards, and they help prevent blisters. Make sure your gloves are right-sized, sturdy, and comfortable. Gloves with dorsal protection are recommended as they shield the top of the hand from unexpected impact.

Long sleeve shirts and jackets are always recommended, as are long pants. Besides protecting you from abrasion, they also help protect you from thorns, poison ivy, and prickly plants. As with the safety gear already mentioned, this gear protects riders from the elements as well. You should always layer up in colder weather using a wicking base layer. As it warms up you can always shed off layers.

So gear up. Plan well. Be safe. And have fun!

For more information on safe gear and safe practices, enrol in a safety training course in your area!