The Full Wiki

Snowmobile: Wikis

  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A snowmobile tour at Yellowstone National Park

A snowmobile, also known in some places as a snowmachine[1], sled[2], or skimobile [3], is a land vehicle for winter travel on snow. Designed to be operated on snow and ice, they require no road or trail. Design variations enable some machines to operate in deep snow or forests; most are used on open terrain, including lakes or driven on paths or trails. Usually built to accommodate a driver and perhaps one adult passenger, their use is much like motorcycles and All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) intended for winter use on snow-covered ground and frozen ponds and waterways. They have no enclosure other than a windshield and its engine normally drives a continuous track or tracks at the rear; skis at the front provide directional control.

Early snowmobiles used rubber tracks, however modern snowmobiles typically have tracks made of a Kevlar composite. Originally snowmobiles were typically powered by two-stroke gasoline/petrol internal combustion engines. Four-stroke engines are becoming more and more common in snowmobiles, primarily to address environmental complaints.

Originally intended as a winter utility vehicle to be used where other vehicles cannot go, they appealed to hunters and workers transporting personnel and materiel across snow-covered land, frozen lakes and rivers. In the latter part of the 20th century, they have been put to use for recreational purposes as well. People who ride them commonly are known as snowmobilers. The contemporary types of recreational riding forms are known as Snowcross/racing, trail riding, freestyle, mountain climbing, boondocking, carving, ditchbanging and grass drags. Summertime activities for snowmobile enthusiasts include drag racing on grass, asphalt strips, or even across water.

Contents

History

Introduction

The challenges of transporting people and their possessions cross-country during the winter season drove the invention of the snowmobile, an all-terrain vehicle specifically designed for travel across deep snow where other vehicles floundered. During the 20th century, rapidly evolving designs produced machines that were most commonly two-person tracked vehicles powered by gas engines that enabled them to tow a sled or travel, initially at low-to-moderate speeds, depending on snow conditions, terrain and the presence of obstacles protruding above the snow, including brush and trees. Originally utility vehicles, many manufacturers now provide a full range of recreational. special-purpose, and competition versions. Where early designs had 10 horsepower two-stroke engines, there has been a move toward newer style 2-stroke and 4-stroke gas engines, some with over 150HP.

Multi-passenger snowmobiles

The NKL-26 armoured Aerosan of World War Two.
Nicholas II Delaunay-Belleville with Kégresse track

The origin of the snowmobile is not the work of any one inventor but more a process of advances in engines for the propulsion of vehicles and supporting devices over snow. It parallels the development of the automobile and later aviation, often inventors using the same components for a different use.

Wisconsinites experimented with over-snow vehicles before 1900, trying bicycles on runners with gripping fins, steam-propelled sleighs and later Model T Fords converted with rear tractor treads and skis in front. In the first races held near Three Lakes in 1926, 104 of these "snowbuggies" started. Carl Eliason of Sayner developed the prototype of the modern snowmobile in 1924 when he mounted a small gasoline-powered marine engine on a long toboggan, steered with skis under the front and driven by a rear, single, endless track. Patented in 1926, Eliason made 40 snowmobiles. Upon receiving an order for 200 from Finland, he sold his patent to the FWD Company of Clintonville. They made 300 for military use, then transferred the patent to a Canadian subsidiary.

The Aerosan, propeller-powered and running on skis, was built in 1909-1910 by the Russian inventor Igor Sikorsky.[4] Aerosans were used by the Soviet Red Army during the Winter War and the Second World War[5] There is some dispute over whether Aerosans should be considered snowmobiles, as they are not propelled by tracks, but if they are, they would be the first snowmobiles developed.[6][7][8]

Adolphe Kégresse designed an original caterpillar tracks system, called the Kégresse track, while working for Tsar Nicholas II of Russia between 1906 and 1916. These used a flexible belt rather than interlocking metal segments and could be fitted to a conventional car or truck to turn it into a half-track, suitable for use over soft ground, including snow. Conventional front wheels and steering were used but the wheel could be fitted with skis as seen in the upper right image. He applied it to several cars in the Royal garage including Rolls-Royce cars and Packard trucks. Although this was not a snowmobile, it could be thought as one of the ancestor of the modern concept.

The first United States patent for a snow-vehicle using the now recognized format of rear track(s) and front skis was issued to Ray H. Muscott of Waters, MI on June 27, 1916 with U.S. Patent # 1,188,981. Many individuals later modified Ford Model Ts with the undercarriage replaced with tracks and skis following this design. They were popular for rural mail delivery for a time.

Early Bombardier Snowmobile
Early snowmobile interior

The relatively dry snow conditions of the United States Midwest suited the converted model Ts and other like vehicles but they were not suitable for operation in more humid snow areas such as Southern Quebec and New England. This led Joseph-Armand Bombardier of the small town of Valcourt in Quebec, Canada, to invent a different caterpillar track system suitable for all kinds of snow conditions. Bombardier had already made some "metal" tracked vehicles since 1928, but his new revolutionary track traction system (a toothed wheel covered in rubber, and a rubber and cotton track that wraps around the back wheels) was his first major invention. He started production of a large, enclosed, seven-passenger snowmobile in 1937, the B-7 and introduced another enclosed twelve-passenger model, the B-12 in 1942. The B-7 had a V-8 flathead engine from Ford Motor Company. The B-12 had a flathead in line six cylinder engine from Chrysler industrial, and 2,817 units were produced until 1951. It was used in many applications, such as ambulances, Canada Post vehicles, winter "school buses", forestry machines and even army vehicles in World War II. Bombardier had always dreamed of a smaller version, more like the size of a motor scooter.

Individual snowmobiles

A snowmobile used by emergency services in ski areas in Vercors, French Alps. It carries emergency equipment and tows a stretcher.

Numerous people had ideas for a smaller personal snowmobile. In 1914, O.M. Erickson and Art Olsen of the P.N. Bushnell company in Aberdeen, South Dakota built an open two-seater "motor-bob" out of an Indian motorcycle modified with a cowl-cover, side by side seating, and a set of sled-runners fore and aft. While it did not have the tracks of a true snowmobile, its appearance was otherwise similar to the modern version and is one of the earliest examples of a personal motorized snow-vehicle.[9] Edgar and Allen Hetteen and David Johnson of Roseau, Minnesota were among the first to build a practical snowmobile in 1955–1956, but the early machines were heavy (1,000 lb/450 kg) and slow (20 mph/32 km/h). Their company, Hetteen Hoist & Derrick Co., became Polaris Industries, a small snowmobile manufacturer.[10]. It was only in 1960, when engines became lighter and smaller than before, that Bombardier invented what we know as the modern snowmobile in its open-cockpit one- or two-person form, and started selling it as the "Ski-doo". Competitors sprang up and copied and improved his design. In the 1970s there were over a hundred snowmobile manufacturers[11]. From 1970 to 1973 they sold close to two million machines, a sales summit never since equalled, with a peak of half a million in 1971[11]. Many of the snowmobile companies were small outfits and the biggest manufacturers were often attempts by motorcycle makers and outboard motor makers to branch off in a new market. Most of these companies went bankrupt during the gasoline crisis of 1973 and succeeding recessions, or were bought up by the larger ones. Sales rebounded to 260,000 in 1997 but went down gradually afterward, influenced by warmer winters and the use during all four seasons of small one- or two-person ATVs. The snowmobile market is now divided up between the four large North American makers (Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), Arctic Cat, Yamaha, and Polaris) and some specialized makers like the Quebec-based AD Boivin (manufacturer of the Snow Hawk[12]) and the European Alpina Snowmobiles[11][13].

Some of the higher powered modern snowmobiles can achieve speeds in excess of 150 mph (240 km/h). Drag racing snowmobiles can reach speeds in excess of 200 mph (320 km/h).

A dual track snowmobile

Snowmobiles are widely used in arctic territories for travel. However, the small population of the Arctic areas makes for a correspondingly small market. Most of the annual snowmobile production is sold for recreational purposes much further south, in those parts of North America where the snow cover is stable during the winter months. The number of snowmobiles in Europe and other parts of the world is relatively low, though they are growing rapidly in popularity. In northern Sweden, for instance, some families now own as many as five snowmobiles.

Snowmobiles designed to perform various work tasks have been available for many years with dual tracks from such manufacturers as Aktiv (Sweden), who made the Grizzly, Ockelbo (Sweden), who made the 8000, and Bombardier who made the Alpine and later the Alpine II. Currently Alpina Snowmobiles is the only manufacturer of dual track work sleds.

An odd version of snowmobile is the Swedish Larven made by Lenko in Östersund from the 1960s until the end of the 1980s. It was a very small and basic design with just an engine in the rear and a track. The driver sat on it and steered using skiis on his feet[14]

Performance

Performance of snowmobiles has improved exponentially since their inception with a sharp spike in performance in the last 15 or so years. The first snowmobiles made way with as little as 5 horsepower engines. Engine size and efficiency has grown considerably in the last 15 years. In the early 90's, the biggest engines available (typically 600-650cc range) produced in the neighborhood of 115hp. Today several late model snowmobiles are available with engines sizes up to 1200cc, producing 150+ hp, as well as several models with up to 1000cc engines producing closer to 180hp. Snowmobiles are capable of moving across steep hillsides without sliding downslope if the rider transfers his weight towards the uphill side. High-performance snowmobiles will beat most stock or aftermarket cars in a 0-60mph drag race (when the snowmobile is equipped for "asphalt drags").

Mountain sleds permit access in remote areas with deep snow, which was nearly impossible a few decades ago. This is mainly due to alterations, enhancements, and additions of original trail model designs such as weight, weight distribution, track length, paddle depth, and power. Technology and design advances in mountain snowmobiles have skyrocketed since 2003 with Ski-Doo's introduction of the "REV" framework platform. Since then, all mountain snowmobile manufacturers have increased performance drastically. Most 2-stroke mountain snowmobiles have a top engine size of 800 cc's producing around 150 hp, although some 1000 cc factory machines have been produced. These may not be as popular as many 800 cc models outperform them due to weight and an increase of unneeded power.

Cornices and other kinds of jumps are sought after for aerial maneuvers. Riders often search for un-tracked, virgin terrain and are known to "trailblaze" or "boondock" deep into remote territory where there is absolutely no visible path to follow. However, this type of trailblazing is not without hazards: Contact with buried rocks, logs and even frozen ground, can cause extensive damage to snowmobiles and injuries to the riders. Riders will often look for large open fields of fresh snow where they can carve. Some riders use extensively modified snowmobiles, customized with aftermarket accessories such as handle bar risers, handguards, custom/lightweight hoods, windshields, and seats, running board supports, studs, and numerous other modifications that increase power and maneuverability. Many of these customizations can now be purchased straight off the showroom floor on stock models.

Trail snowmobiles have had their fair share of improvements in the past 15 years as well (many of them borrowed from endeavors to produce winning mountain sleds). Heavy 'muscle sleds' can produce speeds in excess of 150 mph due to powerful engines (up to 1200 cc stock, and custom engines exceeding 1200 cc's), short tracks, and good traction on groomed trails. Sno-cross oriented snowmobiles often have a engine size cap of 440 or 600 cc's, but lighter machines with redesigned stances, formats, and weight control have produced extremely fast and quickly accelerating race sleds.

Environmental impact

The environmental impact of snowmobiles has been the subject of much debate. Governments have been reacting slowly to noise and air pollution, partly due to lobbying from manufacturers and users of snowmobiles. For instance, in 1999, the Canadian government adopted the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, but the set of rules governing pollution emissions for off-road vehicles was only released in January 2005. [15]. Another example of regulation, only four-stroke snowmobiles are allowed in Yellowstone National Park since a bylaw was recently passed to minimize CO2 emissions and noise.[16]. In Yellowstone, snowmobiles account for 80% of total hydrocarbons emissions and 50% of carbon monoxides emissions during the winter months. Although less than 2% and 1% overall annually respectively. In winter, snowmobiles only are allowed to ride on the unplowed roads used in the summer in the park. This impact accounts for less than 1% (.002%) of the park area.

Air

Most snowmobiles are still powered by two-stroke engines, although Alpina Snowmobiles and Yamaha have been using four-strokes respectively since 2002 and 2003. However, in the last decade several manufacturers have been successful in designing less polluting motors, and putting most of them in production. Yamaha and Arctic-Cat were the first to mass produce four-stroke models, which are significantly less polluting than the early two-stroke machines. Alpina offers a 4-stroke EFI engine equipped with a catalytic converter and state of the art dual oxygen-probe. Bombardier's E-Tec two-stroke motors emit 85 percent less pollutants than previous carburated 2-strokes. Polaris has developed a fuel-injection technology called "Cleanfire Injection" on their 2 strokes. The industry is also working on direct injected "clean two strokes" which are actually an improvement on carbureted four strokes in terms of NOX emissions.

Independent researchers are also working on the air pollution issue. Even undergraduate and graduate students are participating in contests to lessen the impact of emissions from snowmobiles. The Clean Snow Mobile Challenge is held yearly at Michigan Tech University regrouping the entries from universities from across United States and Canada[17]. Some of the participants in recent years have been the École polytechnique de Montréal with a quasiturbine engine[18] and students from École de technologie supérieure of the UQAM with a less polluting two-stroke engine using E85 and direct injection[19].

Noise

Maximum noise restrictions have been enacted by law for both production snowmobiles and aftermarket components. For instance, in Quebec (Canada) noise levels have to be 78 decibels or less at 20 meters from a snowmobile path.[20] Now in 2009, snowmobiles produce 90% less noise than in the 1960s.[13] . However, noise has cumulative effects on users and people living near those trails that are not well researched. It is still the origin of numerous complaints.[21] Efforts in regard to noise reduction have now generally shifted to suppressing mechanical noise of the suspension components and tracks[20]. Arctic Cat in 2005 introduced "Silent Track technology" on touring models such as the T660 Turbo, And Bearcat. Some M-Series sleds also had this. Ski-doo has since then also used comparative "silent track technology" on some production models.

A common dispute among the snowmobile community is about the use of aftermarket exhaust systems, commonly known as "cans" or "silencers". These replace the stock muffler with a less restrictive system that is usually claimed to increase power output of the engine. However, these aftermarket exhausts are often much louder than stock, with some being only slightly quieter than a completely open, unbaffled system. Most, if not all local snowmobile clubs(that maintain and groom trail systems) discourage the use of these systems due to landowner complaints about their noise and subsequent revoking of trail use rights through their property. Local and state authorities have been setting up checkpoints on high traffic trails, checking for excessively loud systems and issuing citations when found. Typically these systems are installed on 2 stroke powered machines(giving the distinctive "braap" sound), however in recent years aftermarket companies have released silencers for 4 stroke models as well.

Terrain and wild life

Scientific studies have shown that damage is caused to the terrain on or around heavily used snowmobile paths. The snow becomes compacted and any winter rain may flood surrounding areas. This hard snow is more thermally conductive and the underlying ground will freeze to a greater depth, possibly affecting plants and leading to erosion of soil in the spring. Furthermore, snowmobiles can damage shoots and saplings they pass over. [20] Effects on animals are more difficult to assess; some studies suggest that animals stay away from the snowmobile trails due to the noise, others indicate that some animals are actually using these trails when there is little traffic[20]. Invasive species may use those paths to spread, such as in Utah, were coyotes are encroaching into lynx habitat [22]. To be fair most trails are on logging roads,unused summer camp roads and fire break roads,old and or seasonally used Railroad beds.[citation needed]

Economic

Snowmobiles are used by reindeer herders.

According to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, Snowmobilers in Canada and the United States spend over $28 billion on snowmobiling each year. This includes expenditures on equipment, clothing, accessories, snowmobiling vacations (lodging, fuel, and food), maintenance, etc. Often, this is the only source of income for some smaller towns that rely solely on tourism during the summer and winter month.[23]

Accidents and Safety

Due to their inherent maneuverability, acceleration and top speed capabilities, it requires skill and physical strength to control a snowmobile.

Snowmobiling injuries and fatalities are higher than those caused by on road motor vehicle traffic [24][25]. Losing control of the machine can easily cause extensive damage, injury, or death. A common cause of accidents is when a rider loses control of the machine because they do not have an adequate grip and do not realize how powerful the machine is. This sometimes results in the now rider-less sled crashing into objects such as rocks or trees. Some snowmobiles are fitted with lanyards connected to a kill switch, to prevent this type of accident. However, not all riders use these devices.

It is also possible for a rider, for various reasons to lose control, veer off the trail and flip the machine and/or crash directly into a tree. Also, there have been incidences of decapitation. In areas they are unfamiliar with, riders drive into suspended barbed wire or haywire fences at high speeds - there have been a number of serious/fatal accidents caused in this way.

Each year, riders are killed when they crash into other snowmobiles, automobiles, pedestrians, or trees or by falling through ice. Around 10 people a year die in such crashes in Minnesota alone with alcohol a contributing factor in many (but not all) cases. In Saskatchewan, 16 out of 21 deaths in snowmobile collisions between 1996 and 2000 were alcohol-related. [26]

Fatal collisions with trains can also occur when snowmobilers indulge in the illegal practice of "rail riding", riding between railroad track rails over snow covered sleepers. Inability to hear oncoming trains over the snowmobile's engine noise makes this activity extremely dangerous. Another cause of serious injury or death is colliding with large animals such as moose and deer that may venture on snowmobile trails. Most such encounters occur at night or in low visibility conditions when the animal cannot be seen in time to avoid a collision. Also even when successful, sudden maneuver to avoid the animal may still result in the driver losing control of the machine.

A large number of snowmobile-related deaths in Alaska are caused by drowning.[citation needed]. Because of the extreme cold in many parts of Alaska the rivers and lakes are frozen over for a large part of the winter. People riding early or late in the season run the risk of falling through unstable ice, and heavy winter clothing can make it extremely difficult to escape the frozen water. The next leading cause of injury and death is avalanches,[citation needed] which can result from the practice of Highmarking, or driving a snowmobile as far up a hill as it can go. Risks can be reduced through education, proper training, appropriate gear and attention to published avalanche warnings.

Types of races

Snowmobile race

See also

References

  1. ^ University of Oregon Slang Dictionary (2002), Snowmachine, http://babel.uoregon.edu/slang/pub_search.lasso?&RecordIDNumber=13066&Process=detail01, retrieved 25 Mar. 2009 
  2. ^ University of Oregon Slang Dictionary (2002), Sled, http://babel.uoregon.edu/slang/pub_search.lasso?&RecordIDNumber=13066&Process=detail01, retrieved 25 Mar. 2009 
  3. ^ Oxford English Dictionary (1989), Skimobile (2nd ed.), http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50226438?single=1&query_type=word&queryword=skimobile&first=1&max_to_show=10, retrieved 18 Mar. 2009 
  4. ^ "The Propeller-Driven Sleigh". SelfSite. 26 July 2005. http://www.dself.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/TRANSPORT/propsleigh/propsleigh.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  5. ^ Valeri Potapov Translated by: James F. Gebhardt (1998). "Soviet Combat Snowmobiles". The Russian Battlefield. http://www.battlefield.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=216&Itemid=123&lang=en. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  6. ^ "Enjoying A Snowmobile At Full". Journal-a-day. December 18, 2006. http://www.journal-a-day.com/Automotive/359658-enjoying-a-snowmobile-at-full.html. Retrieved 2008-03-01. "Not only are snowmobiles popular in the United States and Canada, Ussr has their very own version of the snowmobile, which can be seen in the aerosan. Aerosan, when interpreted, intends "aero sleigh." The Russians usage this propeller-powered snowmobile for delivering the mail, patrolling the metes, as well as for recreational intents" 
  7. ^ "Soviet Aerosan RF 8 (for 3D Studio Max)". Vanishing Point. http://www.vanishingpoint.biz/productdetail.asp?productID=790. Retrieved 2008-03-01. "An aerosan (Russian: aerosani, literally 'aerosled') is a type of propeller-powered snowmobile, running on skis, used for communications, mail deliveries, medical aid, emergency recovery and border patrolling in northern Russia, as well as for recreation. Aerosans were used by the Soviet Red Army during the Winter War and the Second World War" 
  8. ^ On this site, they tell you to go to Snowmobile when you search for Aerosan
  9. ^ Aberdeen American News 1914-02-04
  10. ^ "Polaris Company history". http://www.polarisindustries.com/en-us/ourcompany/aboutpolaris/historyandheritage.html. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  11. ^ a b c (English) "Industry Highs and Lows". Musée J-Armand Bombardier. 2003. http://www.fjab.qc.ca/en/content/motoneige/hautetbasdelindustrie.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-23. 
  12. ^ (English) "Snow Hawk". AD Boivin. 2003. http://www.snow-hawk.com. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  13. ^ a b (English) "Snowmobiling Facts". International Snowmobile Manufacturers Associations. 2006. http://www.snowmobile.org/facts_snfcts.asp. Retrieved 2007-04-23. 
  14. ^ "Larsen Klubben". http://www.larvenklubben.se. Retrieved 2007-10-08. 
  15. ^ (English) Environment Canada. "Vehicle and Engine Regulations". Gouvernment of Canada. http://www.ec.gc.ca/cleanair-airpur/default.asp?lang=En&n=AE4ECEC1-1. Retrieved 2007-04-29. 
  16. ^ "Cleaner, Quieter Snowmobiles Approved For Use In Yellowstone National Park This Winter" (PDF). http://www.deq.mt.gov/CleanSnowmobile/news/115-Certified%20Snowmobiles.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  17. ^ (English) "Clean Snowmobile Challenge". Keewenaw research Center. http://www.mtukrc.org/snowmobile.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  18. ^ (French) CHAPELIER Erwan, DE FIGUEIREDO Christian et PRADO Pascal. "Moteur Quasiturbine". École polytechnique de Montréal. http://quasiturbine.promci.qc.ca/PolyMotoneige0203.html. Retrieved 2007-04-29. 
  19. ^ (French) "Motoneige écologique". Club étudiant scientifique. École de technologie supérieure de l'université du Québec. http://www.etsmtl.ca/zone2/clubs/quiets/accueil.html. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  20. ^ a b c d (French) "Les ravages de la motoneige". Émission Découverte. Société Radio-Canada. http://www.radio-canada.ca/actualite/decouverte/dossiers/30_skidoo/3c.html. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  21. ^ (French) "Étouffons ce bruit agressant". Comité de protection de l'environnement de Québec. http://www.copreq.qc.ca/bruit.html. Retrieved 2007-04-30. 
  22. ^ Linnell, J.D.C., J.E. Swenson, R. Andersen, and B. Barnes. 2000. How vulnerable are denning bears to disturbance? Wildlife Society Bulletin 28:400-413
  23. ^ ISMA (International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association)
  24. ^ The snowmobile--only for fun? Registration of snowmobile accidents in Western Finnmark 1988-89
  25. ^ Injuries associated with snowmobiles, Alaska, 1993-1994.
  26. ^ [1]
  • Descarries, Eric. "Autoneiges Bombardier: Des patenteux perpétuent la tradition". in La Presse. Monday, March 13 2006.
  • MacDonald, Larry. The Bombardier story : planes, trains, and snowmobiles. Toronto : J. Wiley, 2001.
  • SLEDtv.org - Snowmobile Television - Snowmobile Statistics

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Travel activities article)

From Wikitravel

Many travelers seek out destinations that are particularly suited to specific activities, such as scuba diving or rock climbing. Some of these travel activities require specific gear, training, or planning to pursue, while others may be as simple as slipping into a warm spring to enjoy the soothing waters.

Camping

Backpacking

See also:

Leave-no-trace camping

Main article: Leave-no-trace camping.

Sports

Canyoning

Main article: Canyoning.

Geocaching

Geocaching [1] is a treasure-hunting game that involves the internet, GPS map co-ordinates and travel. Players report their treasure hunt activities on-line to gain credits for their finds. Many of the players place caches (treasures) in spots they are quite fond of. So hunting them down will quite often lead to exciting adventures in lesser known locations.

One object of the game is to carry treasure from one cache to the next. Some of the treasures have identification information, so their travels can be tracked on-line. To play the game you will need a GPS receiver (or a map and the orienteering skills to use it), the cache description (make a printout) and about 1 hour spare (more for a difficult cache).

Related to geocaching is the Degree Confluence Project where people contribute photographs of the planet at points of intersection of lines of longitude and latitude. Most of the easy ones are done - but if you are hearing way off the beaten track this may be for you.

Orienteering

Orienteering [2] is another popular outdoor sport. It involves using a map and terrain navigation skills to follow a course in the least time. The sport has an international following, world championships, and training programs, and takes place in beautiful and interesting locations. Orienteering meets hosted by the top clubs draw thousands of participants from around the world.

Destinations: New Mexico (near Santa Fe).

Closely related to orienteering are rogaining and adventure racing.

Golf

Main article: Golf.

Golf is a game that is variously considered a pastime, recreation, sport, profession, religion or an obsession. To some the game is more an opportunity for relaxation than sport, and many travelers roam the world looking for unique and famous golf courses on which to hone their skill.

Rock climbing

Main article: Rock climbing.

Running

Main article: Running

Running is both an activity undertaken by casual joggers wanting to stay in shape during their travels, and also by those who seek out marathons and other competitions around the world. Recently travel companies have begun offering packages for those traveling abroad for races that focus on the specific needs of the runner.

See also orienteering.

Winter activities

Alpine skiing

Main article: Alpine skiing.

Alpine skiing, also known as downhill skiing, is a popular sport involving sliding down snow-covered terrain with skis attached to each foot. Ski resorts around the world attract millions of travelers yearly.

Snowkiting

Snowkiting is "winter's newest extreme sport", requiring only the wind, a snowkite, skies or snowboard, and an attitude for fun. The sport has endless possibilities, such as backcountry skiing without a ski lift or resort - your snowkite will pull you uphill and downhill at varying speeds. Snowkites can accelerate up to 50 MPH. The lifting power of the wind will allow you to jump to distances of up to 100 feet.

When snowkiting in the backcountry be aware of avalanche danger! Always snowkite in groups, wear an avalanche beacon, dress warm, and never exceed your limits.

Snowkiting is popular in Central Utah, a region of the United States of America.

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling is a sport involving riding over snow on a motorized vehicle. It is popular throughout the western United States of America as well as in Canada and Alaska.

Other activities

Agritourism

Main article: Agritourism.

Agritourism means travel organized around farming or animal husbandry. Visiting a working farm or ranch for the purpose of enjoyment and education are key parts of this often rural experience. Farmer's markets, wine tourism, cider houses and corn mazes all constitute examples of agritourism. Travelers who participate in this type of vacation frequently desire to see how food is grown and prepared or to learn how how animals are raised.

Birding

Birding or Birdwatching is an activity that is undertaken by both the hobbyist and the professional scientist.

See also #Wildlife watching.

Hot air balloons

Destinations: Albuquerque, Marrakech, Goreme.

Learning languages abroad

Travelling to a foreign country both for leisure purposes and to study the local language can be an excellent way to deepen ones experience in a foreign culture and to combine leisure with learning. Although perhaps more common for people between the ages of 18 and 24, language tourism is undertaken by people of all ages and backgrounds. They tend to enroll in non-intensive foreign language courses that allow considerable free time in which to practice the language outside of class and travel extensively. Typical stays range from 2 to 5 weeks, and trips are often repeated in subsequent years.

Photography

Main article: Travel photography.

Quad bikes

Riding quad bikes (also known as ATVs--all-terrain vehicles) is a sport that involves riding on a small, rugged vehicle, usually in off-road areas. This activity is provided by commercial operators around the world:

Riding independently, quad bikers should consider possible damage to soil and plants, and thus check local regulations prior to embarking on a trip.

Normally, quad bikes are designed only for a single rider (although are frequenly rented for riding by two). There's only one model of quad bike that has is designed for two persons, and that model is quite rare in commercial rent.

Scuba diving

Main article: Scuba diving.

Scuba diving is a sport in which people breathing from tanks of compressed air explore underwater areas. It's most popular in areas with tropical coral reefs, but there are scuba diving sites in most areas of the world with water.

Wine tourism

Main article: Wine tourism.

Wine tourism means organizing travel around the appreciation of, tasting of, and purchase of wine. It is a kind of tourism highly developed in many regions around the world, and it can be as simple as hopping on a wine shuttle in Napa Valley or as complicated as renting a villa in the south of France for a month. Wine tourism is a great way to learn about the people, culture, heritage, and customs of an area. Some of the famous wine producing regions of the world have been producing wine for centuries or even millennia, and the production and consumption of wine is deeply ingrained in the local culture.


Simple English

A snowmobile is a motorized vehicle used for travelling over snow. It is like a car, only instead of wheels, it has treads. Some snowmobiles have skis in the front for steering. In many parts of the world they are they only form of getting around.








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message