MICHIGAN (WJMN) – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone heading outdoors over the holiday break to be mindful of seasonal safety tips.

“People often get caught up in the excitement of the moment and overlook general winter safety,” said Lt. Tom Wanless, with the DNR Law Enforcement Division’s Recreational Safety, Enforcement and Safety Section. “We want to send out a beginning of the season reminder to please keep safety in mind this winter. Dress for the weather, check the forecast before you go out and, if you’re snowmobiling, please ride sober and at a safe speed.”

The DNR recommends the following measures before going out for winter activities:

  • Wear light layers that can be easily added or removed, you can still overheat even in the winter
  • Carry appropriate equipment for your activity like a flashlight, rope, ice picks or ice claws
  • Have spare equipment in case something breaks
  • Stay hydrated and fueled by bringing water and snacks
  • Take someone with you
  • Tell someone else your location and how long you plan to be gone, schedule times to check in
  • Carry a two-way communication device that receives service in remote areas
  • Be aware of your health, if you don’t feel well, don’t go out.

The DNR says all snowmobile operators between ages 12 and 16 are required to obtain a Michigan-approved snowmobile safety certificate to operate without a legal guardian or to cross a highway or street. A snowmobile safety certificate or trail permits can be acquired online. The Ride Right safety campaign emphasizes the importance of riding sober, at a safe speed and on the right side of the trail. Speed is the main factor in fatal and serious injury snowmobile accidents. 12 people died in snowmobile accidents in the 2020-2021 season.

Ice can also be dangerous in the winter, safety tips are available online.