We certainly are not the authorities on ATV Safety but, we would like to share a some things we have learned over the years.
Carry water not gas!
Seatbelts or preferably Harnesses should be worn at all times.
Helmets should be worn.
Keep your hands and feet in proper places at all times (Feet on the dashboard can slip outside, knees up can break lots of personal parts.)
Follow all suggested warning labels.
Certainly not a complete list and we cannot take responsibility for anything that happens and we are not saying these things will prevent accidents or harm.
Now for the not so obvious:
A Map - paper, preferably laminated or weatherproof.
Your GPS device with our ATV Trails on it.
Charging cord (and ensure you have a place to plug it in.)
Determine what gear you might need. Make it sensible for the weather and terrain.
Weather changes night to day - be prepared for cooler/wetter weather.
Walking out in flip flops would be a miserable experience.
Walking out at night without a flashlight wouldn't be any fun.
Carry at least a minimal tool kit (Typically what comes with your machine is not quite enough)
Carry a tow strap, some para cord or rope and maybe a Ratchet strap or two.
A Hatchet or folding saw can get you out of some ugly situations
Consider if you want additional items like a folding shovel, a bigger saw or ax, etc.
All machines have their week spots. Learn what yours are by researching on the internet or asking the folks you ride with or your dealer and prepare.
A prime example is - older Arctic Cat Wildcats eat tierod ends like crazy. Carry at least one inner and one outer with you. (We have used both on the same ride + our spare tierod)
They are also hard on wheel bearings but, those are tough to change on the trail without some pretty heavy tools.
Ball Joints are another difficult item to change on the trail.
Some machines (or drivers) are hard on axles, some are hard on belts.
Plan for needing these things by doing a walk through changing them in the comfort of your garage so you know how. Every tool you pick up and need in the garage should be in your toolkit if you are planning to be able to do this on the trail.
Again, this is certainly not a riding safety checklist - there are a lot of those in your owners manual and on the internet - we were hoping to encourage folks that are new to this sport to be a little more prepared and think about the things they may need.
Please add your thoughts or ask questions in the comments.
Scott and Kay Ball
MapballsGPS Atv Trail Maps