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      ATV Tour

      ATV TOUR ESSENTIALS

      Going on an ATV tour is one of the most exciting things you can do throughout the year. That’s why at Killgore Adventures we’re so excited to offer our own ATV tours of Hells Canyon. Not only will we take you on some of the most amazing trails and paths in the mountain ranges that line the canyon, but we’ll also tell you about the history and wildlife of the region.

      But if you’ve already gone on an ATV tour with Killgore Adventures, you might be ready to take a tour on your own. The packing list for an ATV tour isn’t quite the same as packing for a simple backpacking trip, nor is it similar to packing for car camping. There are certain specific items and skills you’ll need to have with you as you take your ATV tour of Hells Canyon.

      A TOW ROPE

      If there’s one thing you can expect while traveling by ATV in Hell’s Canyon, it’s that you’re never quite ready for what’s around the corner. Depending on the time of the year, the trails might be muddy, slick, or covered in snow and ice. An ATV does a great job of managing and blasting through a lot of this terrain, but on occasion you might find your vehicle loses traction and slides off the side of the trail.

      In other situations, you might run out of gas or your battery might die. In moments like these, a tow rope is essential to have in your bag of goodies. You can tie one end to a working ATV to drag the disabled or stranded ATV out of its tricky situation. While you can buy tow rope specifically designed for your ATV, you can also use any sturdy rope, as it may cost less.

      TIRE REPAIR KIT

      This is likely something you don’t have stashed in your own car but that’s because you’re driving on paved roads. On an ATV, you’re going across some of the most rugged terrain out there. That’s why it’s so important to have a tire repair kit with you. At minimum you should consider including the following tools and supplies:

      • Extra tire tubes. You’re never quite sure when you might pop a tire. Having an extra tube on hand is invaluable.
      • A tire patch kit. You can either use patches, Fix-A-Flat, or a tire plug kit but make sure you have something on hand to fill those holes in your tires.
      • An air pump. Whether you choose to use a CO2 cartridge-based pump or a manual pump having one on hand is invaluable when you start to lose air in a tire.
      • Tire iron. The tires on your ATV are rugged and ready for anything, but that also means they’re difficult to get off of your machine. Having a tire iron that offers you enough leverage is the key to making any tire change quick.

      Having these tools on hand is a great way to take to make a potentially adventure ruining experience into the simple minor mishap.

      EXTRA FUEL

      You would think this would make it to the top of every packing list for an ATV rider, but we’re surprised by the number of ATV tours we see that head out with no extra fuel. Because your ATV does not have as large a fuel capacity as your vehicle, it’s important to keep extra fuel with you. You’re never sure when you might make a wrong turn or your two-hour outing suddenly becomes an eight-hour one. In times like these, having a little extra fuel is always a good idea.

      ATV TOUR ESSENTIALS PART 2

      Mount up and take off! It’s time for an ATV tour of Hells Canyon. In our last blog post, we outlined some of the most essential things you should pack with you on your next ATV tour. Unlike a typical road trip, taking an ATV tour requires some special considerations and specialized equipment. In addition to your standard safety equipment like helmet, gloves, and riding boots, you also want to have the tools and skills you need to ride safely and comfortably.

      Here at Killgore Adventures, we know the Hells Canyon region like the back of our hand. That’s because we offer hundreds of ATV and RZR tours of Hells Canyon throughout the year. But if you’re ready to explore Hells Canyon on your own, then you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right things on your packing list. Let’s take a look at a few more ATV tour Essentials.

      TRAIL MAPS AND A GPS

      Even if you’re following a fairly well worn and well-marked trail, it’s very important that you always carry with you a trail map and a GPS unit or cell phone of some kind. In the not uncommon event that you miss a turn or make the wrong turn, having these resources on hand is a great way to ensure that you can make it back to the trailhead before dark. Many Forest Service and National Recreational Area offices offer these trail maps for free, but even if you have to pay for a trail map you should always have one on hand.

      Having a GPS unit and a cell phone is a great way to ensure that you can make it back to your campsite at the end of the day. A GPS unit offers you precise coordinates and can help you make the right decisions about where to go next. Should you encounter an emergency or get well and truly lost, a cell phone is a great way to make emergency calls when needed.

      Of course, before you even leave for your next ATV Adventure, it’s very important that you familiarize yourself with the trail and look for any distinctive features along the way. In addition, make a travel itinerary that outlines where you’re going, what time you’re leaving, and when you expect to be back. Leave this with a friend or simply recited over the phone to a friend or family member. This way if you get lost and you don’t check in at the designated time, they’ll know text you or to contact search and rescue.

      A FIRST AID KIT

      Anytime you head out into the wilderness it’s important to have a first aid kit with you. You never know when a stray branch might scratch through your riding clothes or you might slip off your vehicle and twist an ankle. In moments like these, having a first aid kit is a great way to address these minor bumps and bruises. Most outdoor gear shops sell first aid kits that are ready made with everything you could need and they come in various sizes as well. If you’re traveling at the end of summer, the early fall, or even in winter, having a compact thermal blanket is a great idea. Should you get stuck in the snow and cold, these blankets do a great job of reflecting your own body heat back at you, keeping you remarkably warm.

      FOOD AND WATER

      Like the extra fuel we mentioned in our last blog post, these should be high on the top of your packing list. After you have a rough estimate of how long you’ll be out on the trail, you can start to pack enough food and water to meet your needs. In general, you want to bring about four to six liters of water per person, per day. If you don’t want to bring all that heavy water with you, make sure you bring a filtration system of some kind.

       

      When you’re packing food consider packing a variety of things. You’ll want to bring some snacks that give you small bursts of energy throughout the day as well as sources of longer-lasting energy like proteins and fats. Jerky is a great trail snack that can be eaten as a meal or as a simple snack. Cheese is also a great example. Of course, you can supplement these with things like trail mix, power bars, and dried fruits. Make sure you store your food and snacks in a rugged container so that the critters throughout the Hells Canyon region don’t get their fair share of your food cache.

      AN EXPERIENCED RIDER

      There’s something to be said for learning by trial and error, but when it comes to riding an ATV, it can be a complicated experience to try and manage the vehicle, your supplies, and the trails. That’s why it’s a great idea to have an experienced rider with you on your first couple of ATV tours. They’ll have tips and tricks as well as the knowledge you need to safely and comfortably enjoy your tour. They may also have advanced navigation and orienteering skills that you may lack. This ensures that you can enjoy your tour without getting lost.

       

      If nothing else, inviting an experienced rider along is a great way to make new friends and add more people to your tour. As they say, the more the merrier.

      YOUR HELMET AND PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

      Some might argue that a helmet and protective gear is a little uncomfortable and make them look a little silly. But if your safety gear is well-fitted, you’ll feel very comfortable. This equipment is tailor-made to keep you safe should a branch hit you or should you fall off your machine. Of course, you don’t need the most specialized gear in the world to enjoy an ATV tour. At minimum you’ll want long pants, long sleeves, gloves, goggles, and boots that cover your ankles. If nothing else, make sure you have a sturdy and reliable helmet that will keep your head safe.

      A WILLINGNESS TO EXPLORE

      This might sound cheesy but it really is one of the most important parts of your ATV tour. As you travel through Hells Canyon, you’ll see some of the most impressive sites in the North American continent. Having a willingness to explore with a mind that’s open to the natural beauty of the area is a great way to get the most out of your ATV tour. As you travel, take some time to stop and enjoy the sights and sounds of Hells Canyon. Immersing yourself in the experience ensures that you’ll enjoy every second of your ATV tour.

      YOUR ATV PRE-RIDE CHECKLIST

      There’s nothing quite like turning over the engine on your ATV for the first time in the riding season. With its throaty roar, your ATV suddenly becomes more than just a machine. It’s a promise of adventure, a faithful companion, and a chance to connect with remote parts of the world.

      But before you can hit the trails that criss-cross the Hells Canyon region, it’s best to take a few minutes and inspect your machine. As the go-to source for ATV rentals in IdahoKillgore Adventures has spent a lot of time on, and under, these vehicles. We want you to enjoy every minute of your trip, so we put together this quick checklist to ensure your ATV is in good working order.

      USE T-CLOCS ON YOUR ATV

      We aren’t just spitting acronyms just for the sake of it. T-CLOCS is a handy way to remember all of the things to check on your ATV each time you decide to ride. Let’s break this down in detail.

      TIRES AND WHEELS

      They say you should never skip out on the things that keep you from the ground. That includes mattresses, shoes, and, of course, tires. Your ATV should have four perfectly serviceable tires on it before you take off. But what should you check?

      Start by looking at the air pressure. The pressure should be within the manufacturer’s recommended pressure range. If your tires are under or over-inflated, you might notice issues like poor handling and damage to the tires or wheels. Don’t use the same pressure gauge as you do on your car, you’ll want to use a low-pressure gauge. Next, look at the overall condition of the tires. Are they cracking? Are there any splits? Finally, take a look at the bolts, nuts, and pins holding your wheels in place.

      CONTROLS

      Checking the controls of your ATV should feel fairly intuitive, as you’re just repeating what you usually do while riding, the difference is you’re being a little more observant. Check your steering by moving the handlebars from side to side. If it feels tight, loose, or gritty, it’s time to inspect it more thoroughly. Take a second to review the condition of your grips. Disintegrating rubber grips aren’t useful and can be dangerous if left unchecked.

      Next, check your brakes. These must be in good shape, as they are a critical part of keeping you safe while you travel. Squeeze your front brake and rear brake levers. Make sure they move smoothly and engage quickly. Next, take a look at your pads. They shouldn’t be run down to the metal. 

      Finally, take a peek at your shifter. It should be firmly seated in place and positioned correctly. You should feel it positively engage when you press or raise it.

      LIGHTS AND ELECTRICS

      While you’re working the handlebars, take a look at the hand controls. Does your ignition switch work the first time? Your engine stop switch should shut the engine off immediately. Don’t forget your other switches. Do the indicators flash when you activate them? What about your horn and headlights? Your brake lights should flash when you engage the brake levers. 

      OIL AND FLUIDS

      You’d be surprised how many people we encounter on the trails who are stranded because their ATV wasn’t topped off with oil and gas. You should check your oil levels before every ride. You can quickly check the dipstick or spyglass to see how much is left and if it needs to be changed.

      Make sure you ATV has a full tank of gas before you head out. If your ATV has been sitting in the shed all winter, it’s a good idea to change out the fuel with fresh stuff.

      CHAINS AND CHASSIS

      Your chain or driveshaft should be well-lubricated. The chain should have the appropriate level of tension and slack. If your ATV uses a drive shaft, make sure it’s not leaking in any way. With these components checked, do a visual inspection of all of the nuts and bolts across the entirety of the ATV. Look for loose bolts, broken or damaged parts, or even pieces that are missing. Tighten everything up, and make repairs and replacements as needed.

      DON’T FORGET YOUR GEAR

      Enjoying your ATV ride means not only caring for your machine but for yourself too. Make sure you’re wearing proper safety gear, like a helmet, boots, gloves, and long sleeves. Your body will thank you if you lose control of your machine.

      WINTER ATV TRAVEL TIPS

      While the weather outside may be frightful, that doesn’t mean your ATV will shy away. You’re All-Terrain-Vehicle feels just as at home in the snow and ice as your snowshoes or skis. If you’re ready to tackle the land of ice and snow this winter, you’ll want to prepare a little differently than you would during the warmer months. While we offer ATV trips during the summer, the Killgore Adventures crew loves to take their ATVs and RZRs out during the winter sometimes. Here are some tips and tricks they’ve learned that can make your winter ride more enjoyable.

      CHECK YOUR TIRE PRESSURE

      The drop in temperatures affects multiple parts of your vehicle. A less obvious effect is that the cold temperature can lower your tire pressure. Fortunately, a lower tire pressure actually improves your traction in snow and ice. That said, it’s best to check your tires before heading out into the cold. You don’t want your tire pressure to be too low and run a flat as a result. A few pounds below the manufacturer’s recommendation is fine.

      MAINTAN YOUR BATTERY’S CHARGE

      When you’re not riding your ATV or RZR during the winter months, it’s never a bad idea to put a battery tender on it. The cold air can drain the power out of your battery, making it unusable when you fire it up in springtime, or in January when you’re ready for a wild ride through the snow.

      HEATED GRIPS AND HAND MITTS

      If you do a good job of wearing layers and protecting your face with goggles and balaclavas, your core should stay nice and toasty, even in the chilliest of conditions. But the cold air whipping across your hands as you ride will leave them cold, tired, and numb. Fortunately, you can remedy these things by using heated grips and hand mitts. Heated grips can be quickly added to your handlebars, and can be flipped on and off as needed. This makes riding much more comfortable. While heated grips are nice, if you want to prevent wind chill, you can easily add a pair of hand mitts to your handlebars. These essentially act as giant windbreaks and gloves for your hands, keeping them warmer. They have the added benefit of keeping snow and brush off your hands, too.

      BOOTS AND SOCKS

      Your feet work hard when you’re riding your ATV. They stabilize you and help you break, or even shift gears. During winter, you’ll want boots that are durable and waterproof. In general, a winter boot will be best for winter riding, as they are waterproof and insulated, ensuring your feet stay warm and dry in any conditions. Of course, your boots need support, and that’s where good socks come in handy. Now’s the time to bring out your cushioned wool socks. Wool stays warm, even when wet, and dries quickly, making it ideal for winter use.

      So there you have it! With these tips, you can enjoy traveling the trails all year long, no matter the weather. And when the weather starts to clear up, you can enjoy the amazing vistas and views of Hells Canyon on an ATV tour with Killgore Adventures. Book your tour now!

      ATV RIDING FOR BEGINNERS

      So, you’ve traveled up and down the Snake River on one of our amazing jet boat tours, and you’re ready to explore Hells Canyon in a brand new way. One that gets you in touch with the trees, earth, and hills that line the canyon. Lucky for you, Killgore Adventures offers exciting escapes on land and water thanks to our ATV tours. But if you’ve never been on an ATV before, the experience can be a little overwhelming. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when on your first ATV tour adventure.

      ALL THE GEAR, ALL THE TIME

      It might be tempting to hop on the nearest ATV, rip on the throttle and tear off into the sunset of Hells Canyon, but before you do, make sure to take the time to put on all of the protective gear. At minimum, you should be wearing a helmet, gloves, boots that cover your ankles, and goggles. It doesn’t take long to put these items on, and you’ll thank yourself later in the unfortunate event of a crash or roll over. Make sure that all of this protective gear fits snuggly, not tight. You’ll want to be comfortable while also being safe.

      LIFT YOUR FEET UP

      On your first ATV ride, it can be exhilarating to look down and see the ground race past your feet as they dangle mere inches above the earth. But as tempting as this is, don’t let your feet hang to the side of the ATV. Keep your feet firmly planted on the foot pegs or running boards. Loose feet can be caught on branches or rocks on the ground and cause an injury. They can also be caught by the moving tires which can even kick you off the bike. Make sure your feet make it to the end of the ride and keep them up.

      TAKE IT EASY

      There’s no denying that an ATV tour is one of the most exciting ways to explore Hells Canyon, but it’s important that you don’t outpace your ability level. Make sure to carefully listen to your tour guide and pay attention to their instructions about how to operate the ATV. You accelerate by using the thumb lever, which is more sensitive than many realize. Easy does it with the acceleration; you don’t want to lose control! Make sure you’re familiar with how to use the brakes and come to gradual stops. Being mindful of the brakes allows you to maneuver over difficult terrain and get around tight corners.

      TAKE A STAND

      While you can sit on your ATV for the entirety of your tour, where’s the fun in that? Stand up on the foot pegs, and you’ll find that you won’t be as fatigued at the end of your ride. The ATV moves more freely beneath you, and you won’t feel each and every bump in the road.

      Ready to explore the beautiful landscapes of Hells Canyon? Sign up for your ATV tour with Killgore Adventures today!