Jim Baird’s Arctic Adventure: Calculating Weight vs. Mileage

It's the Big Question: How much gas do we need? Too much gas is definitely better than to little gas--to a point. If you carry way too much, you will stress your machine and you are more likely to run into mechanical problems. Good jerry cans are key, or you may have to deal with spillages and leaks, which will definitely knock back the miles you travel. At the end of the day you will have to narrow it down as much as possible until you have to make an educated guess.

The main reason I was successful at bringing the right amount of gas was because I did not just ask the Big Question to myself--I asked everybody I met who had traveled part of the route. How much gas did you bring? If there is a precise equation to figure this out, I don't know it. Besides, I doubt it would be very accurate. There are just too many variables that affect your gas mileage.

Here are some things to mull over before you have an answer to the Big Question.

• Call the manufacturer to get the exact gas mileage of your machine.

• Is your machine new? New machines burn more gas.

• How much weight are you towing? The more weight you pull, the more fuel you burn.

• What king of country are you travelling through? The flatter the country you are traveling, the less gas you'll burn.

• Are you using a two stroke or a four stroke?

• How tough will this area be to navigate? Will you travel off your route for a length of time or have to choose a longer route if you find your initial one is unsafe?

• How fast are you planning on going? The slower you go, the less gas you burn.

• Ask people who have traveled your route or parts of it about their experience with mileage--how much weight they had, how fast they drove, how much gas they burned.

• Bring some communication equipment in case you run out. You never know what may happen, you could loose your toboggan or travel the wrong way a couple of times.