December 16, 2012

Getting ready for winter fun

Weather forecast models for the forthcoming winter have once again called for warmer-than-average temperatures.

Who knows if that will be the case or not. The calendar says that winter is coming Friday, Dec. 21. That means I’ll be looking at my winter outdoor recreational gear and getting it ready.

Preparation has its advantages. One being that you find out what you don’t have and therefore will need for your pursuits. It’s always much better to take this route than the one where you don’t realize you need something until, well, you need it.

Preparation also equates to confidence. It’s nice knowing that when the snow falls or the lake freezes you can be ready to ski, ice fish or whatever it is you do on a whim because you had your gear ready. You just have to grab it and go. If you’ve got the time to get things in order, then by all means, do so.

We’ll begin with machinery. Perhaps you are a snowmobiler or someone who uses either a snowmobile or ATV for ice fishing. My buddy Scott Sanderspree is a vintage snowmobile enthusiast and a snowmobile- and ATV-salesman.

“First and foremost the fuel needs to be checked to see if it is any good,” he said. “The amount of ethanol in today’s fuel, which in many cases is greater than the 10-percent you see stated on the pumps, causes the fuel to separate into two layers when the machine has sat for a period of time. One being gas and the other being ethanol mixed with water.”

“Moisture in the air or condensation in the tank will bond to the ethanol alcohol and not with the gas,” Sanderspree continued. “This allows for two distinct layers that can cause many problems for a combustion engine. First the water will sit in the carburetor bowl and turn green like algae and clog the fuel passageways causing a no-start or poor running condition. You must be proactive and treat the fuel prior to storage or remove it and start out with fresh fuel. Carburetors in many cases need to be cleaned to remove this debris.”

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