The Prince of Wales tried out a snowmobile for size and marvelled at its modern creature comfort of heated handles when he met the Canadian Rangers.

Charles did not need to be asked twice to sit astride the machine as he talked with members of the organisation in the Northwest Territories, near its capital Yellowknife, to learn about their role and the equipment they use.

The snowmobile costs 25,000 Canadian dollars (£15,643) and has all the accessories needed by the Rangers, who describe the vehicle as an essential piece of kit for the winter conditions when the landscape is covered in snow and ice.

As he sat on the machine he was told by Sergeant Andrea Fischer that the handle bars he gripped had heaters.

Charles, who was a keen skier, referred to riding a snowmobile in the past: “When I tried it 40 years ago there were no hand warmers.”

Earlier when he was shown a new rifle adopted by the Rangers and the older version they had used, a Lee Enfield rifle, he recognised it immediately and said: “When I was at school 60 years ago that’s what we were using.”

At the end of his tour of outdoor displays showcasing the Rangers he was presented with their uniform – a red hoodie – and made an honorary Ranger.