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Monday, November 19, 2018

WTF - Cold Weather Driving

Plan A or B for That Trip

Traveling to ski resorts takes some planning. From getting your equipment together to getting the family in the car on time to get to the slopes on time. I always start my winter season with planning on Plan B, C, or D when it means traveling to the slopes. That means putting together my winter kit for my car.

What is a winter kit? It is a kit for the trunk of your car for winter travel. We all know that driving the roads of ski resorts can be tricky during winter weather and have read news about road closures due to accidents. Keep a few things in your car in case you could get stuck on your way to a ski resort or the time to travel is much longer than expected.

I buy a grocery store cooler type bag for my kit. This is a square bag with a silver lining designed for summer keeping perishables from spoiling. The cooler type bag will keep things dry and separated from the other items of your trunk.

In my box, I keep:

First Aid Kit
Several blankets, if you get stuck and there are several people in the car you may want to conserve gas by turning the car off at times. This provides warmth for each person in the car.
Hand Warmers - there is nothing more comforting than a nice pair of hand warmers.
Several pairs of hats and gloves - you will thank me when changing a tire on a frozen day.
Bottles of water - even if they get frozen, keep several in your car. A car once went off the road during winter and no one saw it down the embankment until a day later. Luckily she had bottles of water!
Granola bars - keep them in a plastic bag so the bears do not smell them during their fall foraging trips. 
Flashlights and extra batteries
Battery Powered Radio
Kitty Litter - I buy the 5 lb bucket. This is perfect if you get stuck, the litter providing traction. The bucket also adds extra weight for travel.
Booster Cables and Flares
Matches and Small Candles
A Fully Charged portable battery for cell phones

A lot of people keep a 2x4 in the trunk of the car for protection if needed but it also becomes a great accessory if a car gets stuck in the snow or mud. Tie the 2x4 to the tire, it will give the tire added traction.

Finally always fill the gas tank prior to climbing a mountain! In my book Views From 5506, I never go up the mountain without at least a 3/4 tank during winter. My son learned it the hard way. He ran out of gas, a local stopped and asked if they were alright. He said he ran out of gas, the guy laughed, called them rookies and left them to figure it out. Lesson learned.

Of course, if you don’t feel like doing all the work, there’s plenty of emergency survival kids available through amazon.com and other outlets. A quick Google search will show many results.

I know this sounds like a lot. But once you move from moderate temperatures to where temperatures can turn extreme it is always a good idea to be over prepared! Keep this kit in the garage and put it in your car for your trips up to the slopes, or simply keep it in there for the winter season. Once summer rolls along, I usually pair it down with summer necessities or switch it out for my summer kit.

Don’t get caught wishing you had a Plan B when Plan A on the road doesn’t work out.

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