If you’ve spent your entire life in a warm weather region, your definition of a cold winter might be 40-degree temperatures with the occasional dusting of snow. Therefore, moving to a cold weather region, where snow and freezing temperatures are the norm, can be a bit of a shock. So lets look at how to survive winter.
6 Tips for a Safe and Bearable Winter
Your first winter can be rough if you don’t have a plan. Assuming your experience will be the same as it’s been in the past is foolish at best and dangerous at worst.
Here are some tips and pointers you’ll want to keep in mind:
1. Properly Winterize Your Vehicle
If you own a vehicle, you’ll need to winterize it before freezing temperatures arrive. Some of the tasks you’ll want to perform include: replacing and refilling fluids, putting on snow tires, inspecting your battery, and packing an emergency kit.
2. Learn How to Drive in the Snow
There’s a reason the roadways shut down in the South when snow and ice hit – people don’t know how to drive in these elements. If you’re going to live in a climate where it frequently snows, you can’t just stay at home. To survive winter you’ll have to learn how to manage. Of course driving on winter roads can be difficult, but you’ll eventually get the hang of it.
3. Learn to Chop Wood
While many homes are now outfitted with gas fireplaces and electric heaters, there’s something incredibly appealing about a real wood fireplace. And if you’re going to live in a cold weather region for long, you’ll need to learn how to chop firewood.
Half the battle with chopping firewood is having the right axe. Choose an axe that’s sturdy, versatile, and easy to store. Once you’ve armed yourself with the right axe, the rest is pretty intuitive. Here’s a good guide to get you started.
4. Buy the Right Winter Clothing
Nobody is particularly fond of being outside when temperatures are below freezing, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. With the right winter clothing, you can stay fairly warm and comfortable all season long. To survive winter you must have the right clothes.
The key to dressing warmly is to buy quality gloves, hats, boots, and coats. Winter clothes can be expensive, but go ahead and pay for reliable brands that last.
5. Clear Off Your Driveway and Sidewalk
When it snows, one of the worst things you can possibly do is let your driveway and/or sidewalk go un-shoveled. Not only will snow continue to pile up, but it could melt and refreeze, which becomes a dangerous slipping hazard. Snow shoveling isn’t rocket science, but it does pay to learn how to do it the right way.
6. Prioritize Your Health
Cold weather doesn’t necessarily make you sick, but it does make it easier to get sick. Germs and bacteria aren’t killed off as easily as they are in warmer weather, which makes it easy to come down with the cold, flu, or stomach bug. If you want to increase your chances of staying healthy, be sure to wash your hands frequently, drink lots of water, and get an adequate amount of sleep.
Remember, Winter is About More Than Survival
As someone who isn’t particularly fond of the cold, your first winter up north can feel like a climactic feud with Mother Nature. At times, you’ll long for warmer weather and wonder what you’re doing with your life.
However, don’t get so caught up in the elements that you lose sight of the beauty of winter. Snowy nights, white Christmases, warm fires…there’s a lot to love about winter.