By Herndon Hasty (Digital Performance Manager)
Depending on what part of the world you’re in, this has largely either been an exceedingly mild or cold winter. You’re either knee-deep in the cold and snow, or still have it coming to you.
This is a guide for those who still have it coming to you. The lucky suckers who’ve made it through so far without Jack Frost socking you in the jaw…yet.
As a survivor of many a Midwest winter war, and the annual ice storms that make their way through Texas (we do get snow and ice here…don’t let anyone tell you any different), let me share a couple of tips and tricks for getting through the snow and ice, and ensuring your survival through baseball season.
Amazon and online stores are your friend. The answer to beating tough winter weather is to be prepared well ahead of storms. Of course, as soon as bad weather starts up, the first thing everyone does is dash out to the Home Depots and Targets of the world for winter gear and implements. Pretty quickly, they’re out, and you’re out of luck. Even when there aren’t storms on their way, the important stuff can wind up picked over.
If you have enough time to see a storm coming, and especially if you’re an Amazon Prime member and can get two-day shipping for free, you can get everything from gloves to snow shovels in ready supply. Speaking of…
Don’t skimp on the ice scraper. In cold-weather states, they practically hand out massive ice scrapers with your driver’s license or a gallon of milk. The big two-foot long suckers. They’re everywhere, and they’re all you can get. But venture much further outside of the danger zone, and the palm-sized ones are all you can find. It’ll fit in a glove compartment, but isn’t good for much more than a light frost.
Of course, if your only other option would be a credit card, the little guy is a thousand times better, and leave you able to pay for your lunch. But – the lack of reach and torque comes at a price: You’ll be scraping twice as long as you need to, throwing yourself over your hood for that bit in the middle, and giving your hand a massive cramp for the effort.
Find space for the big guy in your trunk or back seat, and come the blizzard you’ll get your car cleaner, faster, still have use of your hands afterwards.
Bag up your feet. The only thing worse than cold toes when you’re trying to walk to work or scrape your sidewalk are cold and wet toes. Cold is bad, but when the mercury drops, wetness is your enemy. At best it makes you approximately six times more miserable than you might otherwise be, and at worst it’s hypothermia’s express lane. Rain, snow and sweat are all coming for you, and they have to be stopped.
To stop the first two in their tracks, take that layering you’re supposed to do in cold weather to a new level. You know that wad of plastic grocery bags you keep under the sink for something someday? Now’s their chance to shine. Put on your first pair of socks. Then wrap foot in one of those plastic bags. Seal it up with another pair of socks over top. That adds enough warmth to beat the cold, and the plastic bags will keep moisture out of the clothing against your skin.
If pride will permit, top your shoes off with those bags, too. You’ll feel like something out of your grandparents’ up-a-hill-both-ways stories about surviving cold weather in the good ‘ol days, but they were on to something. Keeping your shoes dry not only ensures that your socks stay dry, but helps preserve them against the water, salt and sand that they’ll be up against.
If Saddleback made shoes, this wouldn’t be a problem – bring on that weathering and toughness. But for the moments your footwear says something closer to Cole Haan than Timberland or Justin, you’re better off trying to shield them, and sometimes you just don’t have one of those nifty little sheaths (or a spare shower cap) nearby. In those moments, naming them Walgreens or Piggly Wiggly may be the better part of valor.