The first day of winter has come and gone and the real winter weather is finally kicking in. With temperatures here in our state plummeting for winters arrival, it’s important to start to prep for the even colder months to come in the new year. Although Arizona rarely sees more than 6 inches of snow, Flagstaff and mountain tops excluded, we still should be ready for colder temperatures and the possibility of any snow since none of us are used to it. So, here are some tips to help you get winter ready with your vehicle.
Scrapers & Defrosters
For those of us who rise early for work, school, or anything else, ice and frost on our windshields is nothing new. However, there are certain precautions to make your morning routine much easier and much safer than driving blind. Sure, you can haul out the scrapper and stand out in the freezing morning air, scrapping a pitiful hole in your windshield, but there are much better ways. Defrosters, frost covers, and defrosting spray all exist for a reason. We even have a great recipe for a simple DIY defrosting spray that does wonders for removing frost from your windows.
Now, we live in Arizona, so the likeliness of needing tire chains or snow tires is very minimal, but it doesn’t hurt to have them just in case. You never know when an unexpected blizzard or trip to the mountains comes up. When it comes to driving and cars, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
This might seem even more over cautious than the chains, but I don’t mean a full-sized garden shovel. Get one of those small foldable army/camp shovels. They’re small, fit in any car, and are FANTASTIC at digging you out of a snowy/muddy situation when no one else is around. Trust me, I have been the innocent and naïve driver to pull off in a snowbank thinking “Oh what fun it would be to go sledding on this hill!” WRONG! I got stuck in the snow and, had it not been for the kind sir with the work truck and FULL-SIZED shovel, I would probably still be there trying to dig myself out with an empty plastic box. So, to all you naysayers out there who think a shovel is too much, just wait till you get stuck in the snow with nothing but an empty plastic box to dig you out.
Emergency Coats & Blankets
In all honesty, you should always have a spare blanket and jacket in your car. First of all, it’s always nice to have an extra jacket if you or someone else you’re with get a little chilly. Second of all, if you happen to get stuck and must spend the night in your car or walk a couple of miles to get help, you will be eternally grateful for that emergency jack/blanket. Finally, on a less wintery note, emergency blankets are great for those spontaneous picknicks on the grass.
Regardless of whether it is winter or summer or any other time of the year, you should always, always, Always, ALWAYS carry water in your car, especially on long trips. Now, you don’t have to get a stack of giant water cases or 8 gallons of water but have a few bottles in the back or a small case. Not only are they essential to life if you happen to get stranded, but it is so great to be able to grab a water from the back seat when you’re out running errands.
Like anything you do in life, use your common sense. With winter, pack, bring and wear the right things for whatever activity you plan on doing. Remember to have fun, but don’t make decisions you’ll regret. Stay safe out there and happy adventuring!
A: Ben Delamater