The one thing about getting out in the snow- for those of you that don’t do it a lot- is that it requires another level of safety and you have a lot of questions. One thing I have learned from my private Facebook Group online is that you want to know- where to go and everything that has to do with the adventure in general. When you are dealing with snow, there are more precautions to consider and more gear to deal with, but it doesn’t mean you can’t figure it out. Let’s explore all these tips together.
Know Where to Go
One thing about snow is that, around here in the Treasure Valley, it’s not everywhere. So, you need to know where the snow is. There is a fine line between learning the favorite places to go and learning the altitudes at which you should be to have proper snow. But lucky for us, once the snow season hits, the favorite hot spots are usually great all season long. And these places are not more than 2 hours away from the Treasure Valley if you don’t want to drive a ton and of course, depending on where your starting point is. The first thing on your list should be deciding where to head out and what activities you are planning to do once you get there.
Wear the Right Shoes
I cannot stress enough that getting the right pair of shoes for snow is a must. Your feet need to be taken care of. Frostbite is a real issue that can affect your extremities at temperatures lower than 31 degrees F. and its important that you take care to wear shoes that are waterproof and meant to be out in this weather. Snow boots help not only keep the water/snow out but also have a temperature rating appropriate for the snow.
Wear the Right Clothes
Along with the right shoes, the right clothes are a must. Playing in the snow for long periods of time is fun, but if you get cold, it’s not so much fun anymore. Depending on your activities out there, you need to have clothes rated for cold weather. Look for materials like waterproof/snow pants and wicking wool such as Merino Wool. The right clothes will help keep you dry and keep you safe all day. Bonus tip: don’t forget those sunglasses. You will thank me later. Another bonus tip: purchase some hot hands or foot warmers so you can keep the fingers and toes warm and safe!
Shop at the Right Places
When you are looking to get the right gear, you need to go to the right places. We have SEVERAL places in the Boise area alone that will be good for that. Good gear doesn’t have to be expensive. So while it’s fun to shop for expensive things at REI, it’s also just as cool to get items used (especially for kids that grow quickly) at places such as Score Outdoors or even Sierra Trading Post. Thrift stores are always a great place to check as well. The one thing Boise does well is the ability to offer places when people need to change out their gear, upgrade or even just recycle, it doesn’t mean that gear is not in good shape.
Have the Right Vehicle
Whether you are fortunate enough to have a 4WD or an AWD vehicle, you need to know what your car can handle and what conditions you are willing to put it through. Safety needs to come first. Checking road conditions before you head out is an important step to your trip. Snowy roads don’t mean you can’t still have fun, you just may have to go to a lower elevation where the roads are in better condition.
Go With the Right People
Honestly, this is my most favorite tip of all. It is one thing to go have fun with family, but another to go have fun with friends. Invite people with you to go outside and have fun. There is never a reason not to be with others you care about.
Have the Proper Gear
Ok, this one may seem simple, but it can be something that is easily forgotten. Are you going snowshoeing? Don’t forget the snowshoes. Are you going sledding? Make sure you have enough for all to share. Are you going skiing? Ski gear would be a good idea. Don’t lose sight of what you are trying to have fun with!
Bring Food and Drinks
Long day-trips require lots of snacks and drinks. Not just because you are going to be out for a long time that day, but also because the cold temps on your body can be warded off by using that digestive system. Eating and drinking (water especially) help prevent things like frostbite. Make sure all in your crew have things to eat and drink to be safe!
Bring more than you think you need
If I have learned anything from having young kids, it is that things will get wet from the snow. When you are heading out, bring extra sweaters, socks, mittens, and hats. If you don’t use them it’s ok, but you won’t regret it when they are in need. Being prepared in advance is so easy and can prevent some crying and whining for the drive home.
Have the right mindset
Keeping your eyes on the fun prize is always your best bet. When kids are involved, things will go wrong and things will go sideways. You have to keep your expectations low and your positive thoughts high! Remember your end goal is family togetherness and adventure and you will be just fine.
Now that you know the basics, I would love to take your family out on an adventure in the snow. Where would you like to go?
Tell me about it!