Winter is coming, at least according to the calendar. If you’re like me, you’ve probably thought it’s been winter for more than a month now. Regardless of your perspective, I think we can all agree that the worst of the season is yet to come. But don’t let that fact keep you locked in your cabin for the next four months.
In Colorado, winter weather usually correlates with beautiful sights and timeless activities (powder skiing anyone?). The tricky part isn’t navigating the slopes or the back trails, it’s navigating I-70 on the way to get there.
Sludge, ice, and traffic can kill any trip, so whether you’re one of Colorado’s most hardened winter veterans or someone who is new to the concept of snow, here are a few tips for surviving the season.
- Drive Slow A great piece of advice from Kanye West: there’s nothing wrong with stopping to smell the roses, or even stopping to catch some snowflakes on your tongue. Pay attention to changing road conditions, and adjust your speed accordingly; the same goes for your follow distance. Few things can ruin a road trip faster than a fender bender, and nobody goes on a weekend outing with plans to see the scenic interior of a tow truck.
- Dress/Pack for the WeatherWe’re all guilty of throwing on some flip flops and a pair of sweats to run to the store on snowy day, but if for some reason the heater goes out or your engine kicks the bucket, your toes may be a little too cold for comfort. The Colorado Department of Transportation recommends you pack a safety kit in your car, including the following items:
- Flares/reflectors to signal for help and warn other motorists
- Sturdy scraper/snow brush/snow shovel to clear snow
- Battery or crank-powered radio to listen to emergency broadcasts
- Flashlight with extra batteries or crank-powered flashlight
- Survival blanket or sleeping bag
- Chemical hand warmers
- Extra set of clothes, including coat, hat, mittens, socks, boots, etc.
- Gallon jug of water and nonperishable food
- First Aid Kit and essential medications
- Tire chains and tow strap
- Non-clumping kitty litter/sand for traction
- Jumper cables
- Extra cloth or paper towels for cleanup if necessary
- Deck of cards or board game for entertainment
Their list is pretty much all encompassing, but I’d add that in most situations a lighter and utility knife doesn’t hurt. Also, if you don’t have any sand or kitty litter handy, placing your car’s floor mats beneath your tires can work to give you traction in a jam.
- Keep Your Eyes on the RoadI’d assume this tip is fairly obvious, but it never hurts to be too straightforward when giving advice. Speeding down the road in a two-ton metal machine is never a good time to check your Twitter feed, especially in a blizzard. With snow, ice, snowplows, semi-trucks, and other drivers all vying for the road, there will be plenty for you to focus on without throwing a cell phone into the mix.
- Don’t Panic!If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being stuck in a snowdrift, the best thing you can do is keep a level head. Hopefully you heeded tip #2 and packed a safety kit, so use it! Do what you can to get your car unstuck or get immediate roadside assistance, and if you end up having to wait in your car for a bit make sure your exhaust and intake are clear of snow. Keep yourself warm and in good spirits, and you’ll be kicking back by a fireplace before you know it.
On top of what has already been said, the best advice I can give you for winter in Colorado is to enjoy yourself! Get out there and do something you’ve never done, or do something you haven’t done since you were a kid. It’s a wonderful time, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention: a wonderful time to responsibly use cannabis. Make some medicated Christmas cookies, build a snowman, go sledding, or just relax and warm up with a bowl after a long day in the elements.
Whatever your plans, all of us at CannaVenture hope your season is merry and bright.