“A road trip in itself is a great way to spend your vacations, be it alone or with your friends and family. When you plan a road trip in the winter season, a whole new dimension of fun and excitement gets added to the eventful journey you are going to undertake. If you are someone who loves doing something out of the box, a road trip during the winter season may appeal to you even more, for obvious reasons. However, one thing to remember is that apart from all the fun there is another inevitable aspect that you need to lay importance on, more than ever before, and that is preparation. From the snow covered roads to reduced visibility at some places, from the low temperatures outside to making your vehicle ready for the adventure in the cold, there are a lot of regards you have to take into consideration. If at any given point of time, you find yourself not being prepared for something that happens during the trip, you will end up experiencing a lot more than you bargained for. So here we are with some precious tips and hacks that will make sure that your winter road trip is nothing short of extraordinary.
If you have experience of driving around in the snow, then you may already know some of these tips but for longer journeys, it is important that you recollect all of them and prepare in a way that they fit your plans.
Craft a schedule that you can enjoy.
Planning for a long drive during the winter season can be tiring for you and exhaustive for your vehicle. So if you’re thinking of a winter road trip, make sure you have enough days to spare, especially if you are planning to cover multiple cities in the process. If a big city is where you’re headed, set out at a time that does not coincide with the rush hour. The vehicles plus snow covered road plus bad weather (you never know) is never a good combination.
Another thing that can add quality to your trip is planning around a particular theme. Since it’s winter time, it would be great if you could check out some ski resorts on your way. Some places have special winter festivals. If you create a rough mindset of what you want out of this road trip, it will make the journey more purposeful. It will also keep you focused and help you enjoy better.
Next in line is preparing your car for the adventure.
This part of the journey is quite crucial because it is your car that will be taking you wherever you steer it. Planning ahead and with dexterity is quite important when it comes to preparing your car for the fun filled adventure in the winter season.
The first thing that you should do is take your car for a winter tune-up. This is all that the tune-up will include:
- The quality of the tires: There are different types of tires available in the market, they are mostly all season ones and the winter tires. If you have all season tires, you have to ascertain that they are good enough to take you through the planned route. If you have the slightest doubts, it is better to buy winter tires. Decent quality tires will make sure you don’t get stuck in snow ever so often.
- The quality of the windshield wipers: A satisfactory quality windshield wiper will make sure that it clears out all the ice rather than smearing it all over the windscreen.
- Anti- freeze in the radiator:You cannot imagine travelling around in your car during the winter without a radiator that will keep you warm. A radiator works on anti-freeze so, naturally, make sure that is there in adequate quantity.
- Ice scraper: All you need is $5 to get yourself a good enough ice scraper. There is no way you won’t need it on a road trip during the winter season.
- Jumper Cables:The cold of the winter makes it quite easy for the car’s battery to wear out. Witnessing a car’s engine not starting is not an uncommon experience. Leaving just a single roof light on inside the car for the night only means you will be greeted by a dead car battery in the morning. As long as you have jumper cables with you, the dead car battery will never be the kind of pause you want on your road trip. All you need after that is instructions on how you should use them and another car to give yours the boost it needs. While you’re putting the jumper cables to use, remember to give your vehicle a good run. This run will help in recharging the battery.
- Extra washer fluid for the windshield:Storms and sleet are common during the winter. Though you should already have a full windshield tank, you should also have an extra bottle with you, just in case.
Pack items that look miscellaneous but are quite necessary for a good road trip.
- Cell phone and charger: Get a cell phone charger that you can easily plug into your cigarette lighter. If you don’t have a lighter, get that too. Not having a charged phone during an emergency is the worst kind of situation in which you can find yourself.
- Sand or kitty litter: Snow is stubborn. Once your car gets stuck in a challenging pile of snow, it’s tough to drive the car out of it. For this reason, you must have a bag of kitty litter or sand so that whenever your car gets stuck in snow, and the wheels are slipping on it instead of moving ahead, you can put the bag under the power wheels and make your escape.
- Maps and GPS:They are essential take-along for a happy and fulfilling road trip. Once you get lost, finding your way back with the sun shining brightly and the clear roads is a challenge that’s big enough. Now, dull the brightness of the sun and cover everything with snow and imagine getting lost. Frustrating right? With the map and the GPS right there, not so much. You’ll need paper maps along with the GPS too because just in case it loses signal you will still know which direction you are supposed to take.
Winter Survival Kit
Survival comes into play anytime you step outside of the comfortable boundaries of your house for a long duration. Since you will be on the road for a long time, you will need to have an adequate supply of food and water to keep yourself healthy, full and hydrated. You may think about eating at rest stops, but since you are travelling in the winter season, you have to keep the factor of unpredictability in mind. Do not limit yourself to snacks, beverages, and packaged food. When it comes to food, the more you have, the better. If you lose your way, your car breaks down unexpectedly, or the weather gets too harsh to continue driving you may want to eat something that’s more fulfilling and nutritious. For the same reason, you must opt for MRE or Meals, Ready to Eat. These food options are the perfect fit for any outdoor activity, especially if you’re going out for a long time. Here is a list of special features of MREs that set them a class apart from all the other eating options.
- Initially created as food for the military, MREs are impact resistant and ruggedized for use. The external environment, no matter how extreme it gets, will never affect the quality of the food inside an MRE pack.
- Food inside each MRE meal has 1200-2000 calories that keep your body healthy and functioning optimally for the day.
- MREs are packed in hermetically sealed environment. This packing ensures that no loss in the quality of food and the nutritional content is incurred over time.
- Retention of food quality and nutritional content is further assured by the long shelf life that ranges from 3 days to 5 years. You don’t have to worry about not having edible food to eat even if you are eating a month after you bought the meals. Just make sure you have a look at the “”consume before”” date.
- Eating a hot meal in the cold winters, away from home on an outdoor adventure is something that will make your day. With MREs as your food, you don’t have to worry about building a campfire or setting up a stove. The MREs come with a self-activated heating feature that heats up the food as soon as you open the packet. Eat hot food on the go!
- MREs have their utensils which include plates, spoons, and fork.
- MREs have a huge variety of food, including Halal and Kosher option. If you buy a pack for the day, it will include all the three meals along with snacks, beverage, and desserts. This feature makes MRE the best combination of food and eliminates the need for you to carry anything extra.
- Most MRE packets come with water supplies. If you do not buy a food pack with water, then you can purchase the latter separately. You can get an adequate number of packets depending upon how long you will be on the road.
Given these distinct features that make MRE the best food option, it is wise if you invest in it.
A few driving tips
A few things that you will have to consider while driving in the winter include:
- Weather forecast:Everyday, before you check out of the hotel room including the day you begin your trip the first prerequisite is that you know the weather forecast. Knowing that the weather is going to turn bad in the next few hours will help you plan accordingly. You want to be in a warm blanket by the fireplace and not sitting in your car when it’s storming outside.
- Fill your gas tank as frequently as possible, which means that you will have to stop more. But don’t let comfort come in the way of what will be more convenient and helpful in the long term.
- Do not compromise with safetyat any point. From the driving point of view, this will include driving slowly, always clearing all the ice off the windows and the car.
- If you get stuck in the snow, which is a possibility when there is too much of it on the road, do not spin the wheels. Instead, press the accelerator and then remove your foot from it. Repeat this procedure several times till the car begins to rock. This rocking will provide the momentum you need to go forward.
- If you see a snowplow, the wiser choice to make is not to pass it. It is only pushing the thick snow out of the way so just stay there and let it finish the job.
We hope you have a great journey!”