Six Useful Tips for Getting Around in Snowy Weather

10 02 2013


Image from Flickr creative commons via DCSL

Snow is a weather condition which, above all others, tends to ensure that everyone, and everything, grinds to a halt. Here in the UK in particular, many of us become very frustrated by the way in which a few centimetres of snowfall seem to cause disproportionate disruption to transport and other services.

On the other hand, the sight of several centimetres of lying snow is very attractive to many people, and is irresistible for them, luring them outdoors to enjoy playing in it and to enjoy the changes to the landscape which it can help create.

Nevertheless, snow is always associated with a range of other winter conditions, and it is the many combinations of these which can really make it difficult to get around, and to find a place of safety.

Many people, though, still face the challenge of having to get around as normal when snow begins to fall, and do not have the option of being able to stay put and try to keep warm and sheltered once it hits.

For these people, the following tips can help them ensure that, as far as possible, their progress is not inhibited:

1. Keep your head covered – as this is the part of the body through which more body heat is lost than any other, it is a good idea to keep it covered. Wool is considered the best fabric for doing this, but seasoned outdoor venturers say that almost anything is better than no covering at all. Keeping your ears covered is also highly desirable, as they are highly susceptible to frostbite.

2. Dress yourself in layers of synthetic fabrics – wearing inner layers of synthetic material will help to effectively carry sweat away from your body. Failing this, wool is the best substance to use, as it helps retain the body’s heat inside your shell of clothing.

3. Keep your hands covered – Mittens are a better option than gloves, as they are better at retaining heat in your entire hand than gloves, which are not as good at preserving heat which can be lost through your fingers.

4. Cover your feet in the right material – cotton socks soak up moisture and wearing these chill the feet more rapidly than using main-made equivalents, such as polyester or polypropylene.

5. When walking in snow, always wear a good pair of sturdy shoes or, preferably snow boots, with a good grip. Ice grips, which simply slip on over your footwear to offer extra traction when walking on snow or ice are a very useful item.

Otherwise, tips for walking in snow include keeping your pace slow yet steady, and always watching where you are treading; always trying to plant your feet in fresh snow, or on snow which covers grass or a similar soft surface, as this will help absorb the impact should you slip and fall.

Finally, always try to keep your hands free when walking on snow, and avoid carrying items such as wallets or purses. In this way, you can use your hands to help brace yourself if you do fall, and absorb some of the impact, keeping it away from more exposed body areas such as your knees, hips, elbows, chin and head.

And of course, there is a wide range of protective wear on the market to help make you more confident when forced to negotiate thick snow. A good, warm pair of snow boots, for example, will help ensure that not only do you keep your footing when you cannot properly see the conditions underfoot, but that you can keep moving at a steady pace so that you can get to a warm place as quickly as possible.






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