- 🧊 Try to shovel before anyone walks or drives on the snow. Whenever the snow gets compressed, it turns to blocks of ice that are much harder to remove or melt.
- 🛷 Remember you can push the snow—you don’t have to lift it all.
- ☀️ Let the sun help. The white snow is very good at deflecting the sun’s heat—if you can remove enough snow to allow the sun to start reaching the pavement, it will help prevent new snow from sticking, it will help melt the bottom layer, it will help detach any ice chunks, etc. So it’s better to do a sloppy first pass and then return for a second pass after things have gotten a little slushy. (But budget your effort and be sure not to compact snow you’re not going to actually manage to remove.)
- 🏋️♀️ Get a second handle for your snow shovel. It reduces strain on your back and gives you a lot more options for the muscles you use, so that you can spread the load.
- Go slow downhill.
- Go fast(ish) uphill (you need momentum).
- Carry easy traction in your car: kitty litter (I don’t have a cat, but I keep some around as part of my general emergency supplies in case we lose indoor plumbing), or sample size pieces of carpet (lay them down to get out of wherever you are, then put it in park and collect them). You should also have chains in the car, even if you have snow tires, at a minimum to get through relevant checkpoints.
- If you have 4WD, this is a great time to engage to get out of a stuck spot (but turn it back off when you’re done).
- If you start to slide, turn your wheels in the direction of the slide in order to gain traction/control as soon as you can.
- (If you can, periodically test the surface you’re driving on to see whether there’s an icy layer you need to factor in)
- (Give a lot more space between you and the car in front of you, since it might take more time to stop and because that car has a much higher chance of doing something crazy.)
- Carry a snow and ice scraper in your car. I love this telescoping one. Remove the snow from the top of your car before driving—it can slide off and cause hazards for you or others.
- Add to your in the winter for the possibility of getting stuck: snacks, water (and/or a way to melt snow), warm clothes (maybe you’ll have to go dig yourself out or put chains on or maybe you’ll just want to preserve your remaining gas without running the heat in the car), hot hands, etc.Advice: Car bin for longer trips
See also: Space-age ear warmers