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Top Tips For Best Road Tripping in the Snow

Traveling in the winter can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Within the United States, some of the best sights can be observed during the winter months, whether Niagara Falls or the northern lights in Alaska. Either way, understanding and preparing for road tripping and any unexpected weather is imperative.

Route Planning and Homework for Snow Road Tripping

Proper route planning is essential for any road trip. Before embarking on your journey, it’s crucial to check weather forecasts along your intended path. Reliable sources such as the National Weather Service or local news outlets can provide up-to-date information on current weather conditions and any potential storms or snowfall in the area.

Plan for Extra Time

winter bridge

When traveling in the winter, it is best to account for any mishaps or unexpected weather when scheduling your itinerary. Whether moving in winter like snowcats or traveling to visit your family for the holidays, leaving a day at the beginning or end of your vacation to account for weather is important. In addition, this extra planning for your road trip should include leaving early in the day to get to your destination by the time night falls. 

Basic Vehicle Maintenance and Stocking Your Vehicle

Regular vehicle maintenance is crucial for winter driving. The cold weather can put extra strain on your car’s engine and systems, so it’s important to ensure everything is in good working order before setting off on any snowy adventures. Here are some key steps to take when it comes to maintaining your vehicle for traveling in the snow:

Check tire pressure, battery, and fluids before setting off

One of the first things you should do before your road trip is check the tire pressure of your car. Cold temperatures can cause a decrease in tire pressure, which can affect traction on slippery roads. Make sure all tires are properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Pay attention to your car battery. Cold weather can reduce its efficiency, so it’s essential to have a fully charged battery before embarking on any snowy journeys. Consider having a professional test your battery if you suspect any issues.

Furthermore, check all essential fluids such as oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid. These fluids play a vital role in keeping your vehicle running smoothly during winter conditions. Ensure they are at appropriate levels and consider using winter-specific formulations where applicable.

Stock your vehicle with emergency supplies like blankets and water

When traveling in snowy conditions, it’s crucial to be prepared for unexpected situations or delays. Stocking your vehicle with emergency supplies can provide peace of mind and potentially save lives. Here are some items you should consider having on hand:

  • Blankets or extra warm clothing: In case you get stranded or experience a breakdown, having extra layers will help keep you warm.
  • Bottled water: Staying hydrated is important even in cold weather.
  • Non-perishable snacks: Pack some energy bars or granola bars that won’t spoil easily.
  • Flashlight with spare batteries: A flashlight will come in handy if you need to inspect something under low light conditions.
  • First aid kit: Always have a basic first aid kit readily available in case of any injuries.
  • Roadside assistance contact information: Keep the number of a reliable roadside assistance service in your phone or written down.

Carry a shovel and ice scraper for clearing snow and ice

Snow and ice can accumulate on your vehicle, obstructing visibility and hindering movement. Having a shovel and an ice scraper in your car will allow you to clear away any snow or ice buildup quickly. This way, you can ensure optimal visibility through your windows and prevent any potential hazards while driving.

Preparing Your Car

The best way to prepare your car for long drives in the winter is replacing your tires with snow tires. Further, if you are driving in more rugged environments, you may want to investigate snow chains to place on your tires. Another way to prepare your car for a winter road trip is by packing extra food, water, and blankets just in case you get stranded during a snow storm or your car breaks down. While being stranded at any time is terrible, being stranded during the winter months can be deadly. Thus, being prepared with the most basic survival needs is important. 

Another preparation for your car before leaving on your trip is getting any maintenance done. This may be replacing your oil, putting air in your tires, or fixing your windshield. Even if you do not have any scheduled maintenance to complete, it may be a good idea to bring your car in just to double check that everything is ready to go. For heat protection of your cars pipes, make sure to look into installing a Kompensator. Make sure to investigate and learn more about this technology before your trip.

Watch the Weather

Another important step during your travels during the winter months is watching the weather. While, of course, it is important to check your weather before you leave for your trip, it is also imperative to keep checking the weather reports to see if there are any changes. These changes can cause major discourse for your travels. Thus, take the time to check the weather constantly throughout traveling. 

Make Pit Stops

pit stop winter road trip

When planning your winter escape, make sure to incorporate pit stops in small towns. While, in theory, one would do this anyways to enjoy all parts of their road trip, these stops will allow you to take a break from winter driving, double check everything is good with your car, and look at the rest of the forecasted weather for your drive. In addition, while you are in these little towns, make sure to “shop local” and check out the small businesses. These shops have suffered greatly from the pandemic’s decrease in tourism and would love to see your face! While they do have insurance to cover small damages from the decline in tourism, the majority of their income will come from customer sales. If these businesses are in New York, they may actually have surety bonds for insurance to prevent from damages (see best surety bond ny).

Nonperishable Snacks and Car Chargers for Long Trips

Long journeys in the snow can be unpredictable, with potential delays and unexpected road conditions. To ensure you stay fueled and connected on the road, it’s essential to pack nonperishable snacks and have a reliable car charger. Let’s dive into these two important aspects of traveling in the snow.

Pack Nonperishable Snacks to Keep You Fueled During Long Journeys

When embarking on a long trip in wintry weather, it’s crucial to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. Delays due to heavy snowfall or icy roads are not uncommon, so having nonperishable snacks on hand can make a significant difference in keeping hunger at bay. These snacks provide sustenance without the need for refrigeration or heating.

Consider packing an assortment of nonperishable options that are both tasty and nutritious. Here are some examples:

  • Granola bars: These compact treats are packed with energy-rich ingredients like oats, nuts, and dried fruits.
  • Nuts: Almonds, cashews, or mixed nuts are excellent choices as they offer protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients.
  • Dried fruit: From raisins to apricots or banana chips, dried fruit provides natural sweetness along with fiber and vitamins.

By having these nonperishable snacks readily available during your snowy travels, you’ll be able to satisfy hunger pangs without relying solely on finding open restaurants or convenience stores along the way.

Ensure Your Car Charger is Compatible with Your Devices

In today’s digital age, staying connected while traveling has become increasingly important. Whether it’s using GPS navigation systems or keeping your passengers entertained with movies on tablets or smartphones, having fully charged devices is essential. This is where a reliable car charger comes into play.

Before hitting the road in snowy conditions, double-check that your car charger is compatible with your devices. Different car chargers may have varying power outputs, so it’s crucial to ensure they can provide sufficient battery power for your specific devices.

If you’re unsure about compatibility, consider investing in a versatile car charger that offers multiple USB ports and adjustable voltage settings. This way, you can charge various devices simultaneously without worrying about compatibility issues.

Remember to secure your devices properly while driving. Utilize car seat holders or mount them securely on the dashboard to ensure both safety and accessibility throughout the journey.

Conclusion: Navigating the Challenges of Traveling in the Snow

In conclusion, traveling in the snow can be a thrilling adventure, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. To ensure a safe and enjoyable journey, here are some key takeaways:

  1. Basic Vehicle Maintenance and Stocking Your Vehicle: Regularly check your vehicle’s tires, brakes, and fluid levels. Stock up on essentials like blankets, water, snacks, and a flashlight.
  2. Installing Skid Chains or Snow Tires: Equip your vehicle with skid chains or snow tires to enhance traction on slippery roads. This will significantly reduce the risk of accidents and provide better control.
  3. Using Traction Aids and Carrying a First Aid Kit: Consider using traction aids such as sandbags or kitty litter to improve grip when stuck in snow. Moreover, always carry a well-stocked first aid kit for any unforeseen emergencies.
  4. Road Emergency Essentials: Jump Starter, Ice Scraper, and Snow Brush: Be prepared for roadside emergencies by keeping items like a jump starter to revive dead batteries, an ice scraper to clear windshields quickly, and a snow brush for removing accumulated snow from your vehicle.
  5. Route Planning and Homework for Snow Travel: Plan your route beforehand by checking weather conditions and road closures. Research alternative routes if necessary to avoid hazardous areas.
  6. Nonperishable Snacks and Car Chargers for Long Trips: Pack nonperishable snacks that provide sustenance during long trips through snowy regions. Also, bring car chargers to keep your electronic devices powered up.

Remember that safety should always be your top priority when traveling in snowy conditions. By following these tips and taking necessary precautions, you can have an enjoyable winter journey without compromising on safety.

Stay safe out there!