So You’re Going to the Snow?
by Rob Carlmark
One of my favorite revelations is the term “the snow”…that’s how you know somebody is from California. “What are you doing Friday? We’re going to the snow.” Cool…cool. That’s a classic conversation happening all over California right now. I can’t take credit for this observation. I saw it on social media somewhere but it hit hard.
Now that I have wasted a few moments of your time…let’s get to the point of this –tips and tricks.
Whenever the mountains get pounded with snow and the weather and roads clear up for the weekend…it’s going to get busy…so here are some classics and some NEW tips for you from me.
You know it’s going to be busy. Specifically this weekend has a lot of pent up demand..it’s been slow and this is the weekend before Christmas…kids might be off next week…the stars are aligned for a bombardment of folks heading to “the snow” (see it just rolls off the tongue)You know it’s busy, but it’s worth it so you’re going. That’s good. It will be fun. I am not here to discourage fun in the snow. It’s a magic memory-making-factory for families (and pets) so have fun but…two things that can wrap things up real quickly…bathrooms and food.
You can’t just make a bathroom appear in remote snowy areas so plan ahead. So think of a place where you have that option…or nearby so when inevitably it’s needed you can continue on. Food is REALLY important. You must have easy snacks that everyone likes. Getting there and back takes time and you might end up pushing past normal times to eat…the snacks moderate the “hangry” factor and again…keeps the spirits up. For an actual meal staffing continues to be difficult. Indoor seating is limited, so again plan for that.
For clothes…bring two of everything. This seems like overkill…but unless it’s really cold…the heat of your body…and car…and sun will melt that snow and…you become wet. Once you are wet…you are cold and it’s game over. This is especially true for kids. That ONE outfit that is cute for the snow….will be wet and soaked in about 20 minutes. They will also lose one or both gloves if you are not paying attention. So two…keeps you in the game AND provides something dry for the long drive home. Anything cotton gets wet and stays wet and should be avoided in cold and snow.
Invest in something that works for the snow every single time. I am in the snow ALL the time every winter…guess how many snow boots I have….ONE. I have had one pair of boots since I was 16 in high school….yes one. They still work, are comfortable and warm and I loan them out too. They were about 50 dollars back in the 90s and as long as my feet are warm and dry…I am more than halfway there. Hand me downs of good warm gear last decades and you only need a few…then pass it down.
NEW TIP Think about DURABLE snow play stuff. I literally just found out about metal saucer sleds…like this week. The most common thing (and complaint from locals) is to use a cheap plastic sled or saucer that breaks then throw it away there. If playing in the snow is something you enjoy, and your friends as well, then spending just a bit more will get you something that lasts, and you can share. Remember this is just a tip…I have some cheap plastic stuff..but still have some things when I was a kid so again…just sharing ideas. My next saucer will be metal.
Loading up…I have found two things that really help move around all the bulky snow clothes…laundry hampers and IKEA bags with a carabiner. The laundry hamper you just throw stuff in…it can hold some melted snow so you don’t mess up your car. Those big blue IKEA bags hold a ton and since you know it’s all going to spill out that clip keeps it together.
Finally picking a spot can be hard. Pulling off the road “real quick” to sled and play can be problematic. I am not here to wag my finger…but I want you to enjoy what you came for. You have private property considerations, safety etc. After a big snow…think trenches. You can only drive on what’s plowed and that’s limited roads and parking…anything else can be dangerous or you could get stuck. The private specific sledding spots can be fun but it cost money. The California Sno-Parks are cheap…you need a permit but tick a lot of boxes…but they are busy. If you can venture out a bit…it may be worth it.
Thanks for reading and send me your tips! I am just one person with tips. Your comments can really add to help us enjoy THE SNOW!
California Weather with Rob Carlmark: More than sunshine