Welcome to winter, folks! Up here in our home state of Vermont, the snow is falling, the trees are glistening, and we’re all planning our weekends around that big ski trip. But as much as we love winter, we can’t deny that it comes with its challenges. Like digging your car out of a snowbank after a storm. Or being cold all. the. time. Or navigating walking the dog when the sidewalks haven’t been plowed yet.
As an office of Vermonters, we have some tried-and-true winter hacks for you. Stay warm out there, ice cream lovers.
Item number 1
Beware The Plow Pile
It’s a specific type of pain to spend an hour or more shoveling only to watch the snow plow go by, depositing a fresh pile of ice and snow at the end of your driveway. Save yourself the regret — wait until after the plow has gone by to shovel the driveway.
Item number 2
Recycle Your Heat
Item number 3
Scraping By On Credit
Forgot to put your ice scraper in the car? A credit card works in a pinch. Gloves strongly recommended for this maneuver.
Item number 4
Snow + Maple Syrup = Heaven
Sure, ice cream is the real MVP of desserts, but we wouldn’t be doing our due diligence as Vermonters without mentioning sugar on snow. Heat a small saucepan of maple syrup (the real stuff) on the stove, and drizzle it over a bowl of packed (clean) snow. Grab a spoon, and enjoy!
Item number 5
Kitty Litter Can Be A Lifesaver
Wheels spinning hopelessly on the ice? Kitty litter is just the thing to give you the traction you need. We like to keep a bag in our trunks, just in case.
Item number 6
Pack An Emergency Car Kit
We don’t want to believe we’ll ever be stranded by the side of the road in a storm, but it happens. Keep some survival essentials in your car in case the worst happens: hand warmers, a blanket, a collapsible shovel, energy bars, water, jumper cables, and a first aid kit.
Item number 7
Turn your favorite mixed drink into an instant slushy! Grab a handful of snow from outside your door, and use that instead of ice. BAM! It’s slushy time.
Item number 8
Snow Tires Are A Must-Have (But So Is Smart Driving)
We are all about snow tires up here in the north country. They’re worth every penny and every moment of hassle. But, they’re not a replacement for prudent driving. If it’s slippery, slow down. Those tires can only do so much.
Item number 9
Function > Form
When the mercury falls, let fashion fall by the wayside, too. Those fluffy boots with the 4-inch heels may be cute, but they aren’t going to do you any favors in a foot of snow. Instead, try this: sturdy, waterproof boots; layers upon layers of flannel, fleece, wool, and down; a good hat, no matter how ugly; and waterproof gloves or mittens.
Item number 10
Let The Great Outdoors Be Your Refrigerator
No more room in the refrigerator or freezer? Just open the back door! Keep drinks (and pints of ice cream) cold without giving up precious fridge space.
Item number 11
Make a Winter Wonderland Play Table For Kids
Turn a sand or water table into a winter play spot for the little ones. Freeze bowls of water to make icebergs and bring in scoops of snow to make snowbanks. Give kids toy penguins and polar bears to play with in their little winter wonderland.
Item number 12
Plan Ahead For Snowstorms
Here’s a rookie mistake we’ve all made: you wake up to a huge snowfall, and — whoops — your shovel or snowblower is in the shed, 30 feet away from the house. Plan ahead — when you know a snowstorm is coming, park your shovels or snowblower right by your door. No wading through the snow needed.