For the people who live in the south, who have never driven through snow, or are able to wear flip-flops all year round, this blog may save your life…if you plan on traveling to a place where the northerners call home.
When thinking about road trips, people typically think about traveling in the summer. It’s easy to prepare for and the summer allows for free movement with relatively forgiving weather. But traveling through the snow and rain may prove fatal for those who are unprepared for the journey ahead. So, for those of your thinking about traveling this winter, here are a few things to consider before you hit the road:
1. Get Your Car Properly Prepared
Take your car to a trusted mechanic and let him/her know that you are going on a road trip. Be specific with the kind of weather and terrain you will be dealing with. They will check every essential part of your vehicle and bring it up to snuff before you depart. It may cost you a pretty penny, but the benefit of a top-notch car will far outweigh the cost.
When talking to your mechanic, be specific about your travel details. Are you going off-roading? Do you have 4-wheel drive? Are you traveling through snow or rain? What is the average temperature of the region this time of year? Disclosing this information will help your mechanic make precise decisions about what your car is going to need for the road ahead.
And I must stress this: ONLY WORK with a mechanic that you TRUST. If you don’t have good faith in the mechanic that you are working with, DON’T WORK with them.
2. Prepare for the Likely “Worst Case” Scenario
As you prepare you and your car for your trip, its important to think about how you can fortify you and your car with any supplies that can help you with potential road blocks.
To start, begin with packing snow chains, a shovel, and a bag of sand. Cars get stuck in snow all the time, and it’s even worse if you get stuck between towns. These three items are the absolute bare minimum to bring just for car maintenance.
How about for yourself? Bring all the snow and rain gear you would need to keep your body warm and dry. No need to wear it all while driving, but keep it readily available in your back seat or trunk. Next bring extra food and water. Extra blankets are a good touch too. Cold temperatures suck away precious calories from the human body at an accelerated rate, so in the event you get stuck for hours, you will be able to keep yourself alive with the food you brought.
Lastly, consider bringing state approved self-defense weapons with you on your journey. Every state is different, so look up state law before you pack anything. Many travelers carry mase, knives, and even fire arms to protect themselves against predators or unfriendly human interaction. Exercise these tools with caution and always abide by the local law.
3. Share Your Itinerary
Before you leave your trip, share your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member. Share with them where you are going, when you plan to arrive and depart, and provide them with the addresses and phone numbers they need to get in contact with you.
I know that may not sound ideal to every traveler. Many like to travel alone or to simply “fall off the grid” so to speak, but please consider your personal safety and the well-being of those who care for you before you leave. If anything bad were to happen to you, you are not the only person who would be affected. Your friends and family will also suffer emotional pain should anything bad happen to you.
4. Stay Powered Up
Electronics have become an essential tool for travelers everywhere. A simple smart phone will allow you to make calls on the road, record suspicious activity via video/voice recorder, and internet access will provide you with quick knowledge for urgent matters. These devices, along with snow chains and food, could be the difference between life or death, so it is extremely important that you keep your electronics powered up.
Our power stations are a safe and reliable way to keep not just your cell phones charged, but anything that needs a charge of any kind to remain powered up. Provided you have a power station with the proper wattage, you can power up items like cell phones, GPS’s, Walkie Talkies, electric blankets, and even some kitchen appliances like croc pots.
We all rely on electrically powered tools and appliances, and it’s important to make sure that they have the power they need to keep running in risky situations. We have power stations ranging from 200 watts to 1500 watts, so it will be easy for you to find the right power station to fit your needs.
One of my favorite mantras is, “safety means nothing happens”. In other words, when safety is taken as a top priority, you will save yourself from tough situations. Proper safety protocol will keep your trip running smoothly, and will enable you and your family to create more good memories than bad. Take caution, prepare ahead of time, and enjoy your winter travels with peace of mind and a little extra power.