It’s nearing the end of February and by this time some of us are yearning for Spring that has shown signs, telling us that it’s right around the corner. We’ve battled a few months of freezing weather and some snow storms along the way.
Now that the snow has melted, some of us might feel like we could have earned a title by this point. Well, we’re going to settle that here. We’re going to call it the Cold Weather Pro Quiz.
Note: By Pro, we mean someone who has or shows great skill; someone who is an expert [ https://www.thefreedictionary.com/professional]. While aspects of this quiz are on the light-hearted side, the purpose is to refresh vital winter safety tips and to gain more in the process. Answer the questions below as you read along, and count up your points to see how close you are to a Cold Weather Pro status! Let’s begin.
14 Questions – 3 Potential Bonus Points – 17 Total Points Possible
- You prepare your vehicle before the road. If you are warming up your vehicle, scraping off ice or brushing off snow, you do what you need to do ahead of time so that you are safe to drive.
* If you don’t own a vehicle, 1 point for leaving extra time you leave for preparing yourself or dependants before you head out.
- You have a windshield ice scraper in the car.
*If you don’t own a vehicle, 1 point for taking extra gloves or mittens.
3 You plan ahead.If there’s snow, ice, and the roads aren’t nice, you add more time for travel. You leave your place early because you know you will be driving slower due to the road conditions.
4 You layer up. No one needs to remind you to have extra warm layers on – you already have them on. By now you are accustomed to winter temperatures and dress for the occasion.
* 1 BONUS point for wool sourced from the Atlantic provinces!
- You don’t sweat it. When outside, you keep a steady pace to keep yourself from major perspiration. You don’t overexert yourself because you know that sweat, being wet, will push the warmth away from your body[https://thebigoutside.com/12-pro-tips-for-staying-warm-outdoors-in-winter/]. This also means that when you are cooling down, you’ll freeze! Professional backpacker and adventurer, Michael Lanza, from The Big Outside, recommends keeping fingers and toes warm, breathing heavily is fine, but says that you might want to take a break if you find yourself panting outside if you don’t want to lose heat.
- If you know you’re going to be outside for a while, you eat beforehand. Lanza says that if you’re going out for more than two hours in freezing weather, “your body needs more fuel … to keep your internal furnace burning.” He recommends high-fat foods like chocolate, cheese, and nuts [https://thebigoutside.com/12-pro-tips-for-staying-warm-outdoors-in-winter/]and warns that if you feel a chill or feel fatigued, then it’s time to load up with calories again.
- You take caution for black ice. You know that just because the roads/walkways look clear, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily mean that they are. You know that black ice can form if the temperature was above freezing (or if the sun came out) snow melted, then temperature drops below freezing when the ground is wet. You also know that black ice is possible after temperatures drop to below freezing after dew or fog formed from the moisture in the air [https://weather.com/science/weather-explainers/news/black-ice-winter-weather-explainer].
Here are some driving tips Rich Heinrich, Master Instructor at Emeritus, recommends in the winter:
-keep your distance
-accelerate and break smoothly
-if you skid, steer into it (if you back wheels are sliding right, steer in that direction)
(otherwise you’ll be making donuts)
- You have a cold-weather emergency kit ready to go in your car or home.
* 1 BONUS point for having used it this winter!
Everyone should consider having an emergency weather kit, whether it’s at home or in the car. Do you have one? What do you have in your emergency weather kit? Here are some things you can consider putting away for emergency’s sake.
- a blanket,
- a flashlight
- extra batteries
- windshield wiper fluid
- a first-aid kit
- water and non-perishable food items like energy bar
- a lighter or box of matches (in a waterproof bag)
- a map
- You don’t suffer as you brace yourself when you head outside in the cold anymore because you know it’s actually be good for your health. You’re aware that being outdoors in the cold strengthens your metabolism and prompts healthy blood flow [https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/out-in-the-cold].
- You’ve learned the art of getting your vehicle unstuck from the snow. You’re cool, calm, and collected even if your vehicle is stuck.
Chris Teague, writer for The Drive, gives 4 tips for getting out of the snow if you find yourself stuck:
-first, dig out any snow from around your tires
-rock your car back and forth (driving forward, reverse, and repeat)
-add traction if you need it with salt, sand, or kitty litter
-ask a for help [https://www.thedrive.com/cars-101/36927/car-stuck-in-snow].
Teague reminds not to floor the gas pedal as it can make things worse, to not panic, to ask for help when it’s available, and to drive safely once you’re out.
11 You’ve dug out your vehicle out after being snowed over.
-If you don’t own a vehicle, 1 point for having to shovel your way out from the door.
-1 BONUS point for helping a friend do so
-If you live in an apartment where it’s done for you, well, consider yourself auspicious, but no point here.
12 You keep sand and salt handy in the car or at home for cold-weather emergencies.
13 You’ve finally come to terms with the cold weather and you go outside because you actually seem to enjoy it now. You’ve started to relax and appreciate the scene around you. You even smile as you breathe in the crisp, Nova Scotia cold winter air into your lungs.
14 You relate completely to the words of naturalist, John Burroughs:
“He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter…. In winter the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of a more exalted simplicity.” – John Burroughs [www.wisesayings.com/winter-quotes/?sm=2426#2426] [https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/43560.John_Burroughs]
Count up your Cold Weather Pro points to see the results.
1-5 Points: Cold Weather Participant
6-13 Points: Cold Weather Friend
14 Points: Cold Weather Pro
14 Points PLUS: Cold Weather Master. You didn’t see that coming, did you? Congratulations on putting safety first and making it through Winter successfully.
We hope this quiz has earned a smile on your face and perhaps gained you a winter tip as you recounted some adventures of this winter’s past.
Source: https://northwestdrivingschool.com/how-to-keep-your-car-out-of-a-ditch-this-winter | [https://www.almanac.com/content/winter-car-emergency-kit]