Put your ‘Winter survival plan’ together now

Call it the winter season survival plan, cold weather enlightenment approach, or whatever, the raw truth is, we normally get a true winter season here, and if you don’t like it, then you’re living in the wrong part of the country. The once over-used term “global warming” has wisely been replaced by “climate change” by much of the media, following last winter’s hammering of the Mid Atlantic states … states that only occasionally get true winter weather. I’m pretty certain many people in those states would agree with the terminology change after last winter’s record-breaking weather there.

However, we of the northern Appalachian Plateau see winter weather every year, albeit some winters are more severe than others, but even so, cold and snow are the norm for us for at least a few months every year. There are those that dread it and those that welcome it. The difference between the two groups is the former sees it as a hindrance, while the latter views it as an opportunity to enjoy unique activities that are only available once a year. Many are avid snowmobilers, skiers and ice fishers, some also continue to hunt small game and predators through the end of their legal seasons, and still others enjoy walks to take in or photograph the wintery landscapes.

I’d guess the most difficult thing for many people who hate to see winter arrive is the often sudden switch from lighter clothing and footwear to those intended to keep them warm. You either ‘bundle up” each time you venture out or you feel the cold even more. Some also dislike driving on what can be slippery roads to and from events and activities. I’m often amused to see people dressed like it was still autumn and shivering because of it whenever they venture outdoors. Wearing an extra layer of clothing, a hat and insulated shoes or boots may not win any fashion shows, but it’ll make being outdoors in cold weather a lot more pleasant. Generally, our local winter roadways are kept pretty navigable, unless you try to drive like it’s still summer and roadways are bare. With so many of today’s vehicles using front-wheel, all-wheel or four-wheel drives, that, coupled with good tires, makes winter road travel much easier, safer and reliable.

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