If you are planning on moving to Idaho or are considering it as a possible option for the future, there is a good chance you are worrying about what might happen when winter comes around. This is an understandable worry, especially if you come from a place that is usually warm and sunny. Idaho does not have the harshest winters on the planet or in the country, but it definitely gets cold and that cold often comes with heavy snow or other bad winter weather. However, people go on living in Idaho despite this apparent difficulty. Very few people up and leave the state once the snow clears and they are free to drive away. How do they make it work? That is a very reasonable question. Most Idahoans have adapted to survive and thrive in the winter, whether they are in a city with massive public works options or live out in the country where the neighbors live more than a mile away. There are many tips and tricks that they learned by living in the state, but maybe you do not have the time to wait for that to happen on its own, and that is why I am here. I am going to give you a little introduction on what you can do to make Idaho’s winters a time of fun, rather than a time of difficulties.
Driving in cold weather
First, you should know how to drive in cold weather. Considering how large Idaho is and how much space there is between whatever destinations you might be visiting, you will almost certainly have to drive at some point during your stay there, even if you do not own a car, and when that time comes, you do not want to be slipping all over the road until you inevitably smash into something hard and deadly. The ideal way to drive when there is snow or ice out is to not drive at all, but that is an unrealistic way to look at the situation. Once you get out on the road, drive carefully and slowly. Do everything slowly. Accelerate slowly. Decelerate slowly. Keep your speed on the road at or below the limit, otherwise, you will not have the reaction time to adjust for any problems that arise, either in your car or outside it. It takes a lot longer to slow down when there is ice on the road. You will not be able to rely on your breaks to quickly stop you, even if they are the best breaks money can buy. Further, the faster you are going the more likely you are to have a problem. Tires spin on ice and when your tires spin your car is not far behind them. Also, keep in mind that it is easy to get stuck in snow, even if it is not very deep. Your tires can become immobilized by the frozen water around them and then you are not going anywhere. One common solution to this problem is to keep a bag of kitty litter in your car. Now, this sounds crazy, but if you sprinkle kitty litter around your tires in healthy amounts it will melt the snow and generate traction your tires can use to move. Once your tires are free and moving, you should have no trouble getting up to speed.
Things to have in cold weather
If you come from a warmer climate, there are some more crucial items you are going to want. An ice scraper is standard for most cars, but if you do not have one you definitely want to get one. It takes a lot of time and a fair amount of idling car exhaust to defrost a window, but a scraper will do the same job in about a minute. It can be annoying work, but it is better than waiting in a frozen car or driving blind. Warm clothing is absolutely essential, and you need much more than a single winter coat to bring with you every time you go outside. Dressing in layers is important and you want emergency clothing if you forget that winter cloak of if it is not enough. Keep a blanket and a very heavy jacket in your car in case you get stranded or find yourself needing to bear the elements. Gloves are also important, and you should have several different kinds. Different gloves are suited for different temperatures and a variety of activities. You should have snow shovels for your home and maybe for your car as well. They will help you clear away snow from your driveway, the walkway to your front door, or any other thing that needs less snow. Idahoans use all of these tools and more to stay safe and keep themselves comfortable when the snow starts to fall and the roads start to ice up.
One of the great things about Idaho is that a lot of the infrastructure of the state is ready for cold weather and snow and ice. In other states, whole regions can be shut down when a little snow falls to the ground. The roads ice up and no one knows what to do when that happens. There are no services to combat this or keep people safe. Idaho, on the other hand, has many different services and has spent its entire life preparing for each winter. The roads are patrolled by vehicles with snow plows attached to the front, ready at a moment’s notice to spring into action and clear the roads of snow and ice. Houses and most other structures are built with cold weather in mind and are less likely to be damaged by heavy snowfall or extremely cold weather. You still need to be mindful of the things that can happen to a house during winter, such as freezing pipes bursting, but your options are easier, and everything is built to help you. Incidentally, the best thing to do to avoid bursting pipes is to shut your water off when it is predicted to get particularly cold. That was, no water will be in the pipes to freeze.