Top 10 Tips for Driving in Winter Weather

As temperatures drop and roads get slippery with ice and snow, even the most experienced of drivers can face challenges. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are over 1.2 million weather-related vehicle crashes across the U.S. each year, with 18% of them occurring due to adverse winter conditions. This year, Rand McNally’s road trip experts have compiled a list of tips to help keep drivers safe and road-ready.

1. Know the meaning of different winter weather alerts issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). Make sure you know the difference among the various alerts before you hit the road:

a. Winter Storm Warning: This warning is issued when a significant winter weather event occurs, including snow, ice, sleet or blowing snow. The NWS advises against traveling; if you must drive, bring a winter survival kit (see point No. 5) in your vehicle.
b. Winter Storm Watch: This alert means that severe winter conditions may be in effect and could make travel treacherous. You can expect heavy sleet, heavy snow, ice, blowing snow, and poor visibility.
c. Winter Weather Advisory: The advisory is announced when wintry conditions are expected, but conditions are not as hazardous as the warnings or watches. Be alert and careful on the road at all times.

2. Slow down and proceed with caution. If the roads are icy, it can take longer to brake, so make sure you are going at a speed that allows you to maintain traction and avoid skidding. Also, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to stop at intersections. Allow for three to twelve times more stopping distance than in normal dry conditions, depending upon the size of your vehicle.

3. Pull over if it’s too difficult to safely drive, such as in whiteout conditions, or if you’ve had an accident. If you unexpectedly find yourself unable to drive, try to pull over and park your car out of harm’s way. Do not leave your vehicle, sit tight, and wait for help or until the dangerous conditions have passed. You can safely run the heat in your car for 10 minutes every hour to help warm up and keep the battery charged, but ensure that your exhaust pipe is free of snow to avoid any harmful carbon monoxide incidents.

4. Before heading out, be sure to tell a friend or family member your travel schedule and route. This is especially important if you are driving in rural areas or on lightly-traveled roads.

5. Make sure your car is stocked with the proper gear to handle winter driving-related tasks, as well as emergency supplies. The National Safety Council recommends that you have certain items on hand, such as a small shovel; jumper cables; a bag of kitty litter to create traction if you happen to get stuck; a flashlight; a small tool kit; an ice scraper; a first aid kit; matches; blankets; non-perishable, high-energy foods like dried fruits, and water.

6. Regularly check your windshield to ensure that the washer reservoir is full – and stash an extra bottle of fluid in your trunk. Be sure to buy fluid with extra alcohol or de-icer, to ensure that it works at lower temperatures.

7. Keep your gas tank full. Cold temperatures can cause condensation to form on the walls of a low fuel tank; the water may then find its way into the fuel lines, freezing and blocking the flow of fuel to the engine. If this happens, you could find yourself stuck and racking up some pricey repair costs.

8. Check your tire pressure before you leave. When outdoor temperatures drop, so does inflation pressure. Lower pressure can close up the tread and decrease traction, which can increase the likelihood of skidding on snow and ice and getting into an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends checking your tires at least once a month and before long road trips – it only takes a few minutes and you’ll be glad you did. Many cars provide low tire pressure warnings; if you receive such a warning, stop as soon as possible to check your tire pressure.

9. Remember, safety first. Always wear your seatbelt, and make sure that all other passengers in the car are buckled up in the appropriate way based on their age and size. According to the NHTSA, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13 – so make sure that kids are in the right car seat and that it’s installed correctly.

10. Keep your cell phone charged and keep a spare charger in the car. If something happens, you’ll want to make sure that you have a way to reach someone, including emergency responders if cell service is available.

Severe weather can be challenging for drivers, but it’s manageable if you prepare in advance. That way, you’ll be ready for anything that Mother Nature throws your way.

How to Choose the Best Winter Jacket?

Winters are on their way, and it’s the right time to shop for your winter wardrobe. From leather jackets to winters coats to long boots and high neck sweaters, you have to buy so much stuff and the time is so less.  Now, we all know the fact that shopping for winters is fun, but at the same time, it’s quite a daunting task too. The reason why winter shopping can be hectic is because of the prices mainly. Winter coats and jackets etc are not at all cheap and even if you end up with a cheap or less costly jacket, you will soon suffer with it when it starts showing the signs of poor quality.

choosing a winter coat

The point is that before heading to the market or before tapping on the “Buy Now” button, just make sure that you’ve done enough research on what to buy and what not to buy. One of the most important things that almost every one of us has is a winter jacket. Winter jackets are like an essential for winters, and you cannot deny this fact in any case. Always remember that if you want to end up on the right product then shop for quality and not for quantity. You don’t want to buy a winter jacket just to wear for a few months, in fact, you’d want to wear it for at least two to three winters which are why quality should be your priority.


Now, if you are someone who wants some help with buying mens fashion jackets etc then you are at the right place, reading the right article. First of all, you should make sure that the brand that you are buying the jacket from is a quality brand like Differio and secondly there are some other things that you have to consider before making a purchase like;


1- Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle matters a lot when you have to buy a winter jacket. You see there are several different styles available in the market, there’s a different type of jacket for someone who has to go to the office daily, there’s a different jacket if you like to go and play in the snow outside and there is a different jacket for you if you just like to sit at home and stay warm. So, first know your needs and then decide on a jacket.


2- Check the insulation

Your jacket should be capable enough to keep you warm when it’s freezing cold outside because after all, that’s what you are buying the jacket for in the first place. Don’t just buy the jacket because it looks good in fact, buys it so that it can keep you warm too.


3- Check the length

There are different types and lengths of winter jackets available out there so first know the length that you want to buy. Do you want to wear a long winter jacket or you want one with a tight-fitting and short length? It’s all about your needs and your likes at the end of the day. Just buy what you think suits you the best.


4- The color of the jacket

Check for the jackets that are of your favorite colors. Most people like to buy black winter jackets, but you should consider other options too like red or some other bright colored jacket. You never know if you end up looking really nice once you try a new color.



These are some of the things that you should consider before buying a winter jacket. Use these tips, and we assure you that you will land on a good jacket that will work for you for a lot of winters.


Winter Fun at Okemo

Is your family’s idea of the perfect holiday gift several feet of fresh powder beneath their feet? At a time of year when cabin fever attacks, the freedom and exhilaration in skiing is the perfect antidote. When you drive up with your folks or the kids, you want the rest of your vacation to be spent having fun – not more driving around. A resort with all the amenities to please everyone fits the bill: Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont.  We had a great time checking out all that the resort had to offer- and there was quite a bit to do.

ski vermont

Nestled in the heart of the Green Mountains, they offer 8 different styles of accommodations – many with ski in-out availability. Choices range from classic mountain lodge rooms to multiple options for larger families – perfect for those family reunions.

At Jackson Gore Inn, thoughtful amenities like deep soaking tubs to loosen up sore muscles after a run down the slopes. An indoor pool and game arcade keep the kids occupied during inclement weather or after skiing.

All that fresh air exercise is sure to work up your appetite. Okemo has well over a dozen options sure to please everyone in your group. Start your day with a hearty breakfast to give you the energy you need at Base68 or, if a skinny latte’s all you need, they’ve got Starbucks. All your favorite BBQ meats are on the menu at Squeels on Wheels – don’t you just love the name? Sen Den Sushi and Siena boast international flair. E

But, what about the snow? Wintertime is special at Okemo, with Alpine and Nordic skiing for all levels –featuring Vermont’s highest drop — snow tubing, fat bike rentals, a hockey rink, snow shoeing, and, when your legs have given out, special SnowCat excursions. These require prior reservations and are weather dependent, so plan ahead.

ski in vermont

Mom and Dad: when you’re ready for your own Date Night, the Kids Night Out Program (ages 6 months to 6 years) and Kids’ Night Out X (ages 7-12 years) is a fully state licensed child care facility with movies, pizza and even skating for the older kids. Non-refundable reservations are required.

At this time, you can get quite the deal- only $129 for unlimited skiing for the rest of the season with the “real easy” card. Call Okemo for details, this is a pretty cool deal. 802-228-5222

The Ultimate Winter Gear for Your Kids

As you head out into the blustery, winter-y weather that has descended on many by this point, you will want to make sure the kids are well equipped to handle all that mother nature dishes out. Here are some of our favorites for your snow days.

One of the most important winter wear items is a durable, water resistant coat. The Dare 2b Boy’s Dedicate Jacket is a coat for both daily wear and for serious outdoor play.  Girls Entrust Jacket also available- same jacket, different name. It not only wears well, but has all sorts of features that your kids will love. It has a waterproof outer layer, and is made with a breathable 4-way stretch fabric. The hood is detachable (but doesn’t fall off) and has an elastic trim, making adjusting it easy. The coat also has internal mesh pockets, and all the pockets zip (so not as many lost gloves and whatnot). It has bight reflective details, making spotting your child on the trails or during snowball fights even easier.  Available at for about $140. Infant snuggler suits (one piece coats for babies) available for about $50 each.

snow gloves

You will want sturdy gloves- it’s hard to play outside very long with cold, wet hands. The Jr Rascal Glove by Seirus comes in fun options like skeleton, zombie, and Digi (think video game/Minecraft looking), and feel as good as they look. Kids will like them because they are fun, you will like them because they are functional and do their job well. They are windproof and water resistant, and have Heatlock insulation to keep little hands warm. They feature a gauntlet cuff that cinches easily to help keep ice and snow from getting inside, and have SureGrip on the palms and fingers to help them hold onto whatever they are trying to keep in their hands. Most gloves are really slippery, this is a cool and useful feature. For about $30 at

snow boots

For snow trekking, you will love the Icebug Myoko BUGweb GTX.  These boots are fantastic- and yes, they have adult shoes and boots. You will love them that much. I have had Icebugs myself for several years, and my son and I agree they are both comfortable to wear and great at keeping your feet warm- we both really like them.  These boots are cut slightly higher then the ankle, and keep you warm with fleece insulation. They have a GORE-TEX® outer shell that will keep your child’s feet dry. They are easy to put on and take off- any parent that has had wars with snow boots will appreciate the double Velcro that kids can adjust themselves. No one will complain about sore feet in these boots- at least no one I’ve met. Available for $169.95 at

To go under your boots- and often not thought of until it’s too late- you want warm, comfortable, and high socks. Yes, high- at least mid calf, because there is nothing more annoying then a sock that falls under your foot while you are walking about. They should also stay put, not the drooping kind. Those are fine for lounging at home, not so much for activities. Hi-Tec makes socks for men and women, and we’ve worn them on a multitude of activities and climates and been happy with them. They are soft, they stay where you want them to, have both zone cushioning as well as cushioning though the entire leg, and (a must) reinforced heel and toe. No toes poking out, and they will last longer. They also have arch support and compression, which is pretty advanced stuff for a sock.  These retail for between $15 and $20, which might seem like a lot for socks- but like I said, these do flex an awful lot of muscle, and you might be surprised and how much happier your feet will be when they are warmer, for longer- and without annoying under-the-heel nonsense that often happens when wearing boots. Pick yours up at

Ready to hit the slopes? If not the mountain, perhaps a neighborhood hill. Your kids will really enjoy the Freshie Snow Scooter. It’s something fun and new, yet not so wildly different they will have a hard time using it. A great way to keep active and outdoors when the weather outside turns frosty.  Lightweight and easy to carry (as well as store), it is made of high impact plastic so those rough runs and wipeouts won’t ruin it. Use it to scoot sans wheels down snow covered walkways or driveways, or as a snowboard with handles down hills.  It’s super easy to maneuver and use, even for the less athletically inclined. Fold up the handle and put it away just about anywhere when you are done playing, or when Spring is around the corner. Prices vary, from about $40 and up depending on retailer, at retailers like Amazon and Sears.

Disclosure- Samples were provided in order to review. All opinions are my own and honest. For more, see “I Disclose.

Snowmobile Fun and Safety

picture via essentialtreesources. com

picture via essentialtreesources. com

There’s no doubt that snowmobiles are a fun and exhilarating winter sport, but along with the fun comes risk. Each year there are snowmobiling accidents and fatalities. In Minnesota alone, there were 212 accidents and 19 fatalities in 2011. A large number, over 70 percent, of these accidents involved alcohol. So how do you stay safe on the trails and enjoy playing in the snow? Keep reading for the essential do’s and don’ts of snowmobile safety.

DO check the condition of your equipment before heading out. A good checklist includes checking the throttle, belt, lights, brakes, skis, fuel and battery. If you have an emergency kit on the sled, make sure that it’s well-stocked with essentials such as a flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit.

DON’T combine snowmobiling with alcohol. As stated above, a large amount of snowmobiling accidents involve alcohol. An inebriated snowmobile driver has the same problems as a drunk driver on the roads, including impaired balance, reactions and concentration. Don’t just avoid alcohol yourself, but also avoid riding with those who have imbibed.

DO dress appropriately. Dressing for snowmobiling is not just about safety, but potentially also about survival. Wear plenty of layers to stay warm and dry. Always wear gloves, a helmet and goggles. Make sure the helmet is an approved DOT helmet. Gloves and goggles keep the elements out and increase safety.

DON’T ride too long and be cautious about riding at night. The longer you ride, the more your concentration dulls. The assault on the senses during snowmobiling tends to dull your concentration over a long period of time. Take breaks every few hours to keep it sharp. It’s generally not a good idea to snowmobile at night, but if you do, make sure not to overdrive your lights so you can see obstacles in plenty of time to avoid a collision.

DO stay on the trails if you’re participating in a snowmobile event (ex. a large race featured in Idaho Falls Magazine or some of the events Red Bull sponsors). There are two main reasons for staying on trails while snowmobiling. One is simply safety. The trails were made for a reason. The second is that trespassing tends to be a big complaint regarding snowmobiles and you could be ruining it for everyone else if you venture into private property. It’s also important to respect the wildlife and staying on the trails can help this.

DON’T ride on ice. In general it’s best to avoid frozen lakes and rivers, but if you do, make sure you’re prepared by wearing a life jacket over the rest of your clothing. Avoid ice with a visible current beneath it or nearby, as the ice is likely to be weak. However, be aware that it is impossible to tell how strong ice is just by looking at it. The best policy is to stay safe and avoid it entirely.

DO make sure someone else knows your plans. Have a contact that you call before leaving and call back when returning. Make sure they know what time without a call should be cause for concern. Make sure they also know your route. Another good reason to stay on the trails: if you’re in an accident, rescuers will know where to look.

DON’T be tense while riding. Keep your machine flexible by being loose and limber as you ride. When you turn, look in the direction you want to go and do it with your entire head. Use your lower body to guide the machine and not your arms.

Using these tips you can have a blast and still stay safe on the trails!

Bio –

This guest post contribution was made by SnoWest Magazine which features articles, reviews and equipment for your snowmobiling enthusiast including Polaris Snowmobiles and more.

Unusual Ways To Keep Your Home Toasty For The Rest Of The Winter


The winter is normally the worst time of year because it is cold. The weather changes dramatically, and staying warm becomes an issue. Houses are infamous for letting the weather conditions affect their temperature. Thankfully, you don’t need to shiver in silence any longer. All you have to do is follow these weird yet wonderful tips. If you do, your home will be toasty warm.


Cover The Keyhole

The keyhole may look insignificant, but it is where heat displacement takes place. The little hole in the door is enough to let cold into your home that then mixes with the warm air. As the cold air is stronger, it overpowers the warm air. The result is that your home transforms into an igloo. All you have to do to stop it is block the keyhole with tin foil. In fact, any draft that you can feel needs blocking to stop the heat from dissipating.

Waterproof Your Property

The key to staying warm is to stay dry. And, you may think that is not hard, yet the reality is a lot different. Lots of properties are not properly waterproofed, and they are colder as a result. The moisture brings in the cold air, and the heat dissipates again leaving the house feeling colder. To stop it, waterproof the relevant parts of your property. If you are not sure what they are, the web page will provide more answers.

Swap The Blinds For Curtain


Blinds are not good at blocking heat because they are mainly wood or plastic. Both these materials are not great absorbers of heat, unlike fabric. Curtains are fabric, and the material is brilliant at stopping the heat from escaping. The particles get trapped in the thick layers and some rebound back into the house. Regardless, your home will benefit from thick, layered curtains over cold blinds.

Unblock The Windows

It may be winter, but the sun is still shining. You want to take advantage of the sun’s UV rays by keeping the windows clear during the day. This tactic may not seem like much, but it does work. And, it is also one of the most energy efficient tactics at your disposal. There is nothing better than a hack that warms the house and saves money.

Paint The Exterior

Painting the exterior is science at work. You know that dark, matte colors are better at conducting heat right? That means you want dark, matte colors on the outside of your home. The paint will absorb the heat straight into the house and instantly make it feel warmer. Although it takes a lot of effort, it is well worth it to keep the cold at bay. To find more about what colors absorb heat, check out

Get A Log Burner

Central heating systems are expensive, which is why you need a cheaper alternative. A log burner is that alternative. Not only does it burn wood, which is cheap, but it also gives off lots of heat. And, the heat will reach every room in the house if you keep it open.

When It Cools Down, These Will Warm You Up

Now that the weather outside has gotten a bit frightful, we will need to bundle up a little more.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean adding bulk or ugly, clodding boots- check out these lovely layers from some of our favorite brands (that last longer then a season, too!)


When it’s cold enough to need a little more then just a shirt, check out the Craghoppers ‘Swainby’ half zip fleece for the man and teenager boys in your life.  Classic, comfortable, and nearly impossible to stain in my own personal experience (really, my guy has not been successful yet, and I could swear he’s trying), it also washes well without all the ugly pilling that some fleece get. Besides it’s good looks and great function, it’s really very warm and comfortable.  My son loves it because it’s soft (and it retains it’s softness after repeated washings), has a large pocket, and easy to pair with anything. It is made with a cotton fleece blend, and has insulating technology built in. With it’s high collar that can be folded down or left up for additional warmth, and elasticated cuffs and hem, it’s wearer keeps extra body heat in. Too warm?  No worries- just undo the half front zip for some air.  Get yours for $60 at


When you need a little more then a sweatshirt, put on the Skipton Jacket by Craghoppers.  Water resistant, so good for those days that are snowy or a bit rainy, it’s also soft, super insulated, and nowhere near as thick as you would think it needs to be.  It’s thin- as thin as your spring jacket- but it’s been doing the husband good in 3o degree weather with no complaints to be had.  Not only is it lightweight, but it’s also made of soft wool and has a satiny-smooth lining that feels great next to your skin.  It’s very smart-looking, great for work or going out, a compliment to any outfit.  It has both a zipper and buttons, and you can use either one or both together for added wind protection. To top it off (quite literally) is an attached hood.  There are two functioning side pockets, big enough for your hands, a pair of gloves, your keys, or a cell phone- yes, they really do function.  Get yours for about $180 at sites like


When it’s time to head into the snow, no one wants wet, cold feet.  The Icebug Diana BUGrip boots are amazing in cold, wet, icy weather- not only are they nice to look at, but they really do help keep a grip on the ground. Besides keeping your feet warm and dry (and stylish!), the half-calf high boot is good for tromping about on snowy days and keeping your pants dry, too. Insulated with soft fleece, they feel good on as well as looking good. Easy to put on, they zip up with no issues as well as have a front lace for adjustment.  No wasted time or aggravation fiddling and fussing. The BUGrip outsole helps give traction in winter weather conditions- and it really works.  You can even hear it softly sticking as you walk, which is both amusing and reassuring. Get yours at or at stores like Amazon for about $200.


Still have cold feet?  Check out the St. Moritz Lite 200 I WP- a mouthful, but a cute, cute boot. These are insulated, water resistant, weatherproof, and have a cute faux fur top.  They come in black, brown, and gray, so choose your favorite color.  Each has a fleece lining that will keep your feet warm as you stomp through the snow. If you work up a sweat, not to worry- these are odor resistant as well, so you will not need to leave your boots outside the door like some people (you know who you are!) With Thinsulate insulation built in, you know you will stay warm, even when the temperature drops. The adorable St. Moritz will have everyone asking where you got them.  You can pick them up at for about $100, by the way.


When you are ready to head indoors, and need something a little less “outdoorsy” but still ready for winter festivities, the NAOT VISTOSO will be your go to boot. Zipping up the side, this ankle boot is too cute with a little bow across it (ready for the holidays!) It is padded for extra comfort, and has a memory foam footbed. As you wear it, the bottom bed and microfiber molds to your foot, making it more and more comfortable as you go along. The heel is sturdy, the sole is flexible, and you won’t feel like you are doing a balancing act all evening. These are boots you won’t feel the need to kick off quickly. Get them at or Amazon for about $200.

Disclosure- I received the above in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own and honest.  For more, see “I Disclose”.

Winter Fun at Camelback

This past weekend, we headed to Pennsylvania for some snowy, winter-weather fun in the Pocono Mountains.   My husband and son absolutely love winter, the snow, and all that goes along with it, so they were very excited for this adventure.

ski lessonsCamelback has a lot to offer guests in the winter.  You can go skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing- even ride a mountain coaster.  Camelback offers both skiing and snowboarding lessons, for children and adults (separate classes), as well as private lessons.  We did avail ourselves to lessons- no need to spend the whole day tumbling down everything, now is there?

You can bring your own skiing or snowboarding equipment, or you can rent some there. They have ski or snowboard boots, skis, poles, snowboards, and helmets in sizes from small children through adult. Not having our own equipment, we used rentals.  They size you up, you give them your height and weight (yes, you have to tell the truth), and they find a set that will work for you.  Even my little snow-bunny had the perfect sized skis.

20150207_121102None of us are skiers, so this was going to be a learning experience for the lot of us. The very first thing that we did after getting into our borrowed ski-gear was head to our respective lessons.  My son was with the children, so I dropped him off and signed him in.  He was given a nametag, and I was given a magnetic card on a lanyard so that they would know I was his mother, and would be authorized to pick him up. Without that lanyard, no one can pick up the children for security.

He did a great job, falling a few times, but getting the hang of it in general.  He totally freaked out the first time he fell- he wasn’t hurt, but it scared him, and the feeling of not being able to get up easily in his strange boots and skis (they really are hard to maneuver in for us newbies) was not comforting.  However, the staff was fantastic with him and very patient, and he was soon back at it and heading back down the training hill.
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