Oct 21, 2010

Winter Preparations

The squirrels are out in full force these days, rustling through the leaves looking for missed acorns and other edibles. While they drive me nuts as a hunter (it took me forever to distinguish between "squirrel rustle" and "deer step" and I still goof it up sometimes), it should be a solid reminder to all of us that it's time to make sure we're ready for winter.

Tires are going to be a bit softer as the weather cools - get them back to proper pressure. Rotate them. Replace them if needed or swap them for your snow tires.

Get your oil changed and your antifreeze checked.

Put on fresh wiper blades, switch to winter-mix washer fluid.

Make sure your car has a spare blanket and a few pocket heaters in it.

Make sure you've got at least a few days worth of food tucked away at home.

Get your flues and chimneys cleaned and inspected.

Switch your ceiling fans from "down" to "up".

Pull out window A/C units and close your storm windows.

Drain the garden hoses and put them away.

Put Sta-Bil in your lawnmower and run it through for a bit.

Change the oil in all your power equipment. Mowers, generators, tillers...

Run your two-strokes dry.

Make sure your stored gas is treated and full.

Have your oil or propane tanks filled.

Split and stack one more cord of wood.

Put a few flats of bottled water in the basement.

Make sure all the ammo is organized and the guns are clean.

Change the batteries in your clocks, smoke detectors, and CO alarms.

Put away the Tevas and get out the Bean Boots.

Have a little campfire, enjoy an evening with friends, admire the colors, and smile because you're ahead of the squirrels. Hooray for opposable thumbs!


Bubblehead Les. said...

Stick some gloves in your coat pocket. I recommend one pair per coat. That way, you're not wondering where they disappeared as you leave the house.

If you park your car outside, keep a broom handy on the back porch to brush off the snow. And a bag of Salt or De-Icer, and Key Lock de-icer also.

Blue painter's tape on the INSIDE of windows along the edges really cuts down on draft's, yet allows you to see out, because you don't have that extra sheet of plastic in the way.

If your state allows Studded Snow tires, have a set ready to go for your vehicles.

Some Jerkey, Granola Bars, raisins, etc. can be kept in the Glove box w/o fear of freezing. Just rotate in the spring.

Use LED Flashlights in your vehicles, much longer battery life. Also, a Camper's LED headlamp helps when changing a flat, looking under the hood, etc. Keeps your hands free, and you don't have to stick a Flashlight in your mouth.

A small folding shovel, G.I Surplus or Euro Military Surplus doesn't take up much room in the trunk. For the Hatchback/SUV people, a G.I. Tri-Fold in its case can fit into some of the storage bins in some of the Vehicles very well.

Carry Jumper Cables, and put a cell phone charger that runs off the power port in your car.

Just some of the stuff I've learned the Hard Way since I live a mile from Lake Erie. Hope this helps.

ZerCool said...

All good tips, Les, thanks!

Most of that stuff lives in my truck 24/7/365 anyways; winter is when I'm much more careful about keeping the tank above half-full and usually toss an extra sweatshirt into the back seat.