Uncategorized October 28, 2020

Oh-Oh! Here Comes Winter! Best Get Ready…

By Tim Hauserman and Michelle Portesi.

We have many new folks living in the community, some who have never experienced a Tahoe Winter. To make your ‘get ready for winter’ transition as painless as possible, we’ve got some handy dandy tips for both long timers and newbies alike.

It happens every fall. One day you are basking in the sunshine or hiking along a dusty trail, when bada bing bada boom, it’s raining, the temperatures drop to near freezing and that afternoon dip in Lake Tahoe drops off your to do list. It’s all good. The mountain biking and hiking on those recently wet trails through the yellow and orange aspens is a good replacement, but after the hike or ride, you might want to do a bit of prep for winter. Because you know what they say…Winter is Coming. 

Top Ten Holy Cow it’s Almost Winter I better get ready for it list: 

1) Monitor the temperatures and conditions for your sprinkler system. It might be time to turn it off and drain the pipes. Get a cover for your outdoor hose bib and put your hoses away. Tie up your ornamental shrubs and young trees once they’ve lost their leaves. Heavy snows will bust them down to nubs. You will be sad come next spring if you don’t. Mulch your pots and planters. Have birdseed for your feathered friends. Winter often brings flocks of chickadees and nuthatches in addition to the ever present stellar jays.
2)  Get that outside stuff inside or covered. It happens every year. Kayaks, canoes, bikes, yard tools etc. are hanging out in your yard when the snow flies. I assure you they are much easier to get inside when you can see them and they are not buried in the snow. They will not survive the winter outside. (Guilty party here. I left an Adirondack chair out due to the light snows early in the season, only to have it smashed once we had a substantial storm.)

3) Firewood. You are going to need it. Best to get it stacked and covered now before the ground turns white. Have your chimney checked and swept. Give the fireplace or woodstove a good cleaning.

4) Snow removal. Arrange for a contract to plow your driveway, or make sure your snow blower is operational. Find your snow shovel and get it ready. Get a bag of icemelt for your entry and walkways so you don’t end up on your tail.

5) Check the heating system. Have it inspected and serviced before it gets its winter workout. Change out filters and turn it on! Especially if you don’t live here year round. Pretty soon it will be cold enough to freeze the pipes.

6) Find the winter fun stuff: Where are your ski boots, skis, mittens, winter clothes, snowshoes and all the other toys you use in the snow that have disappeared into some nook or cranny in the summer. Consider investing in some yak-tracs for your winter boots.

7) Tune your equipment. Once you found it, make sure it is ready for the ski season. Skis waxed and ready? Mice moved out of your boots?

8) Get the car ready: Make sure you have Snowtires, (I can’t recommend studded snow tires enough. They’ve saved my life many times!). You’ll need a windshield ice scraper, emergency supplies, small shovel, blanket and winter wipers. Top off your anti-freeze. Invest in a snohoe. It’s a gamechanger for clearing off your car.

9) Get ready for a power outage: Have candles, matches, extra batteries for lanterns and headlamps readily accessible. Charge your phones and computers before the storm. Stock up on meals more than you normally would. You won’t want to venture out to forage for food in a storm. Have books, games and puzzles around to keep you occupied. Having a large stash of hot chocolate around goes without saying. (with peppermint schnapps optional…)
10) Winters here are beautiful, but loooong. Plan your winter getaway to someplace warm. You will need it.