Love it or hate it, we may be in for some snow
Brrr… it’s chilly out there! A lot of us received a smattering of snow over Christmas, now temperatures are dropping, and the Met Office is predicting more of the white stuff is on its way. Great news for avid snowmen builders and sledging fanatics – but it’s also worth taking a few extra precautions to keep safe (and warm!) this winter.
1) Walk like a penguin
Those icy pavements can be lethal and no-one wants to land on the derrière. Slips and trips are a painful – not to mention embarrassing – winter hazard. But we can take a few tips from Monty and his friends when it comes to staying on our feet when it’s frozen outside.
If you’re crossing icy ground, bend your knees slightly and walk with flat feet pointed outwards to improve balance. Extending your arms and flexing your wrists will also help to keep you steady. Remember; it’s better to walk like a penguin than slide like a seal!
2) Emergency car kit
This one’s a biggie. The snow and ice over Christmas caused the AA’s busiest day ever, with triple the normal amount of breakdowns attended. In really bad weather conditions sometimes it’s best not to travel, but we recommend keeping the following emergency kit in your car over winter.
- Snow shovel
- Jump leads
- Ice scraper
- Spare warm clothes
- Cat litter, grit or sand
- Food and water
- First aid kit
- Mobile phone
- Sturdy boots
3) Layer up
The secret to keeping cosy in the cold is to wear lots of layers, rather than one thick one. This is because the layers will help provide thermal insulation, by trapping warm air close to your body. In Germany, where temperatures can commonly drop to as low as -10°C, they call this der Zwiebellook: the onion look. Take some advice from the European pros and you’ll stay as roasty as a root vegetable.
4) Stay visible
So you’ll be snug in plenty of layers, but another important wardrobe consideration when you’re venturing out in the snow is visibility. The days are short and dark at this time of year, so pedestrians and cyclists need to be easy to spot from the road. Choose bright, light colours or ideally outerwear with high-vis details to help you stay safe.
This may seem an unlikely one, but sunglasses and sunscreen could still be in order even when it’s snowy. As skiers and snowboarders will tell you, on those blue sky days snow will reflect the sunlight back towards you, increasing your exposure to harmful UV rays. So grab the SPF if you want to avoid those panda eyes!
What’s your top tip for keeping safe in the snow?