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Tips for a Mountain Road Trip

Unfortunately, we aren’t all lucky enough to live in a town where you can be catching your first chairlift of the day within 20 minutes of waking up. Most people have to make the commute for day trips and many people live far enough that they need to make a weekend out of it for the drive to be worth it. The thing about driving to a Mountain ski resort is, well, it’s in the mountains. This means the journey to any ski destination can be precarious at times and traverse across sketchy mountain passes.  Winter conditions only intensify the sketchy roads you may have to navigate. While you can never be completely prepared for anything that might happen on the Road trip, make sure you’re as prepared as possible with these tips.

Before You Leave

Check the Car

Give yourself plenty of time to make sure your car is ready to handle mountain driving. This can include things such as making sure you’re up to date on all service work like oil changes. Inspect your tires for appropriate tread levels which is 1/8 of an inch. Without proper traction, even a car with All-Wheel Drive can have trouble in extreme conditions. Not to mention some states have traction laws that, when in effect, if you are involved in an accident and your tires do not meet the tread standard of 1/8 of an inch than you can receive a ticket regardless of what occurred. To make sure your tires are ready to go, have a little help from George Washington. Yes, you read that right. Use a quarter to test your tread depth. Insert the quarter into the tread with George’s head facing down. If the top of his head is covered by the tread, then it is at least 1/8 of an inch deep. If the head is not covered at all, your tire’s tread is too shallow. Check multiple spots on each tire, if any of the spots fail George’s test, your car isn’t the safest it could be and will fail any inspection regarding a traction law-it’s time to get new tires.

Another important, but often looked over, item you should check on the car before you leave is the washer fluid. Make sure the car is completely full. It’s also a good idea to carry extra in the car. The splash back from other cars can cake a dirty substance to the windshield that can freeze. Without washer fluid, it can become impossible to see and very unsafe. And on that note, make sure your wiper blades are ready to tackle the elements as well.

Stock Up

Make sure the car is stocked with everything you may need in case of an emergency. Here’s a quick list of items you should have for a road trip, especially in adverse weather:

  • First aid kit
  • Plenty of water
  • Food- such as trail mix and granola bars
  • Blankets and extra layers
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Shovel
  • Kitty litter (pour this under tires for traction if you get stuck)

On the Drive

Be sure to get a good night’s rest before the drive. Have a good selection of music and books on tape to help keep you alert and awake. Of course, you’ll be anxious to reach your final destination but be cautious when driving on roads that are not dry. Even if the road appears to be only wet, there could be black ice hiding underneath. If driving at night, dim the dashboard lights to help eliminate anything that could disrupt visuals on the road and it’s always best if you have your headlights on when driving in the mountains regardless if it’s night or not, and especially if it’s snowing or raining. Even if it’s not providing you any noticeable help, it makes it easier for other cars to see you.

It can be stressful planning for a ski trip but don’t let the drive worry you. Follow these steps to get to your winter wonderland and have a great trip. Safe travels!



This post first appeared on WinterWomen.com | A Blog About Fitness, Fashion, H, please read the originial post: here

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Tips for a Mountain Road Trip

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