OAUSA Net - January 9, 2020 - Driving (and hiking) in the Snow

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OAUSA Net - January 9, 2020 - Driving (and hiking) in the Snow

#1

Post by DaveK » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:51 pm

Driving (and hiking) in the Snow

Yep, it's that time of year, again. Welcome to our first net of the year!!! And, as it is customary, this net will be all about how to navigate in the snow or ice, whether its in your vehicle or on foot, because both require traction and skills (not to mention a whole bunch of common sense.)

This net usually occurs at about the time when we start seeing snow, more or less!!! While California is usually not a gauge for the rest of the country, it is nice to see some storms roll through the South Land and cover the mountains and high deserts with the white stuff. Driving to and from your favorite outdoor adventure or to work, when snow or ice covers the roads, requires a whole different set of skills and equipment.

If we can offer just one piece of advice (and you know there will be more than one, right?) it would be - SLOW DOWN. We saw this cartoon and thought it conveyed this message rather well:

Too Fast.png
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Don't be the guy that did this, cause you ain't gonna win!!!

Bad Move.jpg
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I was surprised to see which States are regarded as the most dangerous when it comes to snow related vehicle accidents. Of course, the numbers of accidents have a great deal to do with the amount of snow that falls in each state and the population of each state, but there are other factors that come into play.

The Auto Insurance Center, for 2015, compiled this list of the 5 states with the most accidents:
  • Ohio
  • Michigan
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Texas
Safewise, in no particular order and for 2016, identified these 10 states as the most dangerous for snow driving:
  • Wyoming
  • Idaho
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Maine
  • Iowa
  • Nebraska
  • Vermont
  • New Mexico
NOTICE ANYTHING????????

So, for this net, we've enlisted the help of our friends from the western States, the great Northwest, the mid west, and even California, to talk about their tips and advice for driving in the snow. We always benefit from the experiences of others, so whether you are from North Dakota, New York, Colorado, Oregon, Washington or Montana, join the discussion with your suggestions, tips and stories. Pictures always make for a more interesting net.
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 9, 2020 - Driving (and hiking) in the Snow

#2

Post by DaveK » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:14 pm

HOW COLD IS IT?

Cold has gripped much of the USA and it's time to get ready. This is what the weather map looks like this week (courtesy of Weather Central):

USA Map 1-5-20.jpg
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 9, 2020 - Driving (and hiking) in the Snow

#3

Post by toms » Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:12 pm

Snow005m.jpg
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Like mud, there is a long continuum of types of snow from almost water to deep power. And at each point the water density can change its characteristic. In addition wind shapes, drifts, and pack snow.

For simplicity I like to think of 5 types of snow:
• Powder
• Compacted
• Crust – hard layer on top of a softer layer
• Slush
• Ice

We can use these 5 types to shape our discussion tonight. But first some tips.

4-Wheeling Tips for Winter Driving

With the snow we’ve been getting in the mountains lately, a lot of four-wheelers are itching to fire up their vehicles and go plowing through the white stuff. Whether over Cajon Pass, through Big Bear area, or just to Grandma’s house, driving off road in snow is a lot of fun. Winter driving offers its own set of challenges; the following tips will help ensure your trip is a pleasant one.

As with all four-wheeling, remember the buddy system. That is, always go out with at least one other vehicle. It’s fairly easy to get stuck in snow, and the cold just compounds any difficulties you may experience. More on that later.
Snow3.jpg
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  • Make sure you pack survival gear along with food and water.
    Remember that it gets dark early this time of year, and storms can hit in a hurry.
    Check the forecast before leaving. You don’t want to get caught in the mountains during a blizzard.
    Also, cold weather reduces the output of your battery. Replace it if it’s more than five years old. Consider installing a dual battery system as well. That way you’ll have a back up, as well as a source of power in case you need to use the winch.
Pack your vehicle accordingly.
The basics include
  • a snow shovel,
  • air jack and tire chains, if you have them.
  • Brightly colored equipment is really useful in a snowy environment.
  • An ice scraper/window brush and
  • recovery equipment are a must, also.
DSC01070.JPG
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You’ll want some communications equipment, as well.
  • Pack ham radio gear if you have it. If not, consider getting licensed. The exam isn’t that difficult and gear is reasonably priced.
  • If you don’t care to go that route, look into a satellite phone.
  • Cell phones rarely work in the outback, so don’t count on one.
Vehicle
Make sure your headlights, tail lights, fog lamps, and license plate are clear of snow. As the old saying goes, you want to see and be seen.

Recon
Upon arriving, spend a few moments surveying the trail and surrounding terrain. One of the biggest problems with snow is that it covers ruts, ditches, and rocks. If you’ve driven the trail before, try to recall where the rough spots are, and avoid them. Don’t try to drive over them, as you risk getting stuck or damaging your vehicle.

Chains
Chains are great for driving in snow. They give you better traction and braking all around, and better steering up front. If you have just one set, place them on the back. Chains up front allow you to chew through deep snow, but the added braking capability could cause fish tailing. This happens a lot while going downhill on a slippery slope.
Snow1.jpg
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Driving
Experiment with air pressure in your ties. On snow it is situational. Start with full air to cut through. If that doesn't work, Air down your tires to a standard off-road level. For a 31-in. tire, that would be in the 18 to 15 psi range. In extreme situations go to sand pressure - 10-11 PSI.

Start off in single file as you normally do. The lead vehicle will blaze the trail, but often becomes stuck. Plus, the engine gets packed with snow, so the vehicle doesn’t run well at lower engine temps. Be prepared to pull out that vehicle, but also rotate the vehicles to keep a “fresh” vehicle in the lead at all times and let it warm up. Besides everyone wants to have some fun.

If you get stuck, try rocking the vehicle. You can usually gain a few inches each time, which often is enough to get you onto better ground. Avoid spinning the tires if possible. That just melts the snow underneath, which quickly freezes. Then you’re in worse shape than when you started.
Snow2.jpg
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If you’re still unable to drive out, use a recovery strap to pull your vehicle out. But be careful: The strap is under tremendous stress. Make sure no one is standing between either vehicle. If that strap breaks, it’ll crack the person in the head, and your trip is over. A Pull Pal® also works well in these situations.

Remember to drive slowly. As mentioned above, snow covers all blemishes in the trail. If the snow is firm enough you may actually drive on top. But more likely, you’ll cut through, and expose your vehicle to rocks and other hazards below.

Even with chains, your vehicle behaves quite differently in snow. Stopping and cornering are more difficult and braking distances are greater. Drive slower than normal and keep a safe distance between the vehicles. 4WD doesn’t offer any better braking than 2WD, despite what you may think. If you find yourself sliding one way, turn with it, but also apply some power and stay off the brakes. The 4WD traction will help pull you out of it.
Snow4.jpg
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Use gentle acceleration whenever climbing a hill. Quick acceleration can cause the tires to spin, which results in an icy trail. Speaking of hills, assess the trail before descending, and make sure it’s safe to drive. Can you get back up if you had to? If not, and that’s the only way out, take a different route.

Here’s hoping your next romp through the snow is a safe and enjoyable one.
See you on the Trail!
TomS
KI6FHA / WPZW486

Badlands Off-Road
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 9, 2020 - Driving (and hiking) in the Snow

#4

Post by toms » Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:44 pm

How to Survive in Your Vehicle Stuck in Snow

Winter has arrived in many parts of the country, and that means a hazardous situation awaits you nearly every time you get behind the wheel. You may know how to drive in snow, but do you know what to do if you were stuck in snow?

Recently, drivers on I-90 near Buffalo, N.Y., were trapped for up to 12 hours when a massive blizzard hit the area. Some cars were literally buried in snow. If you were caught in a situation like that, would you know how to handle yourself?

You don’t have to be out in the country to encounter a hazardous situation. You can get socked in while driving home from work one day. If you’re stuck, you can bet that hundreds of other motorists are, as well. Help could be hours away.

Every situation is unique, but the following guidelines apply in all situations, and could save your life.
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Yellow Jeep
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Prepare for winter driving

“Safety is no accident,” as the old saying goes. We discussed that before in 10 Safety Rules For Off-Road Driving and in a related column, Your Gear Is Not Complete Without An Emergency Packet! Winter presents its own set of hazards, which require additional preparation. It starts with a survival kit. Make sure yours includes at least some of these items.

Survival Kit
More of a collection of items, a winter survival kit includes extra food and clothing, items to help you prepare food or water, signaling/communications gear, and some means to free yourself.

Food should be dry, packaged goods that have a long shelf life. These include granola bars, snack mix/trail mix, canned nuts, graham crackers, and hard candy. Thick canned food, like ravioli, may be added. Avoid soups as the can may freeze and burst. For a few extra dollars you can add military style MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) available on line and at military surplus stores.

Make sure the packages and cans are easy to open. It’s unlikely you’ll have a can opener or scissors with you.

Extra clothing can include boots, gloves, a blanket or sleeping bag, and a hat. This stuff can be bulky, so choose wisely. I pack a Thinsulate™ sleeping bag. It’s warm but thin, and compresses into a nice, small size (more likely to still be in the vehicle when I need it).

Liquids It’s easy to get dehydrated in the winter, so you should carry some liquids. Even if you normally carry a water bottle, be prepared to produce water by melting snow. (Avoid eating snow, as that will lower your body temperature.) Pack an empty soup or coffee can along with a small stove or burner. Jetboil® offers a line of nifty mini cookers. They work great with food, as well.

Communication If you become stuck, you’re likely to reach for your cell phone. Keep an extra battery pack or the cord for tapping into the car’s cigarette lighter. You should also keep some fresh flashlight batteries.

Pack a red or orange flag that you can attach to your antenna. That will help rescuers spot your vehicle. (If you don’t have a flag, a large piece of fabric will work.) A small shovel can come in handy, also. Buy the kind with a curved blade and collapsible handle.

Ham radio equipment can be very useful, especially when you’re outside of cell range. If possible, take along some radio gear (but remember that ham radio requires a license). Flares are useful, too, especially at night. Have one or two in your vehicle.

Recovery Gear Consider packing small pieces of carpet or a set of Sand Ladders. Also, being stuck can be boring. Have some reading material or puzzle books with you to pass the time. Speaking of reading material, newspapers and magazines can be used for body insulation.

Get in the habit of keeping your gas tank at least half full. You’ll need the fuel to run your engine on occasion. More on that later.

Another “item” you can pack is awareness. It’s easy to get distracted or start daydreaming while behind the wheel. Memorize mile markers or street/highway signs as you pass by. You’ll help rescuers immensely if you can tell dispatch where you are. A GPS is useful to pin point your location.

What to do if you’re stuck

If you’re ever stuck in a blizzard, follow these suggestions.

1.Try not to panic. You’ll need a clear head to work yourself through this situation. Maintain your composure, and calm down your passengers as needed.

2.Stay with your vehicle. It’s a lot easier to spot from a distance. Leaving your vehicle, and the comfort and protection it offers, can be dangerous. You may think you’ll be able to get help. Odds are you’ll become disoriented and freeze to death.

3.Attach a flag or colored piece of clothing to the antenna. This helps rescuers and lessens the possibility of being hit by another driver.

4.Run the engine only 10 – 15 minutes each hour. Sure, you want to stay warm, but you need to conserve your gas. Also, the less often you run your engine, the less chance for lethal levels of carbon monoxide to build up.

5.Crack a window on the downwind side (leeward side) of the car. That air will be chilly, but it’ll also be clean.

6.Clear the exhaust pipe periodically.

7.If you decide to dig yourself out, start on the leeward side of the car. Don’t exert yourself, because you need to minimize sweating. Getting damp and cold can be deadly. Brush off the snow before reentering your vehicle.

8.As a last resort, burn your spare tire. The smoke (or fire) will be visible for miles.

Being stuck in a snowstorm can be a terrifying experience. With the proper preparation and response, you can enhance your chances of surviving and being rescued.
See you on the Trail!
TomS
KI6FHA / WPZW486

Badlands Off-Road
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 9, 2020 - Driving (and hiking) in the Snow

#5

Post by toms » Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:17 pm

Driving Tips – On Highway / Streets

• Make sure your battery is strong –cold reduces output – replace one 5-years old - consider dual battery (backup & winch)
• Make sure your heater & A/C work so you can defrost the windshield
• Make sure headlights, turn signal, license plate are clear of snow
• Keep your gas tank at least half full (in case get stuck)
• Don’t use Cruise control on slippery highway
• Start in 2nd – puts less torque to the tires
• Use 4 HI on snow covered roads
------ o No wind-upon short stretches of dry road if no turns
------ o you can power up to get out of a slide
-------o Can start better on slippery roads
• Check if ABS is disabled in 4-HI – if so pump brakes to stop
• Remember you can’t stop any better than two-wheel drive
• Leave even more space & keep eye on vehicle behind
See you on the Trail!
TomS
KI6FHA / WPZW486

Badlands Off-Road
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 9, 2020 - Driving (and hiking) in the Snow

#6

Post by toms » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:05 am

FourWheeler Magazine
Diggin’ Snow: We Test The Best Tread Design For Driving In Snow

Bruce W. SmithPhotographer, Writer

Which tread works best on 4x4 pickups running on packed snow is a question Woody Rogers and T.J. Campbell, product information specialists for Tire Rack, had never directly addressed until we brought up the topic. So we teamed up with the Center for Driving Sciences and Tire Rack to test five types of pickup/SUV tires under controlled winter driving conditions at the training ground for the Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

The contenders:
• Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude HT OWL (load range SL)
• Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 (load range SL)
• Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT LT (load range E)
• BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 RWL (load range C)
• Firestone Destination M/T (load range E)

Bottom Line
Between driving the twisting road course and the straight-line testing, it’s no surprise the dedicated snow tires, whether studless or studded, come out leading the way compared to the other tread types. We loved the studless snow tire’s performance.
What we learned from this comparison between tread types is tires that keep snow packed into the tread face provide better traction than those that eject it. You can’t beat dedicated snow tires for snow traction. All-terrains with the mountain snowflake rating are a good compromise if you can’t find dedicated snow tires to fit your 4x4. Owners of four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicles concerned with maximizing vehicle control and minimizing the risk of accidents should keep that in mind when thinking about making bi-seasonal tire changes.
For those who are content to stick with the tires they are currently running, our test should provide a new level of expectation for your tread type when encountering winter
driving conditions.

Read the full article:
https://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/whee ... jDCblA9nUM
See you on the Trail!
TomS
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Badlands Off-Road
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 9, 2020 - Driving (and hiking) in the Snow

#7

Post by DaveK » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:53 pm

EQUIPMENT SUGGESTIONS

1. WINDSHIELD COVER

Surprisingly, the solution is both simple and easy. Several companies make vehicle covers, which when installed on your rig, make it easy to clear your front and rear windows. Amazon seems to sell many, see: https://www.amazon.com/SnowOFF-Car-Wind ... ield+cover.

SnowOff Cover.jpg
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2. LOW FREEZING POINT WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID

If you need to clean your windshield or rear window, having windshield fluid that is still a liquid, can help. Most of the solutions you find in auto parts stores will freeze at the same temp as water. If your situation is one where the temps normally get below freezing, having a washer fluid that is not a solid FROZEN block, can help. See: https://www.amazon.com/Prestone-AS250-6 ... HATRPSQSKC

Prestone De-Icer Windshsield Washer Fluid.jpg
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3. WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SELECTING TIRES THAT PERFORM WELL IN THE SNOW

Pursuant to Tom's suggestions, here is what you want to look for when selecting tires that do well in snow:

M&S and Snow Peak (Large).jpg
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4. DE-ICER

Door locks frozen? Trunk lid frozen? Try this. (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000M8H65C?ta ... C0%2C0%3A0)

Ice-Off !!! (Large).jpg
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5, HEATED BLANKET

Having a heated blanket is a convenience, except when conditions get serious, like getting stuck.

Car Cozy 12V Heated Blanket.jpg
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6. BOOT CLEATS

Getting out of the vehicle when it is snowing or when ice covers the roads or ground, isn't always fun or safe. Walking on slick and slippery surfaces when it is very cold requires footwear that keeps your feet on the ground. Good boots clearly help, but there are times when a little additional help is in order. The STABIL company (https://stabil.implus.com/product/stabil-walk) makes a pair of cleats, which are meant to attach to your boots, which do just that, all for about $22.00, Here is what they say:

Featuring multi-directional cleats, the STABILicers® Walk provides everyday peace-of-mind throughout the winter months. Fitting easily and securely over your shoes or boots, walk with confidence over snow-covered pavement and icy gravel.

Winter conditions create a challenge for daily chores, but with the Walk, shoveling the driveway or walking the dog becomes more enjoyable and much safer. Carry the Walk with you wherever you go — this versatile cleat folds easily and is small enough to keep in a pack, purse, or in your car.
Stabiliser cleats.jpg
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7. SNOW SHOVEL

Shovels should be a permanent part of your 4x4 equipment. When room permits, having more than one is also a very good idea - a full size one and a shorty. Choices abound out there, but DMOS Shovels offer what could be the best of both worlds - a shovel that is small and compact (like a shorty) but has the strength and capabilities of a full size. Their Alpha-3 is one such shovel and it is particularly suitable for snow and ice.

The shovels are all made in the USA, and more information and product details are available from the DMOS website - https://dmoscollective.com/collections/ ... he-alpha-3

DMOS Alpha-3b.jpg
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DMOS Alpha-3.jpg
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8. SNOW AND ICE MAT

For all those times when you have to get out of the warm and comfy vehicle to install chains or make repairs, having a mat on which you can kneel or sit, without snow or ice, sure makes for a much more pleasant job. The solution is cheap and the mats are easy to stow in the vehicle. For about $26 you can get a no-slip Ice carpet which adheres firmly to the moisture In the Ice and snow. (measures 10 Feet Long X 30 Inches Wide.) Amazon sells 'em here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008R ... 3c0caaa30c.

Snow Mat.png
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DaveK
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Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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Re: OAUSA Net - January 9, 2020 - Driving (and hiking) in the Snow

#8

Post by Diesel4x » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:10 pm

Thanks for early check in, KF6KOC Randy.

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Re: OAUSA Net - January 9, 2020 - Driving (and hiking) in the Snow

#9

Post by Jeff-OAUSA » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:24 pm

I hope everyone on the Net is having a great start to 2020!

Please check me in.

WD6USA
Jeff, Highland, California
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Re: OAUSA Net - January 9, 2020 - Driving (and hiking) in the Snow

#10

Post by k9atk » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:12 pm

Please check inn
K9FOG TRISH
KD0EXI CHEYENNE
KD0RHA TYLER
K9ATK BRIAN
KD0GPE AUSTIN
THANKS

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