You love the warmth and fun of summer. The road trips, the summer grills, and the time spent on the water. But now those days are past, and you’re actually looking forward to hunkering down for the winter. Although it’s cold and often dark outside, winter can be a great time of rejuvenation if you plan for it. Part of the planning process should include taking steps for recovering from summer and even thriving this winter. Much of this takes some preparation, but if you take the time to do that, your winter nights can be filled with steaming mugs of hot cocoa, get-lost-in good books, and family time in front of the fire. Here are three tips that will help you recover from summer and plan for the coming winter.
1. Prepping Against Winter Storms
Depending upon where you live, storm preparedness can mean the difference between having a comfortable winter and a near tragic one. According to the Red Cross, the reach of bigger storms can span several states and sling freezing rain, snow, ice, and strong winds on cities and towns across the nation. Many of these storms will even knock out power and make traveling nearly impossible. So much for that winter road trip. But a winter storm doesn’t have to be the end of your fun if you’re ready for it.
First you’ll want to prep supplies for each person living in your house. Be sure to store at least a three-day supply of water. The Red Cross recommends one gallon per person per day. You’ll also want enough food to last three days. Opt for non-perishables. Include foods like snack bars, fruit, jerky, and other items that don’t require cooking in with your supply. These will come in handy if the power does go off. (Many of these foodstuffs will already be in your kitchen if you routinely stock up on food before the winter snows come.)
Second make sure your home is equipped with the items that make important electronics like a weather radio run. To that end, prep a stash of batteries of assorted sizes. Larger batteries can even run generators and stoves. (And don’t forget low-tech options, too: Bring in plenty of firewood for the fireplace.)
Finally, make sure that you have a stocked first-aid kit and everyone’s medications. Go beyond the three-day supply that you have for food and stock up on a week’s worth of Band-Aids, contacts, syringes for diabetes supplies, etc. Also insure that you have plenty of sanitation supplies and even some cash in case the storm knocks out your preferred ATM.
2. Winterize Your Boat and RV
Winterizing your boat is probably the last thing you want to do as you prep for the coming snows of winter. If you don’t winterize your boat plenty of bad things can happen to your water baby, including motor corrosion due to water damage.
You’ll want to start by flushing out the boat’s cooling system. This prevents pinholes and pitted areas that can allow water into the powerhead. Additionally, you’ll want to give the battery a rest by removing it completely from the boat. This stops the battery from weakening. If you want your boat to roar back to life come next spring and summer don’t skimp on this. A powerful battery equals a powerful boat.
And don’t forget that other important recreational vehicle while you’re at it. If you’re like many boaters, you take your boat and your RV on the road. The boat is of no use to you if the vehicle that’s hauling it doesn’t work. You’ll want to take care of three things to get your home away from home prepped for winter. You need to stabilize the interior and exterior of it. You also want to drain the water and allow the water lines to dry.
Finally, you need to take care of the anti-freeze plumbing system. Doing these three things means your RV will last through the winter and be ready to haul you, your family, and your boat to your next adventure.
3. Stock Up, Stay Home
People often joke about hibernating for the winter, and if your pantry’s prepared for the cold weather, you almost can. The key to being prepared for winter is to stock up on staple items. Below are a few common suggestions to keep in your cupboard during the winter.
- Oats/ oatmeal
- Brown rice
- Dried beans like navy, garbanzos, split peas, and lentils
- Cooking oil in bulk
- Powdered milk
- Tomato paste in the can
There’s a bonus to stocking up like this aside from having food on hand. Often you can get these items in bulk, which is usually cheaper.
While you may not look forward to winterizing tasks like draining your RV’s water lines and stocking up in case of winter storms, these activities are key tasks when it comes to getting ready for winter. The truth of the matter is, you can’t recover from your summer play if you’re stranded by a snow storm without food and water or your RV’s battery runs down.
Recovering from summer activities requires quiet and peace of mind, something you’ll get if you know you can face winter without worry. Do the three tasks on this list and you’ll be ready to break out that new novel and cup of hot cocoa in no time.