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Essential Outdoor Tools for Snowy Locales

Summer is ending, and before long, winter will be upon us. If this is your first winter in a place that is subject to snow,

Summer is ending, and before long, winter will be upon us. If this is your first winter in a place that is subject to snow, you need to make sure that your home is appropriately equipped with the outdoor tools you will need to survive and thrive during and after winter storms. Here is an exhaustive list of the gear you need to get as soon as possible, so you can dig yourself out of the first snow of the season.

Snow Shovel

No matter how large your front and back yards are, you need a snow shovel on hand to carve out paths through the snow. The bigger your snow shovel, the faster you can clear your walkways and drives after the smaller snowstorms of the winter season. You might opt for an 18-inch shovel with two handled grips, which will reduce the strain you experience catapulting heavy snow to the side.

Ice Scraper

Unfortunately, snow isn’t your only concern during the cold season. Ice can and will accumulate on all manner of outdoor surfaces — especially your car. While other snow tools could scratch your paint, putting your trusty automobile at risk of rust, an ice scraper should shove away snow and peel back ice without causing damage. If you have a larger vehicle, you definitely want a larger ice scraper, so you don’t need to haul out your ladder every morning before your commute to work.

Roof Rake

If your home is not perfectly insulated — and few homes are — then the heat inside will seep out your roof, causing the snow on top to melt and refreeze as ice along your eaves, which allows water to seep underneath your shingles and into your walls. To prevent this, you need to regularly remove accumulated snow from your roof, ideally with a roof rake. An extendable roof rake is ideal, as it will allow you to pull more snow off your roof and store the tool easily in your outdoor shed.

Snow Blower

Snow shovels are not easy for everyone to use, so if you are particularly small, weak, disabled or otherwise unable to lift several pounds of snow, you might consider investing in a snow blower. Snow blowers are power tools that suck in and chuck away snow remarkably efficiently. Even if you are big and burly, you mayopt to invest in snow blowers if you live in a region that regularly experiences storms that drop 20 inches of snowfall or more.

Ice Melt

Also called “salt,” ice melt is a chemical tool that accelerates the melting of snow and ice into water on driveways and sidewalks. Different types of ice melts work better in different temperatures, so you shouldconsider your options and your regional climate before investing in a particular brand.

Battery-powered Lanterns and Headlamps

Major blizzards often cause power outages, as snow and extreme cold can interfere with power lines. You definitely want to keep some independent sources of light on hand, both for use inside and outside the home. Hands-free options, like lanterns and headlamps, tend to be more useful than regular flashlights.


Another essential for surviving during wintertime blackouts, gas-powered generators will supply your home with much-needed electricity to keep your indoor spaces warm. Youwant a gas-powered generator rather than a battery-powered or solar-powered generator because it will be more reliable in inclement weather. However, you want to run your generator outside or in the garage, so the emissions do not poison your indoor air.

Non-contact Thermometer

A laser thermometer will take the temperature of certain surfaces without requiring you to be close enough to touch. This means you can test the temperature of different parts of your home — pipes, especially — to determine whether they are safe or whether they require some kind of maintenance to prevent damage.

Waterproof Storage

During the cold seasons, you should back up most of the things you normally keep outdoors, or else they will rust, shatter or otherwise fall apart due to moisture, weight and freezing temps. However, instead of stuffing your house full of all your outdoor décor, toys and gear, you can push them into a waterproof storage box kept in your yard or on your deck. Properly closed, these boxes should keep your possessions dry until you can bring them back out in spring.

You can survive your first snowy winter — if you have the right tools on hand to help. If you can equip your home with the outdoor essentials listed above, you should thrive during your first season of snow.