Enjoy Winter! The Feet – Part I
by Tim Burris, Mariton Preserve Manager
It looks like we are having a real winter this year. I thought I would start a Web Log Series of tips that I have learned from years spent working and playing outside during the winter. This is not about surviving winter, but rather about sharing things that work to make winter enjoyable. And winter is more enjoyable if you can comfortably spend time outdoors.
Normally, I would start from the inside and work out, but for my first offering, I would like to start from the outside. A very affordable, must have for anyone spending time outside (even walking from your car to the office) is a pair of ice creepers, grippers, or some sort of traction device. I am not talking crampons for ice climbers, but rather light duty rubbers that pull on over your shoes that are equipped with little studs, chains or cables. These are easy to put on and take off and make walking in the winter so much safer – and more enjoyable too.
Two close friends recently suffered nasty breaks from slips on the ice. Both slips occurred while doing normal things around the house and hitting a patch of unseen ice. If it is at all slippery, I will don my Ice Trekkers. Maureen prefers her Yaktrax. We usually keep a pair in the car and one by the backdoor. My dad keeps a set on his “chore” boots during the winter, so when he goes to feed the birds or bring in firewood, he slips out of his shoes and into his boots.
You might not need them once you are out in the deep snow, but they are small and can be stuffed in a pocket or fanny pack. Fear of falling is a real impediment to getting outside in the winter. Plus breaking a bone in a fall will really put a crimp in your activities, and make winter very miserable. These little traction devices really add confidence to your step.