January 25, 2023
Montana has already faced several winter storms this year but that hasn't slowed Montanans down! Walking in our winter wonderland is an excellent way for you and your family to get to your destination, and with a little preparation, you can still enjoy the many benefits of pedestrian travel.
Always dress for the weather, and remember, layering is key. Start with a light synthetic fabric underneath to wick away moisture, then add a second layer of insulative material such as fleece, wool, or thermal for warmth. Lastly, a third layer protects you from wind, rain, and snow. This layer should be waterproof or water-resistant material. Insulated, waterproof boots will keep your feet warm and dry, and if needed ice grippers can be stretched over footwear to provide extra traction. Don't forget to check the weather; severe conditions might mean changing plans. National resources like www.weather.gov can alert you locally to changing conditions and storms before you venture out. Reflective wear and a flashlight are essential if walking in rural, low-light, or dark conditions. We're all pedestrians at some point in our day, so it's important we all come together to keep our walkways safe by doing our part to clear snow in front of our homes and businesses.
When you are ready to head out, make sure to put your phone and other distractions away, allowing you to focus on the sights and sounds of your journey. The extra attention will keep you focused on walking safely and will provide the best outdoor sensory experience. Wear gloves or mittens â€“ it's best to keep your hands out of your pockets as arms can restore balance in case of a slip due to unexpected ice patches. Taking small, careful steps, and avoiding sudden movements may help keep you upright and on your way. If your journey is taking you a long distance or through a dimly lit, rural setting, let someone know when you've left, where you're headed, and when you expect to be there.
No need to wait for warmer temperatures! Pedestrian travel is a healthy and easy way to get around in all seasons. With the right preparation you can make your journey comfortable and safe while enjoying Montana's winter landscape and fresh air. To learn more about pedestrian safety and resources, visit our webpage.