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Getting ready for the cold

 
Posts: 155
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Coming from California, this will be my first real winter. I was wondering what I should do to get ready for it.

When do I need to take the herbs in my window box inside?

I've heard that you have to add antifreeze to your window washing solution in your car--how do you do this? and when?

Is there anything I can do make my bike more weather proof? In a thread several weeks ago, Paul indicated he used to put screws in the tires. That might be a bit extreme for me--any easy fixer-uppers?

When does it usually start to snow here?

What else should I know?
 
                  
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
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What part of California did you come from, Emma?

I believe windshield wiper fluid already contains anti-freeze. At least, I've never seen anyone change their wiper fluid or add anything to it as the seasons change.

Then again, I'm usually on my bike rather than in a car. Make sure you keep your bike gears clean, by the way. The roads are often sanded and that can eat up your gears. Take it from someone who should be following this advice more closely... Other than that, Paul's idea about studded tires might be more indispensable than you think (depending on how much you use your bike). If you ride onto an icy road that you don't know is completely frictionless because it still looks like asphalt, you'll be grateful for some extra grip. Also, wear layers. I haven't perfected this at all, but just take into consideration that it will be absolutely COLD outside and you can still break a sweat.

I hope you like it here so far. Maybe you could answer the thread about what brought you to Missoula.
 
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I'm from San Diego and here are some tips.

Get washer fluid that's rated for 20 below or so.  You should be fine.  Make sure your car has a half and half mix of antifreeze and water.  Make sure your heater works, especially the defroster.

You should be fine with just that.  When it's snowy roads, just drive slow, don't try to go the speed limit haha.

Typically expect snow around Halloween.
 
steward
Posts: 28833
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Be aware of the concept of frozen pipes.  When temps are below freezing, pipes can freeze and break.  Some people think they are gonna be eco and turn the heat off - but that comes with risk. 

 
Robert Sunset
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Yeah, frozen pipes is a HUGE issue if you don't live in some kind of apartment complex.  For years I lived in Stevi (El Capitan Rd) as a kid and if we didn't leave certain faucets dripping slightly it would be horrible when you woke up to no water and at worst, broken pipes under the house.

If in doubt, ask the landlord.
 
Posts: 87
Location: Wichita, Kansas, United States
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We keep a container of sand in each vehicle.  Several handfuls sprinkled on slick, icy surfaces can give some extra traction when needed.

We also keep a small shovel in the trunk.  It may be slower than a snow shovel, but you don't want to dig out your car with your hands.

We also keep a few of those mylar space blankets in the glove box.  

When leaving town we take simple snacks (jerky, nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter crackers) bottled water, and candles.
I like a jar of vaseline with a birthday candle shoved down in it.  It's amazing how long that will burn.

Gloves, hats, blankets, phone charger, full tank of gas, full tank of gas, full tank of gas, full tank of gas can all make surviving a winter mishap easier.

Every year somebody freezes to death because they were traveling un-prepared.  Don't let that be you.
 
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Here’s a sneaky one—- think about your rain collection system if you have one. Wherever the water might sit in a pvc pipe—- it will expand and ruin everything. Make sure rigid tanks are not full or they will freeze and blow apart. IBC tanks seem to OK, but all pipes are vulnerable:—- best to drain everything and leave the valves open for the freeze and thaw of snowmelt—- source of water you don’t think about..

Any kind of pond pump or water pump outside must be disconnected and drained or it will burst. These might be ok if underground, but best to think through every foot of plumbing everywhere so you don’t have major headaches next spring.

A greenhouse will get significant condensation on inside windows, and over time might ruin any wood the windows touch.

Canna lilies must be dug up if you want them next year. Look on the bright side—/ you can eat the bulbs If SHTF, (so I’ve read)....many pond plants must be brought into a basement or non-freezing greenhouse  /barn if you want them too—-  winter is a good time to replant these anyway....
 
gardener
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Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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paul wheaton wrote:

Be aware of the concept of frozen pipes.

Location is important here! I've got one set of pipes on an outside wall on a "pop-out" that sticks out past the regular line of the outside wall. If we're expecting colder than average weather, I leave the vanity doors open so the cupboard is the same temperature as the room, rather than a bit colder. A degree can make a difference.
I have a friend in Nova Scotia who bought electric pipe tape as she had an unheated crawl space that froze her pipe from the well. We have warmer temps that she does, so I just added insulation to our well-head box and we plug in an incandescent light if we're expecting near freezing temps.

If I ever get the opportunity to design my own house, it will not have *any* pipes on outside walls except for hose bibs that go through the wall (with *proper* easily accessible inside shut-off valve with a slope to the outside so they drain)!
 
Posts: 58
Location: Sweden
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One thing to cconsider doing to the car if it gets very cold,  is to put a sheet or two of cardboard between the front grill and the radiator
 
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