Snow season is here for most of us, and we all know what that means – unpredictable weather. It’s important to have the right winter gear so you’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw your way. Here are some essential items that will help you get through the winter.

  1. Ergonomic Snow Shovel

Snow blowers are amazing, but most the time nothing beats a snow shovel for getting rid of snow and slush. It can be challenging work, but there’s no reason to break your back over it. The best snow shovels are made of light weight metal and are designed with a second handle to make scooping easier.

2. Ice Scraper and Snow Sweeper

With the snow cleared from your walkway and driveway, you also need to clear at least enough snow and ice off your windshield so see what’s coming at you down the road. A 2-in-1 ice scraper and snow sweeper is the answer to this. A snow sweeper with a silicone brush will clear off a lot more snow than traditional bristles, and picking one up with a telescopic handle will mean less stretching and reaching for you. The 2-in-1 tool then has an ice scraper on the other end to clear off any tricky ice that remains.

3. Eco-Friendly Ice Melt

An ice melter does a great job of clearing away excess snow and ice on outdoor surfaces where you and your family have to walk. Placing it pro-actively can keep ice from forming under snow, and placing it on thin layers of snow will keep walkways from getting slippery. Be sure to buy a non-toxic product that is safe to use around people, pets, and even wild animals.

4. Tire Chains

Even the best drivers can get into trouble when roads turn icy. Even four-wheel drive vehicles can get into trouble in these conditions if they are not outfitted with special tires for driving specifically in snow and ice. Since most of us don’t have the time or money to swap our tires on a whim, tire chains are a great investment for those cold winter months. The extra traction provided can make a live-saving difference when conditions worsen, and the best ones can be installed quickly.

5. Easy-On Cleats

Nothing beats boots when it comes to crunching through snow, but if those are not an option, attachable ice cleats are a great way to go. Ice cleats fit over the bottom of just about any shoe (sorry high heels and wingtips) and feature metal teeth that dig into snow and ice to provide some much needed traction so matter how rough the terrain is. They even work great for running.

6. Heavy-duty Flashlight

Don’t get caught in the cold AND the dark while you’re out and about. Pick up a durable flashlight with a bright beam and you’ll be able to see and be seen in just about any condition. Some of the better flashlights out there can even cover up to 1000 feet. Be sure to have one on and in your house as well for a potential power outage brought on by a winter storm.

7. Space Heater

A space heater can make all the difference when it comes to those cold winter nights. It’s just as important to choose a heater that’s as safe as it is efficient to use. The best heaters have automatic shut-off features with overheat protection and can heat up a room in less than an hour, and are super portable to heat whatever room you want.