A Few Winter Survival Tips

For your pets, your car, and your kids, here are a handful of winter survival tips.

| January/February 1983

winter survival tips - cartoon of dog house made of hay bales

Winter survival tips shouldn't neglect the needs of your dog, should they?

Illustration by MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff

With these winter survival tips, frigid weather needn’t catch you unprepared

Canine Hay House

You can easily provide shelter and protection for your outdoor dog during the cold season by making the canine a hay house! Giovanna McCall, who lives in the Allegheny Mountains near Hightown, Virginia, made her "Shep" a warm, snug home by stacking six bales of hay as shown above. The bales block chilly nighttime winds, and come spring they make good mulch for the garden.

Winter Road Safety

Winter weather isn't much fun at times, and it can be downright dangerous to travel in. Cindy Wells of Steamboat Springs, Colorado (a town that knows what winter is about) offers the following tips for keeping safe on the road. First, she says, cut open some old inner tubes, fill them with sand, tape them closed, then put them in your automobile trunk. The weight will help give the vehicle traction, and the sand will come in handy should you need to get unstuck. Cindy also suggests storing a sleeping bag in the car (as "warmth insurance" just in case you have engine trouble and get stranded) and stashing some high-energy health snacks in the glove compartment (to see you through an emergency and help prevent hypothermia).

Play in the Snow Indoors

When winter's chilling winds keep your youngsters indoors all day long, you might want to consider this tip from Lyons, Colorado reader Dennis Ras. It seems that when Dennis was a child, his mother would bring in buckets of fresh snow from the yard and dump it into the kitchen sink. He would then "play in the snow" — never leaving the warmth of his home — until the last flake melted, at which point his mom could simply pull the plug and let the water run down the drain.

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