We’re already marching quickly through the autumn months, and we’re now at peak leaf-removal season.
With that in mind, I find the best way to get ready for any season’s tasks is to gear up during the one before it. Those changes happen faster for some than others, and if you live up north, then you’re only weeks away from the annual inconveniences of winter weather.
So, why wait around and let Jack Frost beat you to the punch? Right now would be the best time to get that one-up on winter so you’re not stuck shivering and shoveling at 5am before your actual workday begins. Here are three ways to winterize your life, and let tech do the hard work for you.
#3: Heated Electric Ice Scraper
I’ve been there. For me, the daily grind starts at 8am, and like every other day, I set out for my usual 30-minute drive to the office. So, I pop out the door at 7:20 with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand, my laptop bag in the other, and that’s when I see it.
It seems that I neglected to check the weather the night before, because my car has magically transformed itself into a giant Popsicle – and seeing out the windows is like looking through a kaleidoscope. It looks like I’ll be burning those 10 minutes of downtime, whilst outside, hacking away at my windshield.
That is until I found a heated electric ice scraper. These puppies use your cigarette lighter to power the unit, and it will melt through that frozen shield like a shih tzu’s tongue through a bowl of ice cream.
And with the one I bought, it even has a lock de-icer in case that thing is frozen solid, too.
#2: Heated Outdoor Mats
Unless you’ve got roughly $15,000 to drop on installing the heating components for a 50-foot driveway, then you’re probably going to have to break out the shovel (we’ll get to that in a second).
However, there is another option that can add just a touch more convenience when the blizzards begin to rage.
Though you should avoid driving over them, you can actually throw heated mats down over your walkways. You can also daisy-chain them to make a path to your car on the street or to your mailbox. They’re also not all that expensive, as a 5-ft mat will run you about $120.
In fact, having a snow-less place to stand will make shoveling the rest of your driveway a far easier proposition.
#1: The Snow Wolf Shovel
It may not be an ‘electronic’ or ‘heated’ option, but it’s probably the most innovative shovel design I’ve ever seen.
This particular shovel actually comes with a wheel at the center, acting like a fulcrum. While the wheel might be considered high-tech for 4,000 BC, the wheeled-snow shovel is ingenious for this coming 2014-15 winter, because it simply uses physics to get the job done.
The Snow Wolf gives you additional leverage to lift the snow from its wheel, and it also means that the shovel behaves more like a wheelbarrow. By the end of your morning driveway clearing festivities, you haven’t lifted a single ounce of snow from your back.
Now, it won’t work for everybody; if your driveway is big enough, you may want to rent one of these. But for everybody else, the Snow Wolf might just change the way you think about winter.
Not only will you be able to get that driveway clear in half the time, but you won’t be popping Motrin for the rest of the day – and I call that a win.