VISIT BIG SKY

With Big Sky Resort opening more and more terrain for the season, winter is officially here. It’s easy to head out into the winter wonderland with nothing but excitement, but it’s important to keep safety in mind as well. Here are some winter safety tips to ensure any visitor or local has a safe winter in Big Sky.

While outdoor adventuring:

Stay dry. There is nothing more important than avoiding hypothermia. Wet clothes lose all insulating value and transmit cold rapidly. Layer your clothing while hiking, skiing or exploring so that you can keep your body at a comfortable temperature. Synthetic fabrics make for a great base layer to limit the absorption of sweat. Waterproof outerwear is recommended.

Utilize the buddy system. When heading in to any situation where elements can change quickly, it’s important to let people know where you’re going and when you plan on being back. Having a partner while exploring is helpful as well. You can monitor each other for signs of hypothermia and be a support system in case of emergency.
Have the right equipment. In addition to the proper clothes, it’s important to have the proper gear. Be sure to wear sun protection as snow can reflect up to 80 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Wear shoes with a good fit that will not restrict blood flow to the feet, and that have soles that will provide traction in the snow. Rubber soles are best.

While Driving:

Be prepared. Make sure that your car is winter-ready with all proper fluids topped off, winter tires with good tread, and a cold-weather kit that includes a blanket, folding shovel, first aid kit, flashlight and bagged salt or sand. Check weather reports to stay informed of the conditions, and try to keep your gas tank at least half-full at all times.

Take it slow. Everything requires more time in the snow and ice, so turn, accelerate and decelerate slowly, allowing your car time to gain traction. While approaching a hill, try to create some inertia before the climb. There’s nothing worse than trying to power up a hill and just spinning your wheels on the ice.

Don’t panic. In the event of running your car off the road, remain calm. Assess the situation: Can you get a little traction under your drive tires with either sand, chains or even your floor mats? Use a shovel or any tool handy to remove snow around the tires and gently accelerate to gain traction. If you’re stuck in the snow, stay in your vehicle while awaiting help, but be sure to clear your exhaust pipe before starting the engine.
We hope that you stay safe and make the most of your winter in Big Sky. Visit our local outfitters in the Meadow and at Big Sky Resort Mountain Village to find all the right gear for a great time in the outdoors. For more Big Sky tips, stop by the Visitor Information Center at the corner of Highway 191 and Lone Mountain Trail.

A version of this story was originally published on the Visit Big Sky blog at visitbigskymt.com/winter-safety-tips/. Read more interesting content about the area on Visit Big Sky’s blog at visitbigskymt.com/category/blog/.