As you can imagine, winter in cottage country is a beautify wintery escape to enjoy with friends and family. While you won’t be canoeing or swimming, there are lots of cottage activities to safely enjoy.
During your arrival and trip home, be sure to check road conditions and allow for plenty of gas in your tank and extra window washer fluid for refills. Four-wheel drive and winter tires are absolutely encouraged for your trip.
We also recommend having a winter car kit packed for the ride. I was taught early on, that I was not to drive without the following items, even if there wasn’t any snow in the forecast!
Here’s what I always have on hand:
- A warm blanket, it doesn’t have to be pretty, just warm!
- Extra hats & mittens for everyone in the car
- Bottled water (even if it freezes) or Gatorade
- Snacks, granola bars or my personal favourite, leftover Halloween candy!
- A wood 2″x4″; if you get caught in a snow drift or need leverage
- Kitty litter, seems strange but if you hit ice or slick packed snow, the kitty litter will create grit for traction. You
could use sand or salt but this was always so much easier, with easy to pour packaging.
- Chapstick; vanity aside, if it’s cold you’ll be happy you have one!
- Hand lotion, Vaseline or both, again with the cold temps it could come in very handy
- Standard First Aid Kit; band-aids, Polysporin, just the typical inclusions, scissors, tape, gauze, etc.
- Baby wipes, if you have to change a tire, check the oil or have any car trip spills these are perfect and more cost-effective than a package of moist toilettes. Hand Sanitizer is also good!
- Flares, if you break down, you’ll want to be able to send a message to approaching drivers. If you can’t find flares, try grabbing a tube of glow stick bracelets at the dollar store!
- A flashlight & extra batteries and candles & matches
While you’re enjoying time at the cottage, please be sure to check the lake listings for the thickness of the ice, before venturing out. Whether skating, ice fishing or snowmobiling, you want to make sure you are well aware of the stability of the ice before making plans. Not all lakes will fully freeze over and some are never safe for even walking across! If you have doubts about the ice conditions or just questions in general, always ask CLRM, local officials or neighbours for information before taking the chance. If you see any standing water or cracks, best to try something else.