If the calendar didn’t make things clear, the rapidly descending temperature gauge in your truck should let you know we are headed into the frigid grip of winter. And as much as we love the changing of seasons, there’s no denying that a 3–5-month cold spell presents certain challenges that must be dealt with. So for those who believe in being prepared, here are some of the steps we take to make sure the worst aspects of winter are kept firmly at bay.
SMALL ENGINE INSPECTION & MAINTENANCE
Not unlike putting a prize mare back into its stable, it’s always a sad day when the trusty lawnmower is wheeled away until next spring. But before you do, it’s wise to make sure make your sturdy companion is properly serviced. So drain the oil. Disconnect the spark plug. Clean the undercarriage. Perhaps even give it a nice wax with a fine chamois. At the very least, we always run the mower until any remaining gas is used (we like the sound), but we also aren’t going to judge the pro-fuel stabilizer crowd out there for their time-saving ways.
Obviously, we are very much in favor of observing basic grooming standards, but know that this is not the time for trimming, our friends—this is a time for GROWING. Your facial hair is all that stands between you and frigid jawline, and there isn’t a local TV meteorologist worth their road salt who would throw a side-eye at a bushy-bearded fellow this time of year (remember: they’ve read this year’s Farmer’s Almanac, and know what’s coming).
VARIOUS WINDOW SEALING ACTIVITIES
There’s no two ways about it: drafty windows that allow heat to escape are the enemy of every hard-working fellow. Whether it’s caulking gaps in frames, re-nailing trim for a tighter seal, even using a hair dryer to shrink-wrap your front picture window in those folded plastic sheets they sell in kits, there’s no window sealing maneuvers Duke Cannon turns his nose up at.
P.S. Please drop us a line if you manage to pioneer some new energy-saving window sealing methodology you think we should be aware of.
ARM YOUR HANDS
You know that scene in every 80’s action film where the hero loads up on weaponry? Of course you do. Donning your favorite pair of gloves—choppers, suede work gloves, snowmobiling mittens, whatever you favor—for the first time once the weather starts to turn is a lot like that. You hear a dramatic surge of music. Your eyes narrow. You pull the gloves on, and somewhere, a camera zooms in for a close-up. Then you put a cherry on top by muttering something like “Showtime.”
BEER FRIDGE STOCKING
Making beer runs on a frigid night is a rookie maneuver. What if there’s a blizzard and you’re socked in, with an empty garage fridge? Or a friend stops by unannounced, and you can offer him only tap water to quench his thirst? Chilling thoughts. So stock up like there’s no tomorrow—and if capacity becomes an issue, remember that you can always store the overflow outside this time of year (thanks, Mother Nature).