Preparing for winter in Idaho looks different for everyone. For some that means getting their livestock arranged, for others, it may be something simple like buying firewood or getting their car prepared for the inevitable weather. For people new to the area that may not have experienced an Idaho winter yet, some adjustments and culture shocks are guaranteed to happen. I thought I had known cold weather and what needed to be done, but I wish someone had prepared me a little more. Here are some things I wish I knew before the winter had started.

Get Firewood, Lots Of It

Credit: Andreas Pajuvirta on Unsplash
Credit: Andreas Pajuvirta on Unsplash
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Having a fire in the winter seems like a luxury for some, but in Idaho, it is a necessity. With so many older homes, central heat isn't in a lot of houses, and most are equipped with floorboard heaters, space heaters, or fireplaces for means of heat. While yes, these houses can be upgraded, not everyone had the funds to do so. Make sure to buy lots of wood before the temperatures lower, as it will be needed to keep the house extra warm. If you are not familiar with how much wood is enough, a cord should be plenty, but look up terms, as I was unfamiliar with what a cord was before I asked.

Invest In A Good Snow Shovel or Two

Credit: Filip Mroz on Unsplash
Credit: Filip Mroz on Unsplash
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Shoveling snow is inevitable in Idaho. At some point in the winter, a big snowfall will happen, and shoveling your driveway, walkways and sidewalks will need to follow. Make sure to invest in a good sturdy snow shovel and not just a cheap plastic one. The ice alone will be worth the investment and sanity. If you have kids old enough to help, it may be smart to get a few to help speed up the work.

Blow Out Your Hoses Early

Credit: John Nzoka on Unsplash
Credit: John Nzoka on Unsplash
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This should have been done months ago, but I am glad someone told us about it. It is a must to blow out your hoses before winter begins. The reason for this is to clear out any lingering water left in your pipes because water expands when frozen and could bust your pipes and your hose if it is still attached. If you didn't do this before the freeze, then you may be in trouble and should look into it right away.

Cover Your AC Units

This is more of a concern in the fall with falling leaves and nuts, but it is also important to keep your AC units covered in the winter as well. You can buy covers or use big trash bags, but this is to help keep heavy snowfall and ice from getting into them as well as any animals that may escape into them for warmth and to build nests. It is not a must, but worth doing, especially depending on what type of unit you have. 

Prepare Your Cars For Winter

Credit: Edgar Moran on Unsplash
Credit: Edgar Moran on Unsplash
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Cars need to be prepared for winter just as much as a house does. It is important to check what kind of tires you have, that you have covers for windshields if you don't have a garage or car part, you have ice scrapers, and know how to drive on ice. Make sure to do your research or ask people about driving in snow or ice if you come from someplace that doesn't get very much. 

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These are just a few things that people should be prepared for in Idaho this winter if they have moved recently or are planning to move here. Nothing can prepare you for the cold, as you will just have to deal with it, but as long as there is no wind, it isn't so bad. Make sure to get winter clothes if you don't have any. Invest in a good coat, gloves, and boots. They will be your go-to outfit for the next few months. Wish I would have prepared earlier. Try to stay warm out there. 

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