Gear

Is a Snow Blower a Good Investment?

Should You Buy a Snow Blower?

For those of you living in warm countries, or in the Southern part of the United States, this post may not be relevant to you. If, however, you live in an area that experiences excessive snowfall during the winter season, continue reading. If you live in a snowy area, you will likely have visited the idea of purchasing a snow blower, and weighed the pros and cons of using a plow service. In this post, I will discuss exactly why you should (or shouldn’t) buy a snow blower, and how to make that decision easier for you.

Things to Consider

Before doing any research or thinking about buying a snow blower any further, it is important to consider the following: do you actually need one? While many areas in the United States do get snow, many do not experience the unmanageable levels that would prevent you from effectively clearing with a shovel. For example, areas outside of New York City may only get a couple inches during the winter, but cities like Madison, WI get a whopping 51 inches each year. If you do not live in an area that gets significant snowfall, it is likely you will be able to save a few hundred dollars and make due with a simple shovel. However, if you do live in an area that gets tons of snow, you should take the following few points into consideration when deciding whether or not to buy.

How much snow do you get?

Snow blowers come in a variety of different style with different features and capabilities designed to tackle different levels of snow. There are heavy-hitter 3-stage gas powered blowers that are designed for heavy snow up to two feet deep, and lighter single-stage gas blowers designed for up to 12 inches of light snow. It is important to know about how much snow to expect, as you don’t want to be caught with 24 inches and only have something capable of dealing with 12. For more information on this, you can check out the blower guide from Home Depot.

Investment level

Snow blowers are an investment, there is no getting around that fact. Even for a light blower, you can expect to pay around $300 and, for the more rugged models, the price can shoot up to thousands of dollars. Given this fact, make extra sure you will get your moneys worth if you plan on buying one. Typically, plowing services cost about $40 per storm (they have their own pros and cons but that is for another post), so if you don’t get consistent heavy snowfall, it may be more beneficial for you to use one of those.

Finding the Right Model

I’ll be honest, I don’t have a lot of experience with various snow blower models. I know that some come with nice features like built-in hand warmers, but am not versed enough to speak about them. I did find a site (https://www.snowblowerguides.com/) that has an extensive selection of snow blower reviews, and discusses various models in great detail. If you have decided you need a snow blower, I suggest heading over there and reading more about the model you are considering.

Justin
Justin is an avid outdoorsman and hiker. He loves exploring new places, reaching new heights (literally and spiritually), and meeting all sorts of new people. He has been around the world, but currently calls Colorado home. He loves blogging about his adventures, giving tips, and talking about outdoor gear.
Camping, Gear

The Importance of Water While Hiking

Why is Water Important?

According to the USGS, up to 60% of an adult human consists of water. It is crucial for life of all shapes and sizes, and without it you will die. Unfortunately, too many people do not recognize the importance of consistent clean drinking water, especially when they are out hiking or camping. This is something I had to be reminded of myself (the hard way), and it is a mistake I will never ever repeat.

In this post, I will go over exactly why it is crucial to have water with you while you are out in the wild and how you can get it in the event of an emergency or if you run out.

Please note, this information is simply based on my experiences and does not constitute advice from a professional.

How to Get Clean Drinking Water

Having water with you whilst hiking is crucial, but what happens if you have taken all the right steps and something unforeseen happened? Unfortunately, the unforeseen is an everyday part of being in the wilderness, which means you need to prepare for it.

One of the best ways to be prepared for a water shortage is to know how to properly collect and sanitize natural water. Before we get into this section, I want to point out that you should never drink water from ponds, rivers, or any other natural source without sanitizing it first.

Water Filters

Years ago this would not be a viable solution for water purification while mobile, but times and technology have changed. Portable water filters are now high-quality enough to be reliable in the outdoors as a means of water purification, which makes things a lot easier for us. Some great brands are Berkey (which has a portable model) and LifeStraw, which is made for the outdoors. You can check out a Berkey water filter review here and read more about the LifeStraw on Bear Grylls site.

Traditional Purification

Before miniaturized water filters were invented, outdoorsmen had to rely on traditional methods of water purification. The most common way is to get a fire going, collect your water in a pot or similar container, then heat it until it boils. The heat will kill the bacteria and other pollutants, and should make it safe to drink. Another common way also involves filtering, but using natural means, such as sand and silt. This is a less common technique, but one I plan on covering in a future post since I find it extremely interesting and potentially useful.

Signs of Dehydration

Before we wrap this post up, I wanted to quickly touch on a few symptoms of dehydration that I think it is important to keep in mind whilst hiking or camping. Bear in mind this is not an inclusive list (link to one down below).

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Dark urine
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • and more

Above are a few of the symptoms to keep an eye out for while you are out in the wild. Additionally, here is a link to check out if you are interested in seeing a more comprehensive list: E Medicine.

 

Justin
Justin is an avid outdoorsman and hiker. He loves exploring new places, reaching new heights (literally and spiritually), and meeting all sorts of new people. He has been around the world, but currently calls Colorado home. He loves blogging about his adventures, giving tips, and talking about outdoor gear.