With so many new people moving to Montana, there is going to be a learning curve. For residents who have dealt with winter most of their lives, these questions may seem a bit ridiculous, but let's just put our comments aside and help out a neighbor.

5 things you must know for your first winter in Montana.

Tires. So many choices to pick from but there are some that make more sense than others. Tires are also something you don't want to take the cheap route on. Having a good set of winter tires is pretty important. All-season tires are typically best for dry and wet conditions, but not necessarily deep snow.

Photo by Daniel Foster on Unsplash
Photo by Daniel Foster on Unsplash

I have been driving in snow for 23 years and this is the first year I have had studded tires. Game changer? Yes! But I also survived without them.

Ice Dams. I am not talking about the bodies of water. I am referring to ice dams that can and will from time to time form on top of your home.

There are a few signs to watch for to prevent this. If it goes uncared for, you could have thousands of dollars of repairs on your hands. Doesn't sound like something I would enjoy, especially during the holiday season.

Survival kit. Montana winters will get icy, cold, and windy. Add snow on top of those and you may find yourself in a scary situation. Just the other day, vehicles were stranded for hours while authorities were clearing jack-knifed semis off the interstate.

You want to make sure that you have enough food, water, warmth, etc to be stuck at a standstill for hours without any worry. Extra blankets and warm clothing should be in your vehicle at all times starting as early as October.

Gas. I know gas is expensive right now, we are all feeling the stress of it costing $100+ to fill your tank. But with unpredictable weather, you should have at least half of a tank at all times.

Photo by Dawn McDonald on Unsplash
Photo by Dawn McDonald on Unsplash

If your car is idling for hours as you wait for clear roads, the last thing you want to do is run out of gas. Without gas, you don't have heat or power, which will most likely be what saves you from freezing and boredom.

Cat litter. This may be strange, but as you are packing your survival kit, add a small bag of cat litter to the trunk as well. If you come to an area where you end up sliding off of the road, you will need to have some traction to get back on the road.

Cat litter is an easy (and cheap) way to help you get out of a slippery situation.

Plan ahead and stay safe out there!

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