One Thursday morning in the dead of winter in Colorado, I was wheeling the trashcan down to the curb for pickup. Just so happens, the driveway was an ice field as it was one of the coldest winters we had in a long time. Large amounts of snow dumped all over the state and with ridiculous travel schedules, we couldn’t keep up with the shoveling. One minute I was excited to start the day, and the next thing I know, my feet were flying out from underneath me. I landed directly on my bum and the back of my head hit the driveway with a healthy bounce. Luckily I didn’t crack my skull, but I am convinced I broke my butt-bone. I couldn’t sit without wincing for about a year. That was an awesome year.
The memory of that day still sticks in my mind and since then I have issues with ‘black’ ice, white ice, snow packed trails, etc. In order to muster up the courage to actually leave the house in the winter and take out the garbage, trail run or hike in the shoulder season when trails can be slick, I discovered Kahtoola MICROspikes. They were a ‘Winner of the prestigious Backpacker Magazine 2012 Editors’ Choice Gold Award.’ You can buy ’em at your local REI or on websites like Amazon.
This cool little traction system easily slips right over all types of boots and shoes. They are sturdy and well made – mine have lasted a few years already. Keep in mind, these are not to replace crampons for serious climbing or snowshoes for deep snow hikes, but they are definitely useful for all types of winter situations I described above.
I am so grateful to have found these little gadgets, you can bet I will have a pair on hand when I trek in Nepal this winter. They also live in my backpack so I have them in a pinch when I am playing outdoors on a pristine Colorado winter day and find myself in a slippery situation.