Here is something different, not gear for walking, but gear to help you get to your walk in poor weather. Two weeks ago before the heavy snow fall I bought online for my rear wheel drive car, Snow socks to go over the tyres of my car. Unfortunately because we did not have any post for 8 days, I was unable to use them until today. I have been relying on my wife’s 4 x 4 to get out and about for work and pleasure, which then leaves her stranded and there is no public transport through our village, so cars are essential . There are several brands available and I read a number of good reviews on them. I bought them for my company car, so there will be no cost to me personally! – but will be very useful driving to hills where I would encounter ice and snow. However anyone who has experience of rear wheel drive cars, will know they are completely useless in ice and snow. I cannot get out of my drive, let alone the lane I live in.
So what are snow socks ? These are a device in technical fabric which fits over the whole of the tyre, allowing you to get a better grip and traction in snow and ice. If you imagine a woolen mitten it sticks to snow and ice and so does the fabric in a similar fashion. With front wheel drive cars you can just buy one pair for the driving wheels, but with rear wheel you need to fit them to all tyres. I tried with just one pair on the rear wheels backing out of my drive, but the front wheels just span. Adding the other pair, gave the grip necessary.
Fitting is easy and quick. You stretch the elasticated part of the device over the tyre and pull around the tyre as much as possible. Drive forward slightly, so the unattached bottom section is now at the top and pull the rest around the wheel.
I drove up our road and had not problem getting up it, usually a major problem, so they do help a great deal. After driving 500 metres the socks will self level and fit correct around the wheel.
Taking them off, is simple, pull on the orange cross on the front of the wheel and ease the sock off. Drive forward and collect them off the road.
Two words of warning
Do not drive any distance on asphalt as this will wear out the fabric and don’t forget to make sure that stones are removed from the tyres, before fitting the socks. They don’t say that in the instructions and my drive is made of gravel. One of the socks now has a couple of holes in them, where the sharp stones must have been embedded in the tread ! Not a good start for me, but by posting this warning up, perhaps others can avoid this issue.
All in all, a device that does work and did get me out of my road for the first time in nearly two weeks. They should help me when I am travelling around for work and also when driving to the hills. I will continue to monitor the wear situation and report back in due course.