Secret to Walking On Snow

jannieFebruary 3, 2013

I've always been klutzy. I was always falling on snowy sidewalks when I was a kid. Of course back then I was very strong and resilient. A fall meant nothing, no damage or pain. A couple winters ago, I fell while walking on ice and badly banged up my left knee. It still gives me trouble. Yesterday I read something about walking in slow. There are two tips. 1. Wear proper footwear. Not all boots are good on snow. Look for deep treads. And the second tip. The real secret to safe walking is not to slow down or walk mincingly or swing your arms or anything else. It was simply this: Spread you feet apart, even a few inches helps because it spreads your weight over a larger area. Makes sense to me. It's been snowing a little here in Long Island NY. I safely walked to the diner and to a grocery store today. And got back home safely.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I found the secret when I was a kid walking to school.
You Crawl on it. I didn't sink, but maybe since I was so thin then that's why.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the tip, Jannie. I have a fear of falling, for the same reason as you: painful falls in the past.

I don't mean to divert your thread, but I was sorry to hear what you're going through with your husband. Mine suffered with dementia for 10 years before he died, so I know what it can do to the caretaker. Try to take care of yourself, Jannie.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the kind words, Alisande.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

on my shoes:

I didn't even slip on ice, when I had those on my shoes. They are called yaktrax.

Buy the "pro" style. The strap across the top of the shoe makes sure, they don't come off on their own, and you don't loose one. Guess how I figured that one out... :)


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another thing you can do if you haven't had a chance to shop for purchase like Moni's, pull on a pair of mens wool socks over your shoes or boots, you'll get a little better traction even if you do look silly :) Those of us who don't deal with ice or snow that often take our safety where we can get it...

If it's really slick and icy and I have to go out, I take a cane for a 'third leg', additional stability. No way do I want to fall, ever. I have a couple of canes left from a hip surgery, a pretty one that can go downtown, and an old scarred bamboo that I still use when picking berries. It's a huge help for getting up and down steep banks, uneven hillsides without taking a header into blackberries :)

We made a trip to Portland in an ice storm a couple of winters ago and the berry picking cane was in the truck, I don't think I could have gotten to the hotel entrance from the parking lot without it unless I'd been on hands and knees. (Shame on you Marriott, Fred Meyer had done a better job with their parking lot, entrance, that storm.)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 12:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Baby steps are good on compacted snow/ice. My back is still messed up from 2 years ago. I don't bounce as good as I use to. I have those trac things, just forget to use them Today is lots of soft snow again, but 12 above.
Marie (ND)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 12:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Yes the socks over the shoes works wonderfully on ice especially. I always carried a pair in my car when I lived in areas that had ice storms or snow. Not much need for that now in Houston LOL.
But it did literally save my behind on one occasion in Oklahoma when my car could not go up the hill to get to my house and I had to leave it at a neighbors and walk home up said icy hill! I put my big socks on and off I went did not fall once.

The other thing I always carried in my car trunk a few strips of roofing shingles if you get stuck you can slide those up under your tires to be able to get traction. They are flat so don't take up any room in the trunk.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was going to post exactly what Moni did. I got a pair of yaktrax on ebay for a total of 7.00 with shipping and it's the best investment I ever made. They are easy on/off and really work. I walk every day with my dogs, and have fallen on ice a few times. As I'm getting older, I don't want to fall. The yaktrax really help.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 2:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

the worst fall is for your feet to shoot out in front of you and then falling on your back possibly banging the back of your head. I had one of those 'grand' falls 10 yr ago. I found myself laying flat out backsidedown and slamming onto an icy sidewalk. It had snowed a small amount ahd hid an icy patch. I was striding along with a bag or groceries in each hand and down I went. It was started by a slippery heel on my boot. The tread was worn away on the impact edge. I tensed while in the air and landed hard. After impact, I found it hard to breathe. I thought I had the wind temporarily knocked out of me, but the ensuing pain with each breath told it was more. It was; I had am internal rip, a hernia. I did not slam my head, but had a serious injury anyway. It took 6 weeks to heal and I still have the hernia - Ugh!

These days when the footing is slippery, you'll see me walking like and old man. I'll be leaning forward to bias the direction of a fall should one occur. In extreme cases, I may look like a hunch-back. Its bad posture for walking exercise, but beats the alternative of landing flat of my back.

Watch the heel contact area of your footwear. The impact patch should have good tread. If it is smooth, it can suddently turn into a water lubricated bearing surface and it will do this without warning.

Walking in deep snow ( 8 inches or more of depth), the hazard of falling is lessened, but walking is much more difficult. It requires a change of technique and do not expect to travel as fast. That's about the depth to break out snowshoes for a hike on the trail. It takes some practice to use snow shoes, but it makes it possible to walk in really deep snow. For the first time out, do not go far away from your home or shelter. It is great exercise, but exhaustion can set in quickly and you do not want to be very far away from 'home base'. After you become more accustomed to travel by snow shoe, it can be a good source of enjoyable winter exercise.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 2:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yaktrax are the best Moni...have had them for years...

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 6:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This suggestion wouldn't be too helpful for any one of us ...

... but could be helpful to our kids ...

... were we to mate with BigFoot ...

... (if we could find him[?/her?], out in the mountains)!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 2:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nowadays I walk assuming there's ice under the snow. If there's a choice of walking on grass with little snow, it'll give you much better traction. Also don't step with the usual heel to toe step. Set your foot down flat and feel for whether it's slippery. And using a cane, multiple canes, a walker or even grab a cart while you're in the store lot to have something to help steady you. It'll all help.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 4:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have Yak Trax but they are difficult to put on and take off. If I go to the grocery store, I have to take them off before I enter the store. They are very slippery when walking indoors on tile or concrete. I sometimes keep the Yaks on one pair of shoes and carry along another pair. That way I just change shoes once I am indoors. A few days ago when it was possibly slippery outside I did the penguin walk, slowly placed one foot flat on the ground before lifting up the other foot. I also leaned forward while walking. Last year I fell on my butt and broke the bone right above my tailbone. I would rather fall on my knees.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wish these were available for the first 38 years of my life when I lived in NE OH. BRUTAL! How many times I slipped when I was shoveling snow. Or walking from the house to the garage. I am soooo blessed that I've lived the past 25 yrs. south of I-10 (LA, FL, TX, back to FL.> Y'all in that awful weather, stay safe.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A couple of years ago I offered to share with folks the secret of how to walk on water (in northern states and Canada in winter) ...

... and suggested that folks be careful not to walk on too thin ice ...

... or their friends might be able to accuse them only too accurately of being all wet!

Cynic came on and told of how a fellow from the south who came to his area asked him whether, when folks talked of walking on water, whether they were bulXXXXing him ... and wondered about cynic's veracity when he told how folks drive trucks on the water ... and go ice fishing, in winter.

Can't you just see such a fellow looking at you suspiciously, out of the corner of his eye, were you to lay such a story on him??

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 1:12PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Best Bra you ever had.
I have tried every bra brand there is, and cannot find...
Site of the Day Mar 28
The Graffiti Creator - design your own name or logotype...
Moving to Ogden, Utah. Not Mormon. What can I expect...
Drapes, 84 or 98?
Do you prefer your drapes hung near the ceiling (98)...
Guest room is finished.
About 3 weeks ago I asked for mattress recomendations...
Rose Pekelnicky
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™