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Old 12-18-2020, 07:38 AM   #1
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Traveling from the Midwest to Utah over Xmas - Any good suggestions for equipping for

Hello All
Happy Holidays!
The wife and I are planning to go to Utah over the Xmas week. Traveling from Indiana to Salt Lake City.
Does anyone have any winter weather traveling specific advice to share? Things they bring along, emergency gear, etc.

Thanks
John
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Old 12-18-2020, 09:31 AM   #2
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I70/I80 can close because of weather conditions, leaving you stuck at a random off-ramp area. Not likely, but possible. Keep your gas tank as full as possible, have some emergency food and water, etc. Tire chains/cables and a collapsible shovel are always good to have along on winter road trips. You’re not driving to Alaska, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared driving across the plains in winter.
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Old 12-18-2020, 10:04 AM   #3
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Yup....keep an eye on weather and road conditions. Are you planning on taking 80 the whole way or dropping down to 70?
Avoid driving 70 westbound out of Denver on a weekend, especially Friday afternoon, and 70 eastbound on a Sunday, especially around the holidays, but who knows this year? All the CO ski resorts have placed restrictions on numbers, but lots of people on the front range have places in the mountains they’ll be traveling to, 70 can be a complete cluster!
But....If you’ve never driven through CO before, it can be quite beautiful in the winter, especially around this time with snow covered mountains, just take it easy and keep your distance if there’s snow/ice on the roads over Loveland and Vail passes.
Watch conditions on 80, West of Cheyenne and Laramie, it can get nasty if there’s a storm, high winds and blowing snow is common on that stretch and there’s really nothing up there once West of Laramie until you hit Rawlins, there is a decent little Thai place there called Anong’s.
Doesn’t hurt to have a few extra blankets, some cold weather clothes, gear, water/food.
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Old 12-18-2020, 12:37 PM   #4
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What Ref said!

Emphasize that if the weather is bad, the authorities WILL close the interstates and you'll be stuck. Even a wreck - an 18 wheeler spun out - and they'll close the freeway for hours until the mess is cleared and the accident is "investigated". Not like what I was used to back East where the roads stay open despite bad weather and wrecks.

Also - depending on the state you are in and whether you are in a 4x4 with snow tires - chains may be mandatory!
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:39 PM   #5
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I can attest to i80 across Wyoming being shut down more and more these days. The truck traffic including the awful modern truck drivers plus the wind and winter weather are a perpetual recipe for disaster. I go all the way across a few times a year nowadays and I'd much rather press my luck running across 70 or 90.
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:30 AM   #6
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thanks for all the advice.
I ended up going on US 80 and it was ok
Very little snow - some high winds in Wyoming. Gotta keep an eye on the truckers. They will use the whole road!
These trips always seem to highlight some thing that you need.
I would really like to get a decent weather station.
If anyone has suggestions dont hesitate.

Thanks again to those that replied. Much appreciated.

John
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Old 12-28-2020, 01:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jso5000 View Post
thanks for all the advice.
I ended up going on US 80 and it was ok
Very little snow - some high winds in Wyoming. Gotta keep an eye on the truckers. They will use the whole road!
These trips always seem to highlight some thing that you need.
I would really like to get a decent weather station.
If anyone has suggestions dont hesitate.

Thanks again to those that replied. Much appreciated.

John
Weather station? Or weather radio, so you can keep up with the forecast? Several times I've bailed out of the back country ahead of a major weather event because I heard it was coming on one of the National Weather Service channels.
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Old 12-28-2020, 01:26 PM   #8
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good point on a weather station vs. radio.
i was thinking a station so that I could monitor all of the key weather variables (temp, baro pressure, wind speed, etc).
But your point about a weather radio is probably better.
Get one of those radios with multiple power sources (crank, battery, solar) and just tune into NOAA or local weather info.

Thanks for the that!

Do you have a make/model of weather radio you recommned?
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Old 12-28-2020, 02:04 PM   #9
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My situation and yours are probably very different so the answer would depend on where you camp. I tend to go to extremely remote places where I might not see another person or vehicle for a week. I own a couple of the radios you are talking about - multiple power sources and NOAA channels. One is a pretty good sized unit that picks up AM/FM and shortwave in addition to the NOAA channels, the other is a compact little Midland unit that is just a weather radio and picks up all 7 NOAA channels. But I was not too happy with either of these units because I invariably camp in very remote places and their tuners just weren't good enough to receive the NOAA channels at that distance, even though they had extendable external antennas. Closer to a town where the NOAA broadcast tower might be, they work fine. For my remote area camping I've found that an old handheld Radio Shack scanner, a relic of my firefighter days, worked pretty good as long as I attached an external antenna. What I like best is my current solution - I changed out the OEM radio in my van for a Jensen heavy-duty unit that has the NOAA weather channels and weather alerts built in. Since it connects directly to the van's antenna the reception is far better than anything else I've tried. I can be a long ways from anywhere in the Utah backcountry and still pick up 3 or 4 of the NOAA channels.
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A few years ago I was camped north of Cathedral Valley in Utah when the NOAA weather alert began warning people to get out of the back country as a major storm track had shifted direction and was moving in, with a lot of rain. I heeded that warning and got out of there. Over the next couple days I kept hearing reports of people who hadn't heard or heeded the warning and were stranded because the roads washed out so badly.
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Old 12-28-2020, 02:18 PM   #10
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I dont tend to go that far away from civilization. However I like to have the capability.
My motto for our van is:
Go where you want, when you want.

So Im trying to equip the van with that in mind.

I have installed several of those Jensen Heavy Duty radios in my vehicles over the years. they are really good. i like older BMWs and they look period correct with the amber backlighting.

Actually have one in the wifes FZJ-80 Landcruiser!
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