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A field guide to surviving a winter on Donner Summit

Jan 18, 2022 | News & Events, Winter Tips

Employee Owner Hayley is one of our only staff members living on Donner Summit. While she claims she’s no expert on winter living, a few winters at 6,768ft elevation can constitute at least a novice title. Aside from prepping and having the right equipment and gear, having a positive attitude will go a long way to saving you from mid-shovel meltdowns… and she may even know a thing or two about that.




Tubbs Wayfinder Snowshoes

Not just for adventuring. But for making it to the backside of your cabin to dig out the buried window or telephone line.


Snowshark or Snohoe Snow Removal Tool

Efficiency at 5:30 am trying to clear your car of 4+ft of snow just cannot be done without one of these tools.


Atlas Coated Work Gloves

Long enough to go above the wrist, and the heavy coating makes them 100% waterproof. Not the most fashionable, but absolutely necessary. Buy them online at acehardware.com here.


Honda 928A Snowblower

It throws snow 52 ft, has a bright LED for nightime use, and it starts first try every time.




Teva ReEMBER Moccasin

Cozy on the inside, hard rubber sole on the outside. Perfect for quick trips onto the snowy deck to make sure the dog hasn’t taken off after a coyote. 


Window Film Insulation

An old cabin with single-pane windows just doesn’t stay warm. These plastic window coverings will keep *some* cold air out but keeps *most* of the scary spiders from crawling in from the outside. Buy here on acehardware.com


Super Fluffy Cozy Socks

This goes back to the single pane window necessity. When the house is an igloo, warm feet are important. 


Extra Solar Lighting and Chargers

You’re bound to lose power, whether you’re in Truckee or on the summit – and when you do, you’ll be happy you have these. Shop the Goal Zero Portable Charger online with us here.



Other handy tips:


1.Make sure your snowblower is located at an easily accessible garage/storage area at your home. Preferably inside. Having it inside clear of other garage items will make it easy to change shear pins or fill up the snowblower in a hurry.

2. After-storm clean-up is essential to making it through the next storm. When one snowstorm ends, clear snow from around common “disposal areas” so when the next storm comes, you have more space to work with. For instance, if you’re shoveling snow off a deck onto a lower area, make sure you remove snow from the lower area, so it doesn’t pile too high during the next storm.

3.Don’t keep all your shovels outside your home. Leave a few shovels on a few different levels of your home and inside your car. If the highway closes or you can’t make it inside for a few days and the snow piles up, your shovels will be buried. Then, well, you can’t shovel yourself out. Keeping a few shovels handy at a few locations will save you from this headache.

4.Stay positive and don’t stress too much in the moment. Clearing snow is a lot of work, but complaining about it isn’t going to make it go away, or get any easier. Smile and reward yourself with an adult beverage. You earned it! 


For more tips or to shop any of the above items mentions, stop in at any of our locations. 



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