Getting to the trail



CHECK ROAD CONDITIONS

Always check the conditions of the road before heading out. Do you have to drive over a mountain pass to get there? If you have to drive up a forest service road to the Dolomites, check for recent trip reports on the regional traffic pages as well as road conditions listed on the national channels and websites. 

DO YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY KIT IN YOUR CAR? 

It would be nice to keep a box in the back of my car year-round for emergencies. This box has a lot of standard vehicle emergency kit items like jumper cables, tire pump, flashlight, tools to change a tire, etc. But for those of us that sometimes have to drive down even just 3 kilometers of dolomitic forest service roads with no cell reception, I’ve added quite a bit to mine. It would be a good idea to carry a large jug of water, a water filter, a package of emergency food, a blanket, beanie, warm leather gloves, duct tape, a multi-tool, hand warmers, and an ice scraper/brush. Also keeping a small shovel that may be used to either dig the car out from snow, a ditch, or to use to cover an icy road with dirt and other debris to provide traction, would be a good idea!

DO YOU HAVE CHAINS? 

If the answer is no, then go get some. If you said “No, because I drive an all-wheel vehicle”, then go get some. Also locals of the valleys, such as Val di Fassa and Val Gardena, know that chain must always be on board. You could have 18 wheels, and it still wouldn’t care… because it’s ice, and a spinning wheel on ice will do exactly what the ice wants: spin and slide. A good idea would be to use tire cables, which look a lot like chains, but are a bit less aggressive since normal chains don’t play good enough sometimes. There’s also tire socks, which provide extra grip. Consult your vehicle owner's manual and do some research to find out which works best for your vehicle. Also; it is mandatory to have them to go into National Parks, like Mount Rainier, during the winter months.

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