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It just got done snowing about 30 inches, and my pregnant wife is having a strong craving for some tacos. We don't have any beef or chicken to make tacos at home. The taco place is only about a mile away. No way my car can make it through this snow since the streets haven't been plowed yet and likely won't be plowed for another day or more.

Simply put, I must get tacos fast. I'm predicting the deep snow will slow me down considerably. So what would normally take about 30 minutes, will likely take at least 50 to 90 minutes plus I'll get considerably wet from the snow and might even catch a cold, and I don't want to get my wife sick when I get back.

I don't have any special snow equipment I could use. Is there any way, any method, any ordinary household items to make my trip more efficient and dryer?

  • So, why not order out and have them do delivery? – Affable Geek Jan 9 '15 at 23:53
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    @AffableGeek I don't know of any taco places that do delivery. Also, who knows if they would even offer delivery in this weather if they did? Lets pretend the taco place is on a main street that did get plowed, but all the other streets and the distance between me and the taco place is not plowed. – CRABOLO Jan 9 '15 at 23:57
  • How cold is it? That would certainly change my answer. Also, I know you mentioned you didn't have any special snow gear; but do you have snow pants? Or perhaps even wind breaking pants - like for warming up or going to the gym? – L.B. Jan 13 '15 at 22:40
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    @L.B. 24 degrees Fahrenheit, wind is calm at like 5 miles per hour only. No snow pants. No wind breaking pants. – CRABOLO Jan 14 '15 at 0:16
  • @AffableGeek This is the real answer, even if you have to call up a different place that does delivery. – fredley Jan 14 '15 at 16:57
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+50

Your 2 main options will probably be making a sled and/or snow shoes.

A sled can be fashioned from a number of household items, you basically just need something that is relatively light weight and flat to convex. A large plastic trashcan lid should do the trick nicely without any modification if you're only using it for short slides.

Snow shoes will need a little more thought and work. You're pretty much looking for something that can be strapped to the bottom of your shoe that will give you enough surface area to walk on top of the snow, without being so heavy or awkwardly shaped that they're hard to walk in.

enter image description here

Some ideas for quick improvised snow shoes:

Or if you have a little more time you could try a traditional approach

I would go with a combined approach if you're in a hilly area. Use the sled to go down hill and shoes to go up hill.

Also, be sure to reheat the tacos before serving...

  • I would add cookie sheets to the list. Not everyone has them, but they work great – J. Musser Jan 7 '15 at 17:33
  • @J.Musser Gilles mentioned metal trays, I didn't want to step on his answer. – apaul Jan 7 '15 at 17:51
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    How the heck do you strap cookie sheets to your feet? – Sterno Jan 14 '15 at 16:53
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    @Sterno the same way you strap anything to anything else, duct tape. – apaul Jan 14 '15 at 17:42
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    So this question has been bothering me a a while. His problem is that he needs to go get the tacos fast, and the accepted (bountied!) answer is "saw apart some tennis rackets, get some twine, and make yourself some snowshoes". I humbly submit that's probably not "fast", and if you did it in advance for such an occasion, you probably could have just bought yourself something more appropriate in the first place. – Sterno Feb 9 '15 at 21:14
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The obvious household item would be garbage bags — they are found in most homes (advanced recyclers excepted), they are waterproof, and they are large enough to stick a foot in and cover a fair bit of your leg. Tie them to your trouser legs with an elastic, with paperclips, with sticky tape or anything you have on hand.

Hopefully your shoes can stand the snow, in which case you're probably better off with your socks inside the bags but the bags inside the shoes. If you put the bags outside the shoes, they're likely to tear up pretty quickly.

Snowshoes or skis would be more comfortable, but that's not something you can so quickly build from common household items. You could try fastening a pair of wooden boards or metal trays to the bottom of your shoes to prevent sinking in the snow, but I do not recommend that: you could break an ankle if the support gets caught in something. If you go that route, strive to make the fastening between the shoe and the support strong enough to last the whole way but not so strong that your ankle would break before it. Cardboard snowshoes might actually work best for a quick-to-build solution, and they'd be flexible enough not to endanger your ankles, but I don't know if they'd last the whole way. Maybe snowshoes made of cardboard wrapped in a garbage bag?

A realistic alternative might be to pay someone with snow shoes or snow tires or skis to deliver.

  • When we were kids, we used plastic shopping bags over our sneakers because we couldn't afford boots. Just like all the kids in the neighborhood! Worked ok. – axsvl77 Jul 20 '16 at 4:38
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You can make snow gaiters out of some household materials. Take some plastic wrap (the thin transparant material typically used for sealing food items in containers to keep them fresh over a longer period of time). Wrap some of this around each of your legs and shoes except the sole because you don't want to slip on the snow. I am trying to explain that you can make something like this as shown on the picture:

enter image description here

And you can also put elastic hair ties on your shoes to keep the plastic wrap on your feet.

You will look very funny with these plastic gaiters, but they will protect your feet from moisture.

4

My suggestions are:

  • Wear panty hose under your pants. One pair should be enough.

  • Wear a light jacket. You will be working hard going through snow and you don't want to get sweaty.

  • Wear polyester pants if possible. Cotton holds more water and should be avoided.

  • Wear one pair of synthetic-fabric socks. Cotton holds more water. Because your feet will get wet, extra socks simply means more water.

  • Avoid leather shoes. If your feet get wet, leather is harder to dry out.

  • Going through snow as you describe will be tough. Set a nice pace and keep with it. Try not to get hot and sweaty.

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When I have to spend several minutes in deep snow, I wear two pairs of pants, an interior layer (Usually Pajama pants), which I actually pull my socks up over the hem of, and an exterior layer (Jeans).

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With snowshoes, you will be able to walk on snow without falling deep inside the snow and waterproof leggings, you should stay dry.

Also you need waterproof shoes, as the snow shoes will only prevent you from falling to deep in the snow but not prevent the shoes from getting wet.

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    Link-only answers are discouraged because links may break. If you include a link, include also the most important information from it. – nicael Jan 7 '15 at 8:47
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Wear the tallest, warmest pair of shoes or boots you have. Socks should, if possible, be a synthetic fiber; if you don't have non-cotton socks, you could wear a plastic bag around your feet and ankles.

Wear a pair of pants that are made out of a synthetic fiber. If necessary, you may wear an additional layer underneath.

Cut the base off of a large trash bag and then cut down the sides of it (lay the unused bag flat on the table and cut it so that the bag is only one layer and then cut that in half). Wrap a half around each leg, covering the top of your shoe enough for you to rubber band the plastic to it. To fasten the side of plastic, overlap the bag edges enough for the plastic to be slightly snug but not tight and tape. Now, tape around the top, to fasten to your pants. Preferably, use duct tape (Duck tape); if you don't have duct tape you might be able to use masking tape overlapped several times.

Notes: Any time you have to fasten something to yourself such as with a rubber band or tape do not make it any tighter than you must and be sure you can still slip your finger between whatever the fastener is and your skin.

Obviously, if you can, try to walk in shoveled or plowed areas.

I hope that you stay as warm and dry as possible!

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