If you were in that huge influx of out-of-town buyers this summer, you’re probably a little nervous about the winter season. Yes, it gets very cold and snowy. But Bozeman winters are also filled with plenty of sunshine and outdoor activities. Winter is a great season if you’re prepared for the roads and have the right gear to stay warm and comfortable. Here’s a simple guide on how to survive your first winter in Bozeman.
How to survive your first winter in Bozeman:
Get good winter boots.
Bozeman averages 63″ of snowfall per year, so good winter boots are a necessity.
- Schnee’s Pac Boots All styles of the unisex Pac Boots are hand-crafted right here in Bozeman, Montana. These boots are made to last but are rebuildable if they ever wear out. The leather is thick American cow and buffalo hides. The soles are vulcanized rubber, so they have serious traction in the most challenging conditions. And the removable liner is Thinsulate™ Insulation that keeps your toes warm up to -20 degrees. These boots are pricey ($299-$349) but you are paying for hand-crafted quality.
- Oboz Footwear This is another great local company making sturdy boots. Their winter versions can take you from Main Street to the Mountains. The Women’s Sapphire 8″ Insulated Waterproof; Men’s Bridger 8″ and 10″ Insulated Waterproof; and Men’s Sawtooth II 8″ Insulated Waterproof also have Thinsulate™ Insulation and Oboz’s proprietary O Fit Insole™ that is molded to match the specific shape and construction of your boots. From $169 to $199.
- Yaktrax® These strap right onto the bottom of your shoes and provide sticky traction in the slipperiest of conditions. They have styles to take you from town to a winter hike to a backcountry excursion. From $20 to $90.
Get your tires ready.
The roads can get pretty scary in the winter, which is why you need dedicated winter tires or studded tires for your car. The question is: studs or no studs?
- Winter Tires They have really improved the technology on winter tires and they will get you around pretty good and safe. People usually go for these over studs because you don’t have to change them out every season.
- Studded Tires These are the safest choice for icy conditions when even winter tires can’t get a good grip. You have to make sure, though, to change your tires out once road conditions start to change. Studded tires are permitted in Montana from Oct. 1 to May 31.
- What About a Bike? A fat tire bike or studded tires on your regular mountain bike are great for in-town errands or some of the easier Main Street to the Mountains trails. The wide tires on a fat tire bike provide float and traction on snow, sand, and other mixed terrain. Some fat tire brands to look into are Jamis and Rocky Mountain. Most shops sell do-it-yourself studded tire kits.
Get the right gear.
You don’t realize how quickly the elements can get the best of you when temperatures dip below freezing. So, it’s important to wear thermal base layers and keep all exposed areas protected with a facemask and good gloves if you plan on being outside for a few hours. Here are some unique and popular brands:
- Beringia World This boutique label makes standout winter gear. They are headquartered here in Bozeman, Montana but have a design lab and retail store in Tokoyo, Japan. Their Men’s and Women’s Diomede Merino Wool Snorkel Hoody is great as a base layer or on its own. It’s super soft, warm and the unique design keeps everything but your eyes covered.
- Azyre Gear This Wyoming-based brand makes technically driven outdoor apparel for women. Their Vision Baselayer Top and Pant is designed to keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s warm. The base layers are super soft, have a feminine fit, and the signature camo pattern is one you won’t see anywhere else.
- Blackstrap You’ll see this brand’s balaclavas all over the ski hills at Bridger Bowl and Big Sky. They’re made in the USA and come in all kinds of fun patterns and colors.
- Hestra These gloves are a top favorite among skiers and snowboarders for their warmth and stylish look.
Come check us out this winter and see if Bozeman is a place you’d like to live. I can help you find the right home for you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Photo of Schnee’s Outfitter II boot)