It’s winter time, which means you’ll hear a lot of talk about places being “blanketed with snow.” It’s a lovely metaphor—who doesn’t like a cozy blanket, especially when it’s zero degrees outside and the wind is actually trying to kill you? However, when it comes to shoveling those “blankets” of snow, few people take this metaphor to it’s natural conclusion: a blanket should be rolled, not scooped.
For a brilliant demonstration of the snow-rolling method, we turn to YouTuber Joshua Jordan. In this two-minute clip, the West Virginia native shows us how the most efficient way to rid a yard of snow is by rolling it up like a cozy carpet, not scooping it like so much elephant dung.
If this tip seems too good to be true, it might be if the snow in your hood is too wet (if you can’t roll a snowball, you can’t roll a snow-carpet), too shallow, or if you live in a city where narrow steps — not luxurious lawns — are your nemesis.
Never fear. If the snow-roller hack doesn’t work for you, consider these pro tips from around the web, and heed the tips doctors wish you knew about shoveling snow.
- Dress in layers. As you shovel, your body will heat up, and you’ll probably end up casting the parka aside.
- Choose the right shovel. Don’t waste your time with a plastic one, or anything labeled “ergonomic.” Opt for a snow shovel with a straight wooden handle and reinforced steel blade that won’t buckle under the weight of tightly-packed snow.
- Remember that shoveling snow is a lever system: the shovel is the lever, the snow is the load, and you are the fulcrum. At the length of a typical shovel, it takes about 16 pounds of force to lift six pounds of snow—however, if you mover your body closer to the snow, you can cut that force in half.
- Be sure to lift with your legs. Keep your torso upright, and you’ll save your back from the strain of that lever action.
- Never move the same snow twice. Decide beforehand where you want to set up your snow dump-heap, and start with the snow furthest from that point. The heap will grow as you work closer to it, leaving the shortest distance (and easiest work) for the end of the job.
- You’re not done until you’ve salted the area to keep slippery ice from forming in your absence. It’s the literal salt in the wound of that nasty blizzard.
- Visit The Family Handyman for pro tips on snow blowing.
Stay warm, stay safe, and have a happy winter.