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Be Prepared for Wyoming Winter

Snow covers Prexys Pasture
The Wyoming winter has arrived and it's important for you to know how to stay safe this chilly season.

Unbendable optimism. Unshakeable determination. Adventurous spirit. Because you’re a Cowboy, you’ve got all that – and you’ll lean upon it to embrace the wonderful and wild Wyoming winter season that’s fast approaching.

We want to give you the tools to stay safe and comfortable this winter, while also making sure you can cope should something not go as planned.


Tip No. 1: Gather your supplies

Jackets, blankets, sleeping bag. We hope you never find yourself stuck in your vehicle on the side of a snowy road. However, if you do, don’t get caught without warm clothing or blankets. Depending on how long you have to wait in your car, low temperatures can quickly become dangerous.

Sturdy ice scraper. While a library card will work, using it every week to scrape the ice off your windshield gets old quick. Look at local hardware or retail stores for a sturdy ice scraper, which will come in handy more than you can imagine.

Emergency kit. Along with warm clothes, your list should include a foldable snow shovel, warm gloves and portable heat packs. If you’re having trouble with tire grip, try using cat litter, rock salt or sand to put under your tires to gain traction. Add a first-aid kit to your collection to keep minor issues from becoming major problems.

Food and water. A case of water is always a good thing to keep in your vehicle, whether it’s summer or winter. Keep non-perishable, high-calorie food in your vehicle in case you are stuck for an extended period of time.


Tip No. 2: Check the traction on your tires

A winter in Wyoming can be particularly difficult to navigate with bald tires that lack traction on icy roads. Here’s a simple test: Take a penny and put it into the grooves. If you can still see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, your tires need to be replaced. It’s an expense, but so is sliding all over the road and causing an accident.

student plays in snow while dressed warm

Tip No. 3: Dress properly

Whether you are at home or on campus, the winter will be far more bearable if you dress properly. When you’re cold, the priority switches from style to warmth, and that’s how it should be. Remember that you can always take layers off, but you can’t add them once you leave home. Here are some things to consider adding to your wardrobe:

  • Warm, wind-resistant winter jacket

  • Merino wool socks

  • Long underwear (Old, but gold)

  • Stocking cap/beanie


Tip No. 4: Travel safely

First off, try your best to travel while the roads are clear. But if you’ve been around Wyoming enough, you know that’s not always an option. If you have somewhere to travel, be sure to use the Wyoming Department of Transportation as a resource. It can show you road conditions for the entire state.


Tip No. 5: Have some fun

Our first priority is your safety this winter, but we also want you to be aware of some of the great opportunities that Laramie offers. Check out some of these activities and the different places you can enjoy them.

Skiing and snowboarding. We know there’s plenty of snow in the air during the winter, so why not take advantage of it? Less than an hour from Laramie lies the Snowy Range Ski Area, which offers trails for all skill levels and five chair lifts.

Snow shoeing and cross-country skiing. You don’t need a ski resort to get into the mountains this winter. Both the Snowy Range Mountains (west of Laramie) and the Vedauwoo Recreation Area offer trails where you can strap on your snow shoes or cross-country skis and start exploring.

Check out UW's Outdoor Program. The Outdoor Program at UW offers several services to fit adventure newcomers or outdoor experts needs. They offer rental equipment and provide useful outdoor resources in addition to a wide range of inclusive, safe, reasonably-priced outdoor programs and services to the UW community.

Build a snowman. Bundle up and let your inner child out by building a snowman this winter. Prexys Pasture is an ideal spot.

Try out ice fishing. The area surrounding Laramie has plenty of opportunities for anglers to stay busy this winter. Check out this Visit Laramie blog for more information.

For additional activities, be sure to read this UW blog, which details several different recreation sites in the area.

A horse made of snow sits in Prexys Pasture



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