There’s snow in the mountains, frost on the grass, and predictions of a harsh winter slated to hit Bend for the 2017-2018 season.
In other words, it’s time to put away the kayak and start preparing for snowball fights, bluebird ski days, and slippery sidewalks. Here are 6 things you should start rounding up right now.
A good pair of gloves
Make that ten pairs of gloves, if you’re like me and have the tendency to misplace a pair or two. Or six.
Even if you’re not scatterbrained, it’s a good idea to have multiple pairs of gloves for other reasons. Days filled with snowshoeing, sledding, and snowball battles require thick, waterproof gloves or mittens that can protect your hands from the elements.
But when you’re just walking from your car to a restaurant or strolling Downtown Bend or the Old Mill District for a bit of shopping, it’s handier to have a thinner pair of driving gloves. Bonus points for the kind with the specially-designed fingertips that allow you to use a touchscreen phone (which makes for handy picture-taking in chilly conditions).
And I’ll be honest—I keep a stash of cheap, stretchy Dollar Store gloves in my purse at all times for unexpected glove-mergencies or to loan to pals or offspring who forget theirs.
A vessel to keep your beverages warm
I have three million Silipint cups and matching beverage lids, and this is how I drink my on-the-go tea about ninety percent of the time. They’re inexpensive, unbreakable, and keep my beverages at just the right temperature.
But when I need a hot drink at a kids’ soccer game, snowshoe adventure, or other outing that requires prolonged exposure to cold temps (not to mention leak-proof carrying) I turn to my Hydro Flask insulated mug. This bad boy keeps my hot drinks so hot that I’ve occasionally burned my tongue when sipping too fast.
But they’re perfect for cold winter conditions when you really need your drink to stay toasty. We sell them in a wide variety of sizes and colors at the Bend Visitor Center.
Your Mt. Bachelor pass
Want to save money on your Mt. Bachelor lift tickets or lessons? Plan ahead and buy in advance.
Their website is chock full of pre-sale info, package deals, and other info you’d never know about if you just showed up at the ticket window and plunked down your credit card.
Now is an especially good idea to scope out the schedule and discover dates for specific promotions that can help you save money.
You’ll also find a number of bargains on Visit Bend’s “Hot Deals” page, which frequently features package deals that include lodging and lift tickets. Cheapskates unite!
There is a time and a place for super-cute stilettos with shiny red soles. That time and that place are not Bend, Oregon in the winter.
No matter how diligent Bend retailers and City of Bend personnel are about keeping roads plowed and sidewalks de-iced, there will always be slick patches of ground lurking in the shade to yank your legs right out from under you.
Be smart with your footwear when you’re visiting Bend in the wintertime and invest in a good pair of rubber-soled flats or boots. Can’t find any in your hometown? No problem! You’ll discover lots of great Bend shopping options, and a new pair of winter boots would make a great Bend souvenir.
And if you really want to be cautious, grab a set of Yak Trax to give you extra traction on super-icy days.
Extra phone charging capability
Raise your hand if you deplete your phone’s battery about fifty times faster when you’re on vacation.
I’m raising mine, which makes it tough to type.
It’s not tough, however, to get your hands on an inexpensive, portable phone charger you can tuck in a purse or backpack during your Bend travels. That’s a great way to ensure you don’t run out of juice right when you want to snap a photo of Tumalo Falls or catch some video of your sweetie swooshing down the slopes at Mt. Bachelor.
For tips on where to shoot some of the quintessential Bend images everyone likes to snag, check out this post.
Advance reservations for…well, everything
Plenty of Bend winter days fall into the category of “shoulder season,” which is a slower time of year when you can score some killer deals on lodging and activities.
But there are lots of random dates you might not realize can fill up crazy-super-fast during Bend’s chillier seasons. Regions that have year-round school have holiday breaks at unusual times, which means Bend might see a sudden surge in visitors during odd weeks in November or February.
And it goes without saying the days surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years can book up months (or even years) in advance.
If you’re planning a winter vacation, it pays to make early reservations for things like Bend lodging, guided tours, and even restaurants. That way you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your Bend vacation without scrambling for any of the essentials.