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As snow storms near, Billings gear shop and National Weather Service offer tips for preparation

Hiking boot with traction chain attachment
Posted at 5:11 PM, Oct 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-23 19:11:41-04

BILLINGS — A snowstorm in Billings is far from uncommon.

But as winter draws near, local gear shops are switching out their inventory for our colder weather.

Paul Lintern, the hard goods manager at The Base Camp in Billings, shared a few gear must-haves with MTN News.

“From a base layer to a mid-layer, to an outer-protective layer, things to keep your head warm. Keep your feet warm, dry, and comfortable, and remember ice traction for those boots,” explains Lintern.

Lintern has worked at The Base Camp in Billings for over 20 years and offers many tips on what Montanans should keep in their closet in the winter season.

“Grandma told you how to dress in layers for the out-of-doors. Something else grandma would tell you, if your feet are cold put a hat on,” Lintern says with a laugh.

The Base Camp has been selling outdoor gear since 1975 in their Helena store and opened a sister store in Billings in the 1990s.

The gear shop believes a well-prepared individual is dressed in layers. Lintern tells MTN News that clean gear is useful gear.

“It’s so important for you to keep your garments clean, they’re going to perform better when they aren’t dirty,” Lintern explains.

Cleaning supplies for your gear can be found at The Base Camp, along with all of the gear you might need for winter. Lintern says the staff will be happy to assist in any way that they can.

These tips come at a great time, as Billings is starting to see some light snow.

“The snow we're seeing is still fairly typical for this time of year, maybe slightly delayed since I know especially the last couple of years we’ve had some pretty big snowstorms in October," explains National Weather Service Meteorologist Nick Vertz.

Vertz says to check the National Weather Service Facebook and Twitter pages for weather advisories and updates, and that the Montana Department of Transportation also posts updates about road conditions and closures.

“The main thing really is to give yourself as much extra time as possible for trying to get to whatever destination you’re going to," Vertz explains. "Also just make sure to keep a winter travel kit in your car, so you know things like boots, extra blankets, food, stuff like that can be a really big help in these types of scenarios."

And even if you've lived in Montana your whole life, Vertz says it's still important to be cautious.

“Even though you’re used to snow, don’t think you can go the normal speed limit, definitely slow down and just be careful and cognizant of where you need to go,” Vertz explains. “I grew up in Wisconsin, and moved out here four years ago, so no stranger to the snow. But still not something that you should feel overconfident about just because you’ve experienced it in the past."

While Billings is still waiting on our major snowstorms, these experts say it is important to be prepared now. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

And if you aren't sure what type of gear you should have, stop by The Base Camp at 1730 Grand Avenue or visit them online.

"Be sure and come in and we're happy to visit with you," Lintern says. "We have folks in all departments that can assist you."