Keep yourself clean and dry when you put on your chains

The rainy season is upon us. I don’t know how much longer it’s going to last – this is Wyoming, after all. But as long as it’s here, I’m ready for it.

This time of year, it can go from sunny and beautiful to a torrential downpour at the drop of a boonie hat. And if it starts raining like it has lately, you’ll want that boonie hat on your head.

But for more than a few of us who live in the less civilized corners of Wyoming, the rain means more than just wet skin; it also means getting up our driveways or out to our favorite fishing holes is going to be a lot more challenging than usual.

My driveway is horrid when it gets wet, and right now, my truck has tires more suited to highway travel than muddy terrain. And with the rain we’ve been getting lately, I’ve been having more than a little trouble getting out of my house.

To be safe, I’ve been chaining up all four tires every night when I get back to the driveway, then taking the chains off the next day when I successfully make it back out of the driveway. The first few times I did, I wound up looking like Pig Pen from the old Peanuts cartoons. There might be a way to put chains on a pickup without wearing 20 pounds of mud when you’re done, but I haven’t found it.

I can’t get the chains on without getting mud on me, but I decided pretty quickly I didn’t have to get it on the clothes I planned to wear that day. I dug out my old Frogg Toggs poncho and rain pants combo, and now I keep those under the back seat. When I need to chain up, I just pull them over my other clothes. I still get muddy, but at least I can pull the muddy clothes off and still be presentable. I just have to make sure the Frogg Toggs are easy to get to when it starts to rain. That’s pretty easy right now, because they’re so mud-caked, they keep their shape when I take them off, so I just step into them and I’m ready to deal with those chains.

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