Welcome to spring — don’t put the parka away just yet

Today is the first day of spring, and we all know what that means in Wyoming. This is not the season of new flowers and green lawns – it’s the season of winter storms and blizzards.

Welcome to spring. Today is the first official day of the season of rebirth. But don’t expect three months of beautiful weather and dainty wildflowers. Be prepared for snow, gale-force winds, and freezing temperatures. That’s what spring brings in Wyoming.

Historically, we get more snow in the spring than we do in the winter months. And much of that snow comes on the heels of hurricane-force winds. That means you’re likely to find yourself on the wrong side of a six-foot snowdrift if you head up into the backcountry. If you’re planning any trips to the mountains, be sure to throw a couple of shovels and a set of four tire chains, along with a tow rope, into the truck. Chances are good you’ll need them either to get yourself out of a bind, or to help pull someone else out of a bad situation.

Spring brings rain, too. But unlike the rain in lower elevations, the water that falls out of the sky here is cold. Really cold. And since it’s often windy when it’s raining, the evaporation factor will chill you to the core in a matter of minutes.

You have a few weeks before the turkey season starts, so if you don’t have a good set of rain gear, go shopping for some. Frogg Toggs makes some great rain gear that’s extremely lightweight, and you can get both the jacket and the pants for a little over a hundred bucks. The nice thing about Frogg Toggs is that you can wad up both the jacket and the pants and cram them into a cargo pocket on your pants or shove them into a small day pack. They won’t take up a cubic yard of cargo space, like my old Carhartt did when I was a kid. And they’re much more waterproof than that Carhartt was, too. Rain gear has come a long way in 30 years.

Be prepared for the worst this spring, because this is the season when we get the worst weather.