It might happen once (or not at all) in a given Portland winter. But at some point, snow is going to shut this city down. Stock up:
Lucky Bums Plastic Saucer Sled
($19.95 at REI) These brightly colored rounds are light enough to haul up your hood’s best hill.
Treehouse Chocolate Co Drinking Chocolate
($18 for a six-pack at New Seasons, Whole Foods, etc.) Single-serve packets of super rich drinking chocolate: original, vegan coconut, or spiked with Peruvian chile.
Pendleton Woolen Mill Socks
($14.50–24.50 at pendleton-usa.com) Winter’s caftans. A gorgeously patterned pair from the iconic wool outfit comes as close to wearing a blanket on your feet as is socially acceptable.
(Varies at New Seasons markets) Fancy s’mores kits are stupid. But, yes, we will shell out extra at New Seasons for Quin’s feather-light vanilla bean marshmallows, and smear our Honey Maid graham crackers with Eliot’s Garam Masala Adult Nut Butter along with Lindt Touch of Sea Salt dark chocolate. (And yes, it's OK to microwave them.)
(From $19.99 bibs at JC Penney to $200-plus snowboarding pants at U.S. Outdoor Store) Everybody has gloves and a scarf lying around, but proper waterproof leg swaddling? Not so much. Buy your gear early. One of our colleagues here tells a dismal tale of waiting until a snowy day and then visiting seven stores in search of kids’ pants, only to succumb to Walmart.
YakTrax Pro Ice Grips
($17–29 at REI, Amazon, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods) With these rubber and stainless steel spikeless cleats strapped to your boots, you shall stare down Portland’s sidewalks and murmur: “No broken coccyx today. Not today.”
Get Your Cross Country Skis Serviced
($40 and up at the Mountain Shop and Next Adventure) The streets of Portland have magically transformed into a Nordic trail! Too bad your skis are dull, waxless, Popsicle sticks. Fix that before glide time hits with a basic tune- up session.
(From about $5 at local grocers) Don’t be the one always bogarting your neighbor’s perfectly managed woodpile. Dura-flames and bundled firewood are sold at most any grocery where you already buy your microbrews. Or go big and have firewood supplier Dean Innovations deliver seasoned Doug fir, juniper, or pine logs to your door (prices vary).