About three years ago I bought my first pair of YakTrax, having seen them discussed on a winter walking bulletin board. I should start this by saying I am scared to death of ice. Scared to fricking death. As in, I’d rather use a very precious vacation day than walk to the bus on an icy morning.

So, I got these YakTrax and then it didn’t freezing rain for a very long time. Which is funny, because my first four years in Ottawa it felt like one giant mix of freezing rain and snow, non-stop. So I carried them around for what felt like months, but was probably only two weeks and then bam! (that was an Emeril sound effect!) Holy mother did it ever freezing rain. My friend and I went to a movie the week between Christmas and New Year’s and sweet lord above did it ever freezing rain while we were in the theatre. No, seriously. The world was a shiny shiny wonderland when we went back outside.

I cruised my way back to the bus, while my friend stomped her way through the ice wherever there was snow underneath (for those of you who don’t live in a climate like this, it’s easier to walk in ice covered snow than on ice covered asphalt). From that day on, my Yaks and I were one.

Today, we have the exact same conditions. It’s been freezing rain all day long. The world is shiny. Shiny and totally treacherous. But I, I have my YakTrax and I am still in love with them, rusty and decrepit looking as they are today. I crunched my way over ice making my own traction. I walked at the same speed as normal without fear of falling on my ass, face, or hands. I went to my friends house and salted their sheet of ice (formerly known as a driveway). I salted my own sheet of ice. I bopped around the hood. I am one with nature. I freaking rock.

If you live somewhere that it freezing rains, I’m just going to say it: buy yourself some YakTrax. You will never regret it. (They’re available at all Canadian outdoor stores for about $30; the Pro version for runners and serious walkers are $40. Americans can buy them at REI online, in stores, and at various other outdoor outfitters.)

I love my Yaks. You could love yours too!