Introduction: Clear Snow the Laziest Way Imaginable
In the true Olympic spirit I wanted to test a truly effortless method of clearing snow off your car, steps or driveway that even Homer would be proud of. This is a concept that I've wanted to try out for over a decade and finally got around to it. I found a few links and videos that describe the method (after the fact); so this is not an original idea. The idea is very simple: put out a tarp or plastic sheet prior the snowfall and pull it away at a strategic time. The original concept was to have a really giant tarp which covers the driveway (cars), walkways and steps which could be pulled into the street with a vehicle. This is actually against the law in most jurisdictions (transferring your snow onto the street). So if you are going to do this, you'll need to figure out a way to pull it into your yard.
If you try this please let me know how it went and expect people to think you are crazy (check out the guy stopped in his tracks in the animated gif above!).
***Safety Warning: The tarp or plastic sheet is extremely slippery when covered in snow. Make sure that any potential pedestrian doesn't take a major spill on your property!***
Step 1: ITEMS
All you really need is a tarp, plastic sheeting (even the bag your mattress came in). I needed the firewood to keep the tarp from flying away and the twine is to provide some towing options.
Step 2: Tying Off the Tarp
The fully scaled version of this concept will cover a lot more ground, and I was considering using my van to pull out the tarp. If you get to that scale you should consider a more robust tarp tie off (wrap a ball in the corners and tie around the ball or rock as explained in this book and image). In this case I just used the existing grommets with a couple lengths of twine. The name of the knot is a "Lark's Head" (thanks to mhjii for the name).
Step 3: Laying Out the Tarp
You basically want to cover the area in question and make sure the tarp does not fly away. If you are covering a car you could use some bungee cords to tighten around the bottom; I used some firewood to keep the tarp down in this case. After there was a good coat of snow down, I pulled out all the logs so I didn't have to deal with them later. I tied the twine onto the handle of a shovel so I wouldn't have to dig around to find them after the storm.
Step 4: Let It Snow and Yank It Out
If you scale this up to cover a wider area, you may end up needing some serious horsepower to move the snow. I envisioned using a car to pull the load into the street, but this is not legal and has many potential safety issues. The best approach would be to pull it onto your yard somehow.
Let me know if you try this out or if you have a variant on this approach; and remember spring is just around the corner.