Okay, so...I am a Southern California kid - born and raised -and therefore have minimal experience in snow. I am heading over to Big Bear for new year weekend, and expecting to hit snow on the way. This is where you are all come in.

Please share general tips/tricks to get car ready for the trip, including supplies, etc. I know I need some snow cables/chains. Anything I should take off/cover up for the trip for cleanliness, after (ie. remove splashguards behind tires?)

Car (or CUV) we are taking up is a 2015 Kia Sportage FWD, much like this one:

Not my car, but thanks to Google, you get the idea...

All your help is appreciated, and the more specific, the better. And shared links with pretty, shiny pictures are always welcome...