We all do things we don’t consider particularly profound until someone says, “That’s a good idea.” Here’s one of those things.
In fall I take about two gallons of ordinary gravel, pick out and discard any chunks larger than about half an inch and then run the balance through an ordinary pasta sieve to remove sand that is also discarded.
The remainder is used on icy sidewalks. I heat approximately a pint in a baking pan on top of the wood stove, and when the temperature reaches too hot to handle without oven mitts, I scatter this on the ice. The heat melts the ice and the cold freezes the pebbles solidly in place giving a 100 per cent reliable grip.