No one wants to think about all those what if’s: What if your car broke down during a snowstorm? What if you got stuck in a mountain pass late at night? What if you slid off the road? While you can’t control the weather or the road conditions, you can prepare for ‘what if’s’ by packing a winter survival kit.
A winter emergency kit is really a must-have if you’re going to do be doing any long highway trips, particularly at night and/or through mountain passes with long stretches between services.
It’s a good idea to store some items in your trunk and others inside your car so you have certain things kept warm and close at hand.
Winter survival kit items to keep inside your vehicle:
• Blankets – ‘survival’ blankets are best
• First aid kit
• Flashlight with new batteries
• Ice scraper and brush
• Road maps
Winter survival kit items to store in your trunk:
• Booster cables
• Bottled water
• Chains for your tires
• Emergency food (cup of soup, tea, granola bars, hot chocolate)
• Extra winter coats, hats, mitts and boots
• Fire extinguisher
• Fuel line antifreeze
• Reflective vest
• Road flares and/or emergency triangles
• Sand, kitty litter, salt or gravel for traction if you get stuck
• ‘Survival’ candle and matches. These can burn up to 36 hours and can be used to melt snow for drinking or to be added to dehydrated soup mixes and hot chocolate.
• Tow chain
• Waterproof matches
• Windshield washer fluid
Sudden weather changes and sudden vehicle problems can make winter driving dangerous, but you’ll be better prepared to handle these challenges with a good winter survival kit. Remember, if something does happen, you have a better chance of being found near your vehicle. So stay there, and stay warm and fed with the items inside your kit.
Before you head out on a road trip, be sure to read our Winter Driving Tips to help you prepare for cold weather driving and stay on the road this winter.
What else do you like to keep in your vehicle just in case of an emergency in the winter?