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Winter Preparedness: Things to Keep in Your Car

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Snow season is nigh. Put your winter car kit together before it’s too late. 

Game of Thrones wasn’t wrong when they said winter is coming. It’s time to prepare your winter car kits before you find yourself in a bind. If you’re not sure what things you need to keep in your car, here’s a rundown of what you should have in your car in case of Snowmaggedon.

The Bare-Bones Winter Car Kit

For all the drivers out there who don’t have much room for emergency supplies, you still need a few things on hand when the going gets icy. Here’s the bare-bones version of a winter kit to help you stay warm, safe, and dry.

Bare bones winter car kit

Flashlight

Carrying a flashlight in your car, no matter what time of the year, should be a no-brainer. You never know when you could get stranded on the side of the highway at night. Carrying a flashlight allows you to stay safe inside and outside of your vehicle. It’s also good to have in case you don’t have flares or your hazard lights short out.

Extra Warm Gear – Blanket, Coat, or Sweatshirt

In the winter it’s important to carry extra pieces of gear to keep you warm. Your road trip outfit is all well and good until your car dies and your heater can’t keep you toasty. Packing a blanket (a space blanket for bonus points!) or extra sweatshirts can keep you going until help arrives.

Gloves & Hats

According to LiveScience, you lose approximately 7-10% of your body heat from your head. Carrying an extra hat and a pair of gloves can minimize your risk of hypothermia. It’s important to have extra blankets and sweaters, but if you need to wander around outside to change a tire, grabbing gloves and a hat can help keep your extremities warm.

First Aid Kit

Another no-brainer is a first aid kit. If you or one of your passengers becomes injured, it’s imperative to have a first aid kit on hand. Help, especially in the ice and snow, can sometimes be delayed which means you have to take care of whatever injury has occurred until an ambulance or police officer has arrived.

Snacks & Water

In severe winter weather, you may be stuck in your vehicle for quite some time. That’s why packing snacks and water is crucial. In some areas, avalanches or blizzards may happen out of nowhere which can leave you stranded under snow and ice.

Surviving extreme winter weather in your vehicle event comes down to having enough food, water, and warmth available to you at all times. The bare-bones winter preparedness kit has just what you need.

The Fix-It-Yourself Winter Car Kit

If snow or ice comes in a hurry and you have to skedaddle, you may want to a few extra tools. Here’s everything you need for a quick escape before the blizzard settles in.

Fix it yourself car kit

Ice Scraper

With a windshield covered in ice and snow, you won’t be getting anywhere fast. Grab an ice scraper to help you chip away at your covered windshield. It won’t be fun, but it’ll give you the extra force you need to clear the debris.

Windshield De-Icer

Need to get out even faster? Grab a bottle of windshield de-icer to make the ice removal process easier. You can find de-icer at your local automotive store or major chain stores that have automotive departments. Pour a little into your windshield wiper reservoir, grab your scraper, and voila!

Shovel

If your car is covered up or your winter tires find themselves lost in a snowdrift, a packable shovel is the perfect tool. Foldable shovels can easily tuck away in your trunk and will save you a time or two when you find yourself in a bind. Snow may look less formidable than it is until you find yourself stuck, but a handy shovel can help you dig yourself out.

The Just in Case Winter Car Kit

In case it all goes wrong, here are the extra things to keep in your car when the winter weather gets a little hairy.

Just in case car kit

Jumper Cables

When your car battery dies during a snowstorm, the last thing you want is to wait for a tow truck. Instead, stow away some jumper cables to have your neighbor or parking lot buddy come to the rescue. Jumper cables can get you up and running without the hassle and cost of a tow.

Flares & Hazard Triangles

For a little extra light, grab roadside flares or hazard triangles. Flashing lights are worthwhile as they keep you and your vehicle safe, while also indicating to your tow truck or rescuers where you are in the dark. Two birds, one light. That’s how it goes, right?

Pocket Knife

Never go anywhere without a pocket knife – an old grandpa’s proverb. In the time of catastrophe, or just your usual winter weather, you will always need a pocket knife or utility tool of some kind. If you need to cut, pry, or leverage something out of your tire or vehicle, a pocket knife or utility tool can save the day.

Extra Batteries & Chargers

It’s always a good idea to have extra batteries and an extra phone charger on hand in case of snow-mergencies. Having backup batteries for your flashlight is ideal because we all know you won’t check the status of your flashlight every time you hop in the car. A phone charger can keep you in touch with loved ones if you can’t seem to make it home on time due to untimely weather.

To Prepare or Not to Prepare?

Preparing for winter driving shouldn’t be difficult, but it’s vital to staying comfortable, dry, and warm when problems strike. You most likely have most of these items in your home or car anyways if you live in a harsh winter state, but it’s always good to add a few more tools to your arsenal. At the end of the day, the preparation you put into your winter car kit can make all the difference. Stay safe out there!

What things do you keep in your car for winter? Let us know in the comments below.

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Erin Maxson

Erin loves nothing more than a good road trip. To her, getting behind the wheel is one of the biggest adventures you can take because it can lead to anywhere. Alongside her Toyota Tundra, you'll find her co-pilot pup, Rory, and a 1976 Airstream Argosy in tow. Her motto: Life is a scenic road, take your time and enjoy the ride.

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