Winter driving can be hazardous, and to be prepared for any eventuality on the road, a winter emergency car kit is a must in every vehicle. Putting together a well-stocked winter car kit to keep you ready for roadside emergencies is quick, simple, and should be done at the first sign of snow. Keep your winter car kit in a waterproof tub or bag in the trunk or back of your car so it will be ready for you whenever you need it.
Your Winter Car Kit
These items should be kept in your car kit for winter incidents ranging from a car stuck in the snow to a car accident.
- 1. A First Aid Kit. Go a little above the basic level first aid kit for your car; injuries in a car accident often exceed what a few bandages can handle. Look for a kit with larger gauze pads, medical tape, and other emergency medical items.
- 2. Non-Perishable Food and Water. If you’re stranded in a snowstorm and help can’t reach you right away, some snacks and fresh water are a must. Energy bars are a good choice as they don’t take up much space and you can keep a good supply on hand. If you choose canned food, be sure to pack a can opener as well.
- 3. Blankets and Extra Clothes. Keep several thermal blankets in your kit, as well as dry socks, gloves and even a change of clothing if you have space. If you’re trying to dig out of the snow, wet clothes are a likely outcome, and a dry change will keep you warmer.
- 4. A Shovel and Cat Litter or Sand. A folding camp shovel can help you dig out of a snow bank, while a bag of cat litter will act to provide traction on ice if your tires are spinning. You can also use a bag of sand for the same purpose.
- 5. A Flashlight and Batteries. Keep a good flashlight and an extra set of batteries in the winter car kit in case of a problem at night.
- 6. Flares. Flares can help other motorists to see you if you’re on the side of the road, especially during a winter storm. You should set them out on the road at enough of a distance from your location that other cars will have time to slow before reaching your car.
- 7. Heat Packets. Small packets that heat up automatically without requiring a power source can help to keep hands and feet warm, especially if you can’t start the car for heat.
- 8. A Mobile Phone Battery Charger. These special emergency chargers can give you enough power to make a phone call if needed when your battery is dead and you can’t charge it in the car.
- 9. Matches and Candles. Keep some emergency candles as well as a box of matches in the car kit as well, for times when electronic sources of light fail. Emergency candles are long burning and can also be used to mark your location.
Keeping Your Car Kit Stocked
It’s a good idea to check your car kit over at the beginning of every winter season and make sure everything is in good working order. Replace any items that show signs of wear or food items that are expired. Be sure to replace any items that are used in an emergency right away, so they will be there when you need them again.