In this post we will go over a winter preparedness kit for your vehicle. It’s very important as the weather turns increasingly colder and storms become more frequent that you need to be prepared for a bad situation to arise. It does not take long for hypothermia to begin setting in cold temperatures when you are unprepared. I will start off by giving descriptions of the type of things you will want to have in your vehicle should an emergency occur.
First off you should always have appropriate winter clothing in your vehicle. Coveralls, coats, boots, scarves, stocking cap, and gloves are all simple things to store in a vehicle and can be very important just in case your vehicle runs out of fuel or is damaged to the point where it will not run. Throw blankets are cheap and come rolled up and store easily. Keep an extra pair or two of warm socks in the kit as well. Also get an emergency blanket they are small and do not take up much space all folded up and a rain poncho is similar in size and is good to help waterproof yourself if the need be. A reflective safety vest is a good idea as well just make sure to get one large enough to fit over your winter clothing.
Next will be a way to attain fire or heat in a situation where you have to self rescue. (Remember not to wander away from your vehicle blindly in a blizzard as vehicles are more easily spotted for search and rescue and will be the first place they search). Matches and simple lighters are small and easy to store and have backups for each of those. Hot Hands make hand, feet, and body warmers that use a chemical process to produce some heat by simply shaking the package and can help keep circulation to vital areas and prevent frostbite.
First Aid Kit
Now we will go over a first aid kit that you should always have stationed in your vehicle at all times. Simple kits that are pre-assembled will work just fine for this just make sure to check to make sure the products inside are usable from time to time and have not dried up or been compromised in some way. If you can find space a foldable trunk snow shovel is very useful should you find yourself stuck. An ice scraper is something you should already have in your vehicle for frost and ice but make sure you do if you do not.
Then we come to food. I suggest taking some type of power bar or granola bars as these have good shelf lives and will give good energy through carbohydrates and some protein. Beef jerky is also a good option due to its small space and good shelf life. Trail mix or dried fruits are also good foods that store well and provide good energy. A thermos or stainless steel water bottle will be handy so you can melt snow to drink if you do become stranded for a period of time. Remember not to eat snow as it can cut the inside of your mouth and cause sores but instead put it in your water bottle and allow it to melt with either a heat source or near your body heat.
The next necessity is a flashlight and some extra batteries. This could be vital in case of a nighttime emergency. There are plenty of good manufacturers that make bright dependable flashlights and most are now LED. It’s best to look at run times to make sure it is adequate. Do not go cheap on batteries look for a good quality alkaline battery. Signal flares and glow sticks are also a good idea for signal in case you get stranded and will be having rescue crews looking for you.
These are all great ideas and most of these things minus coats, coveralls, and probably boots will fit into a simple backpack. All of these things together in one spot is great and will save a lot of space. Here is a printable checklist to pick up these items and will soon add links to items that I have used and carry in my car during the cold weather months.
Quick Tip: If you are not getting any traction due to ice or snow putting one of your car mats underneath your drive wheels will give it a surface that may get you freed from being stuck.