As the calendar turns to November, now is the time we need to start looking into preparing for the winter to come. Winter kits are essential for safety during the cold months, and not having one might literally cost you your life. Most of the items in your 72-hour kit are already sufficient to survive. However, withstanding a winter environment brings its own problems. There is the possibility of being exposed to extreme weather storms and temperatures that could leave you stuck for very long periods of time. If you are traveling to see friends and family this winter season, we’ve collaborated a list of must-have items for your vehicle.
WINTER SURVIVAL KIT CAR CHECKLIST
Thick Blanket or Sleeping Bag – It’s a good idea to have one for every seat in the car. If you’re tight on room, space blankets are light and will insulate your body.
Flashlight & Radio – Make sure that you carry extra batteries or choose a flashlight that is rechargeable.
Extra Winter Clothes – Winter boots, thick gloves, extra winter jackets, beanies, etc. should be kept in a waterproof bag. You may want to vacuum-seal this to decrease the bulk of these items.
First-Aid Kit – On top of having all the necessities, carry extra medication that anyone else may need in the car.
Heat Source – Hand warmers and small candles can be essential for preventing frostbite.
High Calorie/Energy Food – Whether waiting for help or are digging your car out of the snow, it is important that you keep your body fueled with a simple source of energy.
Water Pouches – Water is one of the most important things to have in a winter survival kit. Take into account how many people will be in the car and plan accordingly
Road Salt, Cat Litter, or Sand – Having a small sack can help give your car the traction you need to get out of most slippery situations.
Basic Tool Kit –Pliers, screwdriver, adjustable wrench, electrical tape, etc. should be kept in your car regardless of the weather.
Tow Chain/Strap – If you drift in a snow bank or ditch, it is best to have something that another vehicle can use to pull you out.
Road flares and Reflectors – Road flairs, lightsticks, and reflectors are great ways to signal that you need help. Also, consider tying a piece of neon fabric to your car.
Ice Scraper/Snow Brush
TIPS FOR TRAVELING DURING THE WINTER
- Listen to weather and road reports for every destination you plan on driving through.
- Allow extra time while driving.
- Dress appropriately for the weather conditions.
- Start your winter travels with a full tank of gas and try not to go lower than half a tank.
- Keep a cell phone charger in your car.
- Always let someone know what route you’ll be taking and update them along the way whenever you have service.
- Call 911 if you have cell phone service.
- Stay in your vehicle during a winter storm. Not only is it dangerous to leave your car but you could also run the risk of becoming exhausted or lost.
- Know your limits. Don’t travel for long periods of time
- If trying to dig your vehicle out of snow, don’t overexert yourself. Your body will start to become hot and sweaty which will then make you more vulnerable to hypothermia.
- When stuck in a snowstorm, it’s better to be cold and awake than comfortably warm and sleepy.