10 Essentials You Need in Your Winter Emergency Car Kit
It is easy to forget that one of the most dangerous situations you can fall prey to is being exposed to freezing weather during the winter months. We take this for granted because we have nice warm houses and cars that protect us. But what happens when you slide off the road or your car breaks down? The right gear could mean the difference between life and death.
Before you make that long drive for the Holidays, make sure you are prepared. There are a few practical things you can do to make sure you are safe this winter season with these 10 essentials.
- COMMUNICATION: Communicate your travel plans to your friends and family before hitting the road. Letting them know when to expect and which route you plan on taking is added insurance if something happens and you don’t arrive as planned. Also, make sure you have a cell phone and a way to charge your phone.
- PACK: Generally, you do not want to leave your car in the winter months and you should wait for assistance. Sometimes you may be forced to leave your car and having everything you need in a backpack will make carrying everything easier. Plus, if you keep your essentials in a bag or backpack, you will have all of your essentials organized and ready to go at a moment's notice.
- BLANKET, SLEEPING BAG, or BIVY SACK: You can choose any of these or a combination. Staying warm is one of the biggest concerns when being exposed to the elements. Blankets are great, but a sleeping bag can be used as a blanket, or as intended, as a sleeping bag.
- WATER: Having a few bottles of water ensures you don’t have to hunt for water which can be very difficult in winter months.
- FOOD: Make sure you have enough food for to last a couple days for each of your passengers. Using MRE’s or non-perishable foods will make it easier to maintain your emergency car kit. Look for calorie-dense foods as well. If you do have to leave your vehicle, you will be burning large quantities of calories while you hike in winter conditions.
- FIRE SOURCE: Fire sources come in many variations. Make sure you have your main fire source and then bring a backup. A lighter is a great choice for your primary fire source as they are light-weight, last a long time, and generally dependable. A great backup would be water-proof matches.
- LIGHT SOURCE: You have many choices for a light source. Head lamps, flashlights, LED lights, lanterns, etc. We recommend a good headlamp as it is very versatile and long lasting. Most good headlamps have different power settings so you can conserve power and have a strobe setting so it can be used as a signal.
- FIRST-AID KIT: You can buy a ready made kit or build your own. Make sure you fill it will supplies that will be needed for winter first-aid. Some items you may not think of are sunscreen, lip-balm, and hand warmers.
- TOOLS: A good multitool can be indispensable. It is also a good idea to have a knife in your bag.
- EXTRA LAYERS: Additional layers is a good idea. You can always remove clothing if you are getting too warm and you will be very happy to have them when the temperature really drops. A good base-layer is lightweight and keeps you dry.
There are many other items that you can put into your pack. A few other items that we recommend you keep in your vehicle, not necessarily in your pack, are jumper cables, a small shovel, and chains.
Planning ahead will make a very unfortunate situation manageable. Safe travels and Happy Holidays from 3V Gear.