Winter is just around the corner! While we may try to avoid winter driving, or any type of outing, as much as we can throughout the season, it is a necessary evil required to get through our day-to-day lives. Winter driving can be dangerous, no matter how safe or cautious of a driver you are; accidents can happen, cars stall, or people get lost. The simple truth of the matter is that some accidents are unavoidable.
In any circumstance, it is important to be prepared for the worst outcome possible. The best way to do this is by making a winter driving kit for your car.
Here are the most important items to include in your winter survival kit.
Typical emergency blankets are lightweight, compact, waterproof, and heat reflective. They trap and utilize your body heat to keep you warm, making them a winter kit essential, as the cold temperatures will be the worst factor in the aforementioned circumstances. Try MEC’s Survive Outdoors Longer Blanket.
Lighter / Matches:
Lighters or matches can help you light a fire. Having a fire would aid in keeping you warm and dry, and if need be, would also serve as a signal to grab attention of rescuers or passers by.
Flashlight and Batteries:
Finding and using any of your emergency kit contents will be difficult if you have no light source, and we all know the natural light can be quite limited in the winter months.
First Aid Kit:
Your first aid kit should include typical items, such as bandages, gauze, medical gloves, antiseptic wipes, and scissors. In addition to these, you should also include general medications such as pain killers and allergy reducers, and any prescriptions you may require on a day to day basis, as you would not want to miss any necessary, scheduled medications.
Include snacks that will help you feel full and keep you fueled. These can include dried fruits, protein bars, nut butter, and canned soups, meats, fruits, or veggies (and a can opener if necessary).
Having clean, drinkable water and staying hydrated could mean all the difference if you are stranded for an extended period of time.
Clean, Dry Clothes:
Staying dry means staying warm. Aside from a change of clothes, pack an extra scarf, toque, jacket, and mittens.
As long as a by-passer is willing to stop and help, booster cables create a quick and easy fix for a cold, dead car battery.
Having tow ropes can be a huge help in getting you out of some sticky situations, such as deep snow, or even sliding into the ditch.
Reflectors / Whistle:
Reflectors and panic whistles can aid rescuers or by-passers in seeing or hearing you, especially if you are unable to move on your own.
Cell Phone Car Charger:
In today’s day and age, having a cell phone could help you out of a lot of troublesome situations by allowing you to call for help, as long as there is cell service and you have enough battery life.
Taking a couple of hours to create one of these emergency winter kits can mean the difference between minutes, hours or days, or even life and death if you become stranded or lost, or get in an accident off the beaten path while driving in the winter. The best way to protect yourself, aside from driving safely and with considerations of the conditions, is to be proactive and to ensure that you have the supplies you may need in the worst-case scenarios.