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CURRIN -Winter Survival: 15 Must-Have Items for Your Vehicle

Car trouble, traffic jams, and complete gridlock can be expensive and stressful to say the least. Add winter weather to the mix and it spins this into a whole different realm that can be very dangerous.

Car trouble, traffic jams, and complete gridlock can be expensive and stressful to say the least. Add winter weather to the mix and it spins this into a whole different realm that can be very dangerous. Each winter there are many stories of people being stranded for hours and even overnight on interstates, even under seemingly minor winter weather events. Prepping an emergency vehicle kit can save your sanity, money, time and even your life. We have a few items we think should deserve consideration in your vehicle.

  1. Cell phone charger. The first thing most of us think of during an emergency is to contact somebody. Nowadays the primary communication device is the cell phone. Be sure to have a cell phone charger so you can keep that phone juiced up. Be sure you have one that can be utilized even if the vehicle isn't running or under power.
  2. Flashlight. Cell phone lights are useful to a point. They are not ideal for providing good light for vehicle repair, signaling, or even if you need to head out on foot in the dark. Keep a good flashlight in your vehicle and don't forget to have a couple good spare batteries too.
  3. Warm Clothing. When traveling or commuting to work you may not be dressed ideally for the weather outside -- especially if you're just rolling to work and will be in an office in the warmth all day. Make sure you have a hat, warm gloves, jacket and/or coat, and waterproof boots. It would be great if all your emergency outer garments are wind and waterproof but be sure they are breathable.
  4. Fuel Container. Running out of fuel is not necessarily a weather related hazard. Make provisions to have extra fuel with you if at all possible. If not, at least have a fuel container with you incase you need to take to using those boots and clothes to go get some.
  5. A Hand Operated Siphon. This will come in handy incase someone is willing to let you pull some fuel from their vehicle. Plus fuel tastes horrible anyways, right?
  6. Jumper Cables. Speaks for itself, right? Cables can help you get that ride back running and don't forget it can help someone else as well.
  7. First Aid Kit. Winter aside, a well-stocked first aid kit is very important. I’m not talking about just a few bandaids and a BC headache powder. A real first aid kit.
  8. Tow Straps. Even if you do not have a vehicle that is ideal for pulling others out, don't assume someone who does will have straps. Keep a couple in your vehicle along with a few D-rings too.
  9. Tool Kit. Even if you are not mechanically inclined or can’t even tell the difference between a phillips head screwdriver and a jack hammer, you need to keep a tool kit in your vehicle. Someone who is willing to assist may need to use your tools. Get a kit and try to learn basics, too.
  10. Spare Tire. Keep a spare tire and keep it maintained incase you actually need to use it. Take the time to learn and practice changing a tire.
  11. Ice Scraper and Brush. If you're not used to winter weather, this is a simple and very effective tool that makes life a lot easier. Do not overlook this. Ice build-up on your glass and mirrors is a pain to deal with if you do.
  12. Bag of Salt, Sand, or Cat Litter. Just a little ice can cause a vehicle to stay where it sits. These can aid well with adding grit for traction to get ya moving.
  13. Food and Water. Have enough water and high calorie snacks to keep yourself and passengers fueled up for at least 10 hours.
  14. Entertainment. Morale-booster if you will. Keep a couple books and magazines in the vehicle along with a deck of cards or other card games to keep yourself occupied and as relaxed as possible. Do not forget about the kids…. Coloring books and crayons go a long way.
  15. Fire Starting Kit. Always be prepared to start a fire if the need arises. There are many kits on the market for sure, but you can always build your own kit. Bic lighter, some tinder, and a small bundle of kindling will get you on your way. Don’t forget the jumper cables……  Hint Hint..

Winter weather traveling presents all sorts of challenges which need to be prepared for in advance. Hopefully this basic 15 point list will get you on your way to putting together your own Winter Vehicle Emergency Kit. Make it your own and don't forget to have fun with it.