How to Pack an Emergency Winter Kit for Your Car

When winter rolls around, the chances of dangerous road conditions increase as the temperature drops. Besides winterizing your car, have an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. Having a kit, especially in the winter, helps you survive in case you have an accident. 

What Should You Keep in Your Winter Emergency Kit?

While you should have an emergency kit in your car at all times of the year, there are a few additional items you need in the wintertime. These specific items help when it comes to getting out of a situation involving ice or snow. They also help you stay warm in the cold winter temperatures. Learn how to use each of these items ahead of time, so you know what to do when a situation arises. 

Keep Jumper Cables or Jump Pack Handy

The worst feeling anytime of year is when you try to start your car and it doesn't turn over. This happens most often when the winter cold wears down your battery, leaving you cold and stranded. Keeping jumper cables or a battery jump pack lets you quickly solve this issue. A battery jump pack allows you to do this quickly on your own, while jumper cables require a second car to connect to. 

Stow a Small Shovel

A small shovel can come in handy if you slide off the road and get stuck in the snow. Use the shovel to dig out a clear path for your car to go both forward and backward to drive out of the roadside ditch. Collapsible shovels are perfect if you don't have a ton of trunk space.

Cache a Container of Cat Litter or Sand

Sometimes when you get stuck in the snow or ice, your tires can't get any traction and you just spin in place. To remedy this, keep a jar of sand or cat litter in your winter kit. Sprinkle whichever medium behind and in front of your tires, then slowly drive forward until your tires gain traction. 

Store Tire Chains

If you live in an area where you have to cross mountain passes requiring tire chains, be sure to keep a set in your kit. Each style of chain has specific usage instructions, but the basic premise is that you lay down the chains, then drive onto them. They are then fastened together so they don't fall off. Your tires now have extra traction for dangerous conditions.

Bring a Blanket

A major accident on the highway can leave you stuck in your car all night long. It is a great idea to have a space blanket on hand to help retain your body heat throughout the night. A space blanket is perfect since it folds up to the size of a wallet and is made with reflective materials. If you don't have one, at least keep a normal blanket in your trunk. 

Keep the Basic Necessities

Outside of these specific wintertime items, keep the following tools in your car all year long in case a situation arises.

  • Tool kit

  • Tire compressor or can of flat fix

  • Non-perishable food and water

  • Roadside flares or warning lights

  • Cell phone charger

  • Flashlight with spare batteries

  • First-aid kit

  • Pen and paper

  • Extra cash

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Tire replacement tools like jack and lug wrench

  • Spare clothing

  • Spare fuses and fluids

Stay Safe This Upcoming Winter

When you have an emergency kit ready to go in your car, you have greater odds of making it through any winter situation you may encounter. Another way to prepare yourself for winter is by taking a driving course. This course can teach you techniques to help you drive safely this winter.

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