If you live in an area that has harsh winters, it’s a good idea to build a winter car survival kit. This kit should be kept in your car throughout the year, but you should restock the kit throughout the winter.
A winter car survival kit is an essential tool for any driver throughout the late Fall and early Spring seasons. This kit is especially helpful for drivers who venture outside of the city and into less populated areas.
This is because a car survival kit will help you and your passengers survive if you find yourself stranded for a few hours or even a few days!
While you can buy a pre-made car kit in stores or online, you likely have everything you need laying around your house.
Even if you choose to buy a car kit from the store, you will need to restock the survival kit throughout the year to ensure that you are not missing any crucial items needed.
Since you know you need a winter survival kit in your car, you might be wondering what you should actually put in a winter car kit?
Below are seven must-have items that no winter kit for your car should be without.
Even if you live in an area that doesn’t receive a lot of snow, it’s still a good idea to have a winter survival kit in your car. You never know when disaster will strike, and when it does, you’ll want to be prepared!
1. Emergency Food Rations and Bottled Water
No winter survival kit for a car is complete without food and water. If you are driving in rural or secluded areas and you hit a snowstorm, you may find that you and your vehicle could be stranded for several days from help and the outside world.
During that time, you’ll need water and food to survive, and you can’t rely on melting snow to keep you hydrated.
When it comes to storing food in your car, you should choose items that are shelf-stable, such as an emergency Meal Ready To Eat (MRE), canned food (don’t forget a can opener), or other dense bars like granola bars.
Since you won’t have propane or other fuel available, you don’t want food that you have to cook or prepare. Even if you know how to start a fire, you should expect your surroundings to have wet wood, so starting a fire will be difficult to cook any food that you bring with you.
Water is something that people often leave out of a winter car kit because they don’t tend to feel thirsty when they’re cold. In truth, staying hydrated while cold is very important because it helps your body regulate your temperature.
In addition to maintaining your body heat, drinking water is also vital to keep you and your passengers going as you wait for help to arrive. You should pack 3.7 liters/day of water for each man, and 2.7 liters/day of water for each woman in your car.
Choose the right amount of water is essential, and you should take more water depending on how remote the area is that you are traveling if there are incoming storms and other variables.
Other people assume that they don’t have to store water in their cars because they could just melt snow and drink that. However, snow is often contaminated with pollutants and isn’t safe to drink. Also, you must have an effective way to melt the snow, which can be challenging without a heat source.
This is why having nonperishable food and enough bottled water for each passenger in your car kit is vital before hitting the road this winter!
2. Road Flares and Personal Safety Equipment
A road flare is essential for every survival kit. It allows you to alert other drivers of danger or get someone’s attention for help. In short, it could save your life! There’s no reason to have a winter car kit without one.
Orion flare kits are some of the best road flares that you can carry in your car kit. These flares are a great choice whether you are stuck in the road after a flat tire, or you need to get the attention of passing traffic.
Either way, Orion road flares are the perfect device to carry with you throughout the winter since they don’t require batteries or other forms of energy to work. They are also a great way to melt snow and even start fires in a pinch.
Personal safety equipment, such as reflective vests or reflective road markers, are critical too. These items are essential if you find yourself stranded by the side of the road, plus vests and other PPE are lightweight so they won’t take up a lot of room in your car kit.
This safety equipment is useful if your car breaks down at night or in an area with low visibility. The reflective vest makes it easier for other drivers to see you if you have to walk alongside the road to get help.
3. Portable Jumper Cable Kit
If your battery dies and you need someone to jump-start your car, never assume that the good Samaritan has a pair of jumper cables. For that reason, you can’t have a winter survival kit for the car without a portable jumper cable kit.
Best of all, jumper cables are inexpensive, and a portable jumper cable kit comes with a battery to help jump start your car if needed. This means that you can get your car started, depending on the situation, so you can get to a safe area and receive additional help.
Just as crucial as having jumper cables, it’s essential to know how to jump-start your car. You can watch videos or read up on how to properly do it.
After all, not everyone who may stop to help you will know how to give you a jump start, so it’s vital that you know the process before venturing out.
4. Large Orange or Yellow Tarp
If you have to put snow chains on your tires or check under your car, you’ll have to get on the ground. With snow on the ground too, you’ll end up wet, cold, and stranded.
This isn’t a good combination, and having a tarp on hand can prevent it and a large tarp can help keep you dry and protect you from the wind.
However, why should you choose orange or yellow? These two colors are the easiest for other drivers to spot, which will keep you safe if you’re lying on the ground checking under your car.
This means that your tarp will act as a windshield and keep you dry while also doubling up as a signal that you can use to get the attention of passing traffic.
Additionally, you can use the tarp to cover your car. The tarp will not only make your vehicle easier to spot but also make removing snow from your vehicle as easy as pulling it off. Be sure to always carry an orange or yellow tarp in your winter survival kit to ensure you stay safe and get the attention of other drivers in the area.
5. Paper Maps of Your Driving Location
Paper maps have gone the way of the dinosaurs, and few people still carry them. However, no winter car kit is complete without one since you can’t rely on cell service in most areas of the U.S.
Many people use their phones to navigate, but what happens if you lose signal or your phone dies? If your car breaks down, you might not have a way to charge it.
Both of these variables make carrying a paper map of the area that you are traveling through an essential piece of any car kit.
Fortunately, you don’t have to charge a paper map, and you can use it to find your way back to town. Like with jumper cables, though, a map is only good if you know how to use it.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a skill that many people have because they rely on technology. If necessary, watch a video on how to properly read a map so that you can use the one in your winter survival kit.
6. Flashlight and Batteries
Having a flashlight in a winter survival kit for a car is a no-brainer. When it’s dark outside, you can use it to see under the hood, change a tire, and signal other drivers for help. Inside your vehicle, it will help you see while eating or taking notes.
You can use your flashlight to illuminate your surroundings while also using it to signal passing traffic.
Be sure to carry a powerful flashlight that can stand up to constant use. You don’t want your flashlight to break if it is kicked or falls to the ground!
At the same time, you should carry plenty of batteries that fit the flashlight in your car winter survival kit. This is because you don’t know how long you’ll need the flashlight, and there is nothing worse than having your flashlight run out of batteries when you need it the most!
7. Extra Warm Clothing and Sleepwear
If you get stranded in the snow, you’ll find out quickly just how cold it gets at night. Whether your car breaks down or is just stuck, you can’t leave the vehicle running all night.
Instead, you’ll need a winter car kit that has some extra-warm clothing in it. Items like extra blankets, hats, gloves, and socks are just a few of the necessities that your car kit should include.
A good winter survival kit typically has space or a reflective blanket. Such a blanket doesn’t take up a lot of space and has heat reflective properties on the inside. As a result, it keeps you warm by trapping your body heat underneath it.
Your winter car kit should have enough warm clothing to meet the needs of you and your passengers, so plan ahead based on the are that you are traveling and the number of people you are traveling with!
Start Making Your Winter Car Survival Kit Today!
Creating the perfect survival kit for your car this winter starts with including these seven must-have items. The cold winter months can make driving dangerous, especially at night.
It’s vital to be prepared before you end up in an emergency situation. While you might want to include other items in your kit, it’s essential that you include the above list.
Once your kit is ready to go, you can store it in your back seat or trunk. While it will take up a little bit of room, you’ll be happy to have it if the need ever arises. Be sure to use the above tips to make sure you are prepared for winter weather driving!