Going for a winter drive can be a lot of fun, but that isn’t always the case. Whether your vehicle breaks down or you end up off the road due to winter conditions, you can prepare yourself by keeping some essential supplies with you in the vehicle to utilize in a time of need.
Below is a list of our top 10 things you should always have in your vehicle for winter (or any season for that matter).
1.A Full Tank of Gas – You never know what situations may find you. Always have a full tank of gas so you can have your vehicle running intermittently to keep you and your passengers warm if you are stuck and waiting for help.
2. Spare Tire, Jack and Wrench – Vehicles are typically equipped with this equipment. Know where this equipment is located in your vehicle and replace any missing items. Check the spare often to make sure that it is always inflated to the PSI rating, as the tire can lose pressure from temperature changes.
3. Booster Cables – You should always keep a set of booster cables in your vehicle just in case you leave your headlights or interior lights on resulting in a dead battery. If you have booster cables all you have to do now is find someone to give you a boost! It sure beats paying for a tow truck to come and do it!
4. Blankets & Heat Packets – It is important to stay warm. Having blankets on hand for you and each of your passengers will go a long way when waiting for a tow truck or waiting out a storm on the side of the road. Also, have some self-heating packets. These can be used to keep hands and feet warm when the temperatures dip down and while your vehicle is off to preserve gas.
5. First Aid Kit (including seatbelt cutter & glass breaker)- Let’s face it, emergency situations happen. Whether you come across an accident or you are in one, having a first aid kit is a must! Make sure that your kit also includes a seatbelt cutter and glass breaker and that each of these items are accessible within the vehicle compartment (in the trunk or back of your vehicle will not do you any good if you can’t reach them when you need them).
6. Candles (including matches) & Flashlight – Having a source of light is necessary, whether you are waiting in a dark vehicle, changing a tire at night or marking your location in a storm. Flashlights are often sufficient, but can fail. Candles are a great backup source of light should the need arise.
7. Non-Perishable Food & Water – What you expect is going to be a short trip can become a long wait. Some granola bars and fresh water can go along way when waiting – at least you won’t be hungry!
8. Ice Scraper/Snow Brush & Shovel – Winter conditions can leave you battling snow and ice. Keeping an ice scraper/snow brush is important to keep your view clear. A shovel will also assist you in digging out of a snow bank if you get hung up.
9. Bag of kitty litter or sand – This is a weird one, I know! However, even with the best of winter tires, it can be difficult to get traction on ice/snow when you have slid off the road. A little sand or kitty litter could give you the traction you need to get back on the road and on your way.
10. Cellphone and charger – Most people have cell phones these days. Keeping your phone charged for use in emergencies is important!