- Cell phone charger – This will prevent the tragic “dead phone battery” scenario.
- Water - Safe drinking water is a critical item in your vehicle in any climate or season.
- Flashlights – Keep several lights and spare batteries. It gets dark under the hood, and darker still when the sun goes down.
- Flares – These can be used to signal roadside distress, and start fires.
- Jumper Cables - These are needed when your car battery needs a boost.
- Tow Strap - A nylon tow strap can get your vehicle out of a ditch or snow bank.
- First Aid - Sometimes the vehicle needs repair, sometimes it’s a person who needs mending.
- Full-sized Spare, Tire Iron and Jack – For the dreaded flat tire situation.
- Blankest and/or Sleeping Bags - Keep one of these items for each seat in your vehicle.
- Food – A few tasty treats will help you maintain morale and keep your energy up.
Winter Extras – A snow shovel can dig you out if you get stuck. Tire chains and sand can help when traction is an issue. Chemical heaters like hand and foot warmer packs can warm you when you’re stuck in a broken down car. A few tea light candles can also provide warmth and light, sitting on your dashboard.
And don’t forget to handle these chores before it gets cold:
- Replace old batteries, since the cold can prevent a failing battery from turning over the engine – leaving you stranded!
- Top off all fluids.
- Bring a paper map, in case your electronic forms of navigation fail.
- Keep the gas tank at least half full at all times. This acts as a safety net for your winter travels, and may decrease the chance of moisture freezing in the lines.
And if that’s not enough, you can:
Follow Tim on Twitter @timmacwelch
Take one of his survival classes at www.advancedsurvivaltraining.com
and check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles at Outdoor Life Magazine’s survival site, The Survivalist.