6 Things to Keep in Your Car’s Winter Emergency Kit
As we all know, winters here in Oregon can get messy. Low temperatures average in the 30s during the winter months, and snow is rare enough that it can easily cause accidents and delays. It’s critical to keep a winter emergency kit in your car when things get chilly and since most people have limited space, you need to make your selections wisely. Here are six items that are important to have on hand.
It may seem a bit ludicrous to pack water inside of your car in case you’re ever stranded while it pours rain outside, but it’s necessary. Imagine having to leave your cozy vehicle to obtain rain or snow to thaw for drinking water. Packing small bottles is a wise choice since they’re easier to thaw in case the supplies in your trunk are just as frozen as the outside. You may even consider investing in small self-heating pouches used for muscles aches, which can be wrapped around frozen water bottles to help thaw it.
Keeping vittles in your car is vital. Choose non-perishable foods that are high in calories, such as nuts, trail mix, nutrition bars, and cereal. If you drive in remote areas, invest in freeze-dried camping food that can be warmed or eaten cold. It may seem excessive, but if you’re stuck for more than a few hours, you’ll be grateful for a warm, fulfilling meal.
Instead of trucking those old unused winter clothes to the Goodwill, save them for the emergency kit. Boots and socks are important since you’ll probably have to trek outside for bathroom breaks. Be sure to keep several hats, ski masks, and scarves, since the head is one of the locations on the body that loses the most heat.
Blankets and Sleeping Bags
Though these items take up a lot of room, they’ll come in handy if you’re stuck with a dead car and no heater. At the very least, carry a couple of survival-wrap-style emergency blankets if space is an issue. They’re not very comfortable, but they help you retain body heat.
Skidding off the road and thudding into a ditch is excellent camouflage for your car, and it may take several hours for emergency rescue to find you. Keep an emergency LED beacon in your car. It’s similar to a strobe light and can be seen for long distances. Flashlights and batteries should be packed as well. These often can be purchased in combination with a radio, which can be used to stay updated on weather conditions.
Must-have hardware includes a small shovel, rope or chain for towing, a windshield scraper, a first-aid kit, a pocket knife or multitool, and a hand-crank weather radio. Most of these crank-powered devices include a small solar panel, a built-in flashlight, and even a charging port for your cell phone. Jumper cables are good but since other cars may not show up for a while, a pre-charged portable battery jumper may be a better choice.
Getting stuck doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. If you’ve got the proper emergency kit, you can turn a potential tragedy into a safer situation.