What to Put in an Emergency Car Kit for Winter
01/04/2012 11:23 AM
Since it's currently about 12 degrees in Boston (no joke), winter is certainly on our minds. For many of us, snow is sure to be upon us soon. But the time to think about the problems that snow could cause is now, especially when it comes to making sure your car is prepared. In addition to making sure your vehicle is in good shape, here are some things your should make sure you have in your car in case of emergencies:
- Blanket and Winter Hat: if you're stuck somewhere in your car, it is essential that you're able to stay warm. Make sure you have an appropriate winter blanket stowed somewhere in your car. You'll also want the hat since most heat escapes from our heads.
- Chemical Hand Warmers: you can find these cheaply at ski shops and sporting goods stores. Just invest in a few small packets. You can use them to jumpstart the warmth in your coat, gloves, etc.
- Small Shovel: this is an essential tool in you get stuck in the snow. Find a shovel that will fit comfortably in your car. A folding shovel may be the best route to go.
- Bag of Cat Litter: if your car is stuck and you need traction on a slick road surface, cat litter could come to your aid in a pinch.
- Windshield Scraper: this is a no-brainer. You'll need this to remove snow and/or ice from your windshield so you can see the roads and drive safely.
- Normal Emergency Kit: make sure you have a regular old car emergency kit for any emergency. This should include things like a flashlight, jumper cables, a spare tire, flares, etc.
- Water and Non-Perishable Food: make sure you have food on hand that won't go bad or freeze. As far as water is concerned, here's Lifehacker's take on it:
The water situation can be a tricky one - after all if you've been driving for hours out in the cold the giant jug of water you've got in the trunk is likely as frozen as the snow on the back bumper. This is where having smaller water containers is much handier, smaller bottles are easier to thaw out in the heat of the car. Alternately you can keep your water in a small cooler. I have a $19 Coleman cooler that can keep drinks cold in my trunk for almost a week, it could certainly work in the opposite direction and keep things unfrozen longer. If you live in a particularly rough and isolated area, you might consider keeping an emergency stove and small camp pan in your kit for melting snow - the two will run you under $15.
What else do you keep in your car in case of winter emergencies?
Source: Consumer Reports