How to Prepare a Winter Emergency Kit For Your Car

The Ultimate Winter Emergy Car Kit

Winter can be great. Watching the first snow fall, skiing, snowboarding, sledding and building snowmen can be a lot of fun. But, winter isn’t always nice. Chances are if you live somewhere it snows, or vacation in such areas, winter driving conditions can get pretty difficult and downright dangerous at times. Sure, you can wait for a snow storm or freezing rain to pass, but what if you’re one the road already? In freezing temperatures, things can go downhill pretty fast, especially if your car gets stuck or breaks down.

One way to make sure you’re prepared is to put together a robust winter emergency kit for your car. If you’re traveling with your family and kids or other passengers, you are going to want to have enough supplies to help you get your car out of those conditions while keeping everyone warm.

The Items to Add to Your Winter Emergency Kit

I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of some of the essential items that you’ll need. While the items are quite a lot, together they can make a huge difference. If you find a large sturdy bag or container that you can put them in and leave in your car, you will always be prepared. The recommended items are the following:
  1. A sturdy bag or container to keep all the items
  2. A sturdy windshield scraper and brush – Chances are you probably already have one of these. With a sturdy one, you won’t have to worry about it breaking as you scrape ice off your windsheild
  3. A scraper coneScraper cones are super helpful for getting ice off the windshield and I use it in combination with the windshield brush and scraper, for areas that are tough to work around.
  4. Snow shovel – you can get foldable ones or compact ones you can pack and later assemble
  5. Traction mats – Chances are if your tires are stuck, you’ll need these traction mats
  6. Gas line anti-freeze
  7. Extra fuses -for your car’s electrical system
  8. Lock de-icer – several of these items are recommended by the CAA
  9. Windshield washer fluid
  10. Sand or kitty litter for traction (instead of salt as it can cause your car to rust)
  11. Tire chains – Check to see if they are allowed in your area. You might not be able to use them while driving around, but might be able to use them in an emergency to get your car unstuck.
  12. Self contained battery jumper – This battery jumper  is helpful because you don’t have to wait for another car to drive by and it was recommended by the author of the Skilled Survivor blog.
  13. First aid kit 
  14. Flares – for in front of and behind your car
  15. Reflective safety triangles
  16. Flashlight – An emergency, self-powered, hand crank flashlight won’t need batteries 
  17. Emergency phone battery charger
  18. Hand and Toe warmers. You can use hand and toe warmers to stay warm without an external heat source.
  19. Basic toolkit 
  20. High dexterity working gloves for repairing your car
  21. Tarp – if your repairing a tire or part of your car and don’t want to lose your equipment, you can keep a tarp under you – via Skilled Survivor
  22. Waterproof matches
  23. Candles with an empty food cans as holders or a Candle Lantern for warmth and light 
  24. Food & Water – There are emergency food kits that have up to a 5 year shelf life, so you don’t have to constantly worry about replacing them. There are also food packs that you just add water to to make a meal.
  25. Small camp stove bowls and utensils
  26. Lifestraw – for if you’re stuck without a clean water source. (Note, make sure to melt snow and drink the water rather than eating the snow as consuming a lot of snow can reduce your body’s core temperature.)
  27. Extra clothing – socks, gloves, thermal layers
  28. BlanketsEmergency Reflective Blankets one for each member/passenger
  29. Emergency hand crank radio
  30. Booster cables
  31. Playing cards – It makes sense to have cards or games to pass the time as you wait for another motorist or rescue crew to arrive. These survivor cards were also recommended on the Skilled Survivor blog.
  32. Fire-extinguisher for the car
  33. Paper maps & compass
  34. Shaving cream to de-fog windshield, mirror (and driving glasses if you use them) . All you have to do is clean the glass with it.
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Want to prepare a winter emergency kit for your car? Here are some must have items you should consider having

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While this might seem like a lot, chances are you might already have several of the items. Gathering together what you do have and including whatever else you need, can help keep you and your family safe and warm until rescue crews arrive or until someone else spots your car.
If you live out in more rural areas or if you live in a city, but travel for winter sports, or even if your car is just stuck on the highway during a blizzard, you’re going to want to be prepared.
Are there any additional items you keep in your car’s winter emergency kit? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.
 While the suggestions above are  quite comprehensive from a variety of different sources. Below is a video showing the basic items you’ll need to make a winter car kit:

Winter Emergency Kit References

Disclaimer: This post is for information purposes only and does not account for individual items required for various circumstances. You’re responsible for preparing the items necessary for you and your family.

Photos courtesy of:
Patrick Wittke & Val Vesa -via Unsplash

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