It’s halfway through January and it is safe to assume that most of us have experienced at least a little bit of snow. I know in our area we even had a couple of really bad days where roads were nothing but a solid sheet of ice and many weren’t even plowed. There were multiple wrecks reported, roads closed, and even an advisory to stay home unless absolutely necessary. Even with knowing winter was approaching, many people still weren’t prepared. Multiple co-workers of my husband didn’t even have an ice scraper in their car. So with that being said, I thought I would share my 10 winter essentials that you should always keep in your car.
- An Ice Scraper (preferably one that is double ended and has both a scraper and a brush). This is an essential item people. DO NOT be out somewhere without one.
- Cat litter or sand. Cat litter/sand can serve a couple different purposes. In the winter, it makes for a great weight in the back of your vehicle and it can also be spread on the ground if you are stuck and need something to help gain traction.
- Flashlight. You never know what time it might be when you get stuck and have to go for help or need additional light to see. Having a flashlight should honestly be in your car year round.
- Road Flares. These are extremely important to carry in your car year round but even more so in the winter. With freezing temperatures occurring in the winter, if you happen to get into an accident, quick rescue is imperative. A road flare can help gain attention from others when you or your car might not be visible.
- An extra set of clothes...as well as a winter coat, gloves & boots. You might not think about keeping a spare set of clothes or an extra coat in your car but you really should. If something happens and your clothes get wet, you need to change into dry clothes immediately, especially in the cold weather. Same goes for keeping an extra coat. You may think you’ll just run out to the store real quick and not need a coat but what happens if your car breaks down or you get in a wreck. Having a coat in the car could truly be a life saver.
- A blanket…or better yet a space blanket. This one is pretty self explanatory.
- Portable cell phone charger….or even a spare charged phone. Not only are these great for normal use but they are great if you are ever stranded and need to call for help. You never have to worry about your phone being dead with this device and always have a way to charge your phone if needed to call for help.
- A knife. You really should never leave home without some type of pocket knife. There are so many uses for having one….and in dire situations, where one is stranded, can be used to kill an animal for food, cut branches to make a fire, etc.
- A lighter…or flint or some type of item to make a fire. Again it comes down to situations in which one is stranded and needs to survive through the night until help can be found.
- A shovel. This can be used to help dig yourself out of a rut, remove built up snow from under your tires, etc.
Along with keeping items in your car to make your travel a bit safer, it is also important to remember the following when it comes to winter driving.
- If you are not good at driving in the snow/ice, please stay off the roads. Not only are you endangering yourself but you are putting others at risk as well.
- Stay clear of back road when possible. Back roads generally don’t get treated as frequently as high traffic areas.
- Despite roads just looking wet, remember, if it is cold enough outside, the roads are probably not wet but in fact ice. Black ice is a very dangerous thing.
- Know your car and how it drives in different conditions. Make sure you know the type of brakes you have and if they are ABS or not. This makes a HUGE difference in how you should brake when driving on slippery conditions. Knowing your car and what it can and can not do in the winter can truly help to make your drive safer.
What would you recommend everyone keep in their car in the winter?