Cold Weather Car Essentials

Traveling by car can quickly turn dangerous in an emergency when the temperatures get colder. If icy roads or hazardous conditions leave you stranded, being prepared can mean the difference between life and death. There are several useful items you can store in your car for such situations, and they just might save your life. We have compiled a list of eight essential items you need to keep in your vehicle for winter weather. With these things prepared, you will be ready for whatever cold weather dangers come your way while driving.

8 Items to Keep in Your Car for Cold Weather:

  1. Ice scraper and snow brush
    • When traveling in an area prone to snow, or anywhere where snowfall is a risk, it is always good to keep a snow brush and ice scraper handy. These can be used to clean off your car and keep your vision clear while driving. Also, an ice scraper can be used in an emergency situation to break a window if needed. They also sell double ended versions, which have both an ice scraper and snow brush attached.
  2. Shovel
    • If you've ever had a car get stuck in the snow, you know how much of a hassle it is to get unstuck. Keeping a shovel in your car will ensure you can always escape a sticky situation. As a bonus, you can also use a shovel to clear a path in your driveway or a roadway.
  3. Winter clothes and gloves
    • If you are in a situation where you get stranded in the cold, you will definitely want to have something warm to put on and some gloves to wear. Your car can only keep you warm for so long, and hypothermia can set in surprisingly quickly. Having an extra set of warm clothes and gloves for all people traveling in the vehicle will greatly improve your chances of survival.
  4. First aid kit
    • Having a first aid kit in the car is a good idea in all seasons, winter included. From minor scrapes and bruises to more severe injuries, a good first aid kit in your car is a must-have. Plenty of compact first aid kits don't take up much room in the trunk of the car, and having it might save your life someday.
  5. Blanket
    • A blanket is an excellent road trip companion, whether it is needed in an emergency cold-weather situation or just to cozy up with on the journey. A high-quality blanket can come in handy in several situations and is relatively easy to fold and store in the car.
  6. Emergency flares and reflectors
    • Including emergency flares and reflectors in your car essentials kit might seem excessive, but these can prove extremely useful in an emergency situation. If your car winds up stuck somewhere, or you get stranded far away from a main roadway, you'll be glad to have these items. Emergency flares can signal rescue services for your location. Reflectors will provide a clear signal to any passerby and can prevent your car from being struck by a passing vehicle.
  7. Jumper kit
    • This might seem like a common sense item to keep in your car, but a jumper kit can be especially beneficial in colder weather. In the winter months, car owners often experience increased issues with their car batteries due to the chemical reaction that starts the battery becoming slowed or weakened in colder temperatures.
  8. Water
    • In any season, it's a good idea to keep a supply of drinkable water in the car, especially for long road trips. If you become stranded in your vehicle, having a supply of water will keep you from suffering from dehydration. However, take caution in the winter as water bottles stored in the car can freeze relatively quickly.
  9. Non-perishable snacks
    • Keeping non-perishable snacks in the car is a great idea year-round, especially during winter. In colder temperatures, your body burns calories much faster to stay warm, so having snacks on hand can be highly beneficial in an emergency. Take care that the snacks you select will be fine when stored in colder temperatures, though this is more of a concern with hot summer weather.

While driving in winter conditions can be scary, you will be much better off with these items stashed in your car. Preparedness is the best protection against a tragedy, and most of these things can fit comfortably in the trunk or backseat. Consider grabbing a bag to hold all these items and keep it somewhere that is easily accessible. Always drive slowly and safely on slick or icy roads, but keep these things handy in case of an emergency. Stay safe out there!