It’s time to get your winter survival kit upgraded and thoroughly audited. Before the first winter storm hits, you should audit your car’s winter survival kit to make sure you’ve got what you need and nothing is missing or expired.
If you want the guesswork taken out of preparing a winter survival kit for your car, that’s an option that is available. Ready America has a cold-weather survival kit for one person and it costs less than $65. However, if you’d like to build your own kit, or are switching out gear for the changing season, here are a few things I suggest you consider.
The first thing you should do is ensure that the medications in your current vehicle survival kit are not expired and that the seals aren’t broken on the items that need to remain sealed. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to add a few things that will be much more useful when temperatures drop than they would be during the warmer months.
- Candle-Powered Heater
If you get stuck or broken down in your car during the winter, keeping it running to stay warm can be tricky. You’ll eventually run out of gas, but you’ll need some fuel to drive when help arrives or when the weather clears up. But more importantly, snow and ice can block your engine’s exhaust and lead to deadly levels of carbon monoxide in the car’s cabin. So make sure you pack a simple candle-powered heater. All you need is a metal can, a candle and a lighter. A candle can make a surprisingly effective ad hoc heater in the confined space of a car. Family Handy Man has a great tutorial on how to cheaply and easily make one. Check out another way to make a quick candle here.
These will not set you back much financially but are important. They will help keep you and anyone else in the car warm if the worst happens. It’s pretty self-explanatory why you’d want some of these in a winter survival kit.
Hand and foot warmers work great, last for a long time, and help keep your fingers and toes comfortable. Toss in an extra pair of socks and gloves in your survival kit just in case you leave home without adequate pairs. These warmers work well for everyone and if you get a large enough box, you won’t have to worry about having enough warmth to last you for a few days. Hot Hands will last up to ten hours!
Also an inexpensive item, safety absorbent will help if you do happen to get stuck by adding traction. Kitty litter can also work well, but safety absorbent will work better. You can pick up 8lbs of it for less than $12 too.
5. Foldable Shovel
Add a foldable shovel to your winter survival gear too. If you get stuck in the snow, you may need to dig your way out and digging out compacted snow from under the car or around the wheels is much easier with a proper shovel. A shovel that folds up will save you space in your car and be readily available for use if you happen to get stuck!