Stocking your car for Winter
"Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?"Yesterday I talked about having a mechanic winterize your car to reduce the chances of something going wrong during winter driving. But that is just half of the preparation you need to do. You should also stock your car with supplies to keep you alive and comfortable if a breakdown occurs or you get stuck in snow.
-- Samuel G Freedman
I found the following list on http://ldsprepardness.blogspot.com/ under
Winter Driving Emergency Survival Tips.
- Blankets (or Sleeping Bags if you have room). At the very least pack the ultra compact space blankets. Personally I keep an old quilt in the trunk.
- Properly fitting tire chains (I've never used chains myself.)
- Winter clothing like hats, gloves, wind-proof pants, and warm footwear (these could be stuffed under the front seats)
- Flashlight (with extra batteries, check at least monthly)
- First Aid Kit
- Jumper Cables
- Safety Flares or Safety Triangles/Cones
- Plastic Bags with Wooden Matches
- Duct Tape for repairs
- Snack Food (high calorie, non-perishable like food bars)
- Drinking Water
- An empty can with cover and toilet paper for sanitary purposes
- Shovel (the folding ones are great). Useful for digging out of a snow drift.
- Sack of Sand (or kitty litter) for traction. Floor mats are also useful.
- Basic Tool Kit
- Tow Rope
- Compass & Road Maps
- Snow scraper
- Cell Phone (for emergencies)
I once skid off the road and got stuck in a snow bank just a mile from my house. If you're like many people, for a short trip you'll jump into your car with no coat, gloves, etc. If you follow the list above and you get stuck like I did, you'll be glad to find gloves, hat, windbreaker under your seat so you can pull out the folding shovel and kitty litter to dig out and get the traction to escape.
Another important recommendation: Always keep your fuel level above half during winter months in case you are stranded and must idle your engine to stay warm.