9 Things to Keep In Your Car If You Must Travel in a Winter Storm
It's winter storm season, and accidents are far more likely on roads covered with any type of precipitation. The fall and winter months are typically chock full of those conditions, no matter where you live. Colder weather can also wreak havoc on your vehicle in ways that might not be obvious at first.
It's always a good idea to get your car checked thoroughly before it gets cold to make sure it's in good shape to handle everything that comes with winter. You'll also want to stock up on emergency gear should your vehicle break down anyway.
But before we get into that, here are the things you should always have in your car no matter the season: Jumper cables, a first aid kit, a cellphone and charger, a spare tire and a small tool kit.
Now, let's get into the things that will come in handy during the winter months.
You should always have a cellphone on you when driving, but if your car breaks down in the winter, you'll want to make sure you get help as soon as possible, and your phone stays charged long enough for people to find you. A charging block should be charged ahead of time, otherwise it won't be useful. Try making a habit of charging it along with your phone when you go to sleep at night.
These three tools could be literal lifesavers if you slide into a snowy ditch and need to dig yourself out. They'll also be helpful if your car breaks down in a snowstorm, and lots of snow accumulates while you wait for help.
Many people forget to have snow chains or snow tires installed before they actually need them. Snow socks are an inexpensive quick way to get more traction in a pinch if you suddenly find yourself in wintery conditions. They might even be able to get you up a slippery hill if you find yourself facing one.Advertisement
If you wind up stranded and waiting for assistance in a rapidly chilling car, you'll be glad to have lots of warm layers in your trunk. An insulated sleeping bag is ideal, but a large, wool blanket and long underwear, extra warm sweats, socks and mitten are also key to keeping your body temperature up.
It might sound weird, but cat litter is an inexpensive, less corrosive equivalent to road salt. A bag of it in your car could mean the difference between you easily peeling out of a slippery situation, and, well, not.
It's always a good idea to have some high-calorie, shelf-stable food, like protein bars, in the car. They can actually help your body stay warmer because they require more energy to digest than other lower calories foods. You should also always have several bottles of water on hand because staying hydrated helps keep you warmer in the winter as well.
Battery-powered road flares can stay on for hours, so they're often a better option than the ones you ignite. They're also easily stored, and usually come in packs, so they're economical. The best part is they warm up, so they won't become obscured by falling snow.
It's a good idea to have a flashlight in your car year-round, but especially in the winter months when it gets dark so early. It's also helpful to keep extra batteries in your glove compartment because there are few things worse than realizing your flashlight doesn't work when you really need it.
Snow and ice can reflect a lot of light, so even though it's wintertime, shades can protect your eyes from glare. That way you can better see the road ahead of you and which will help keep you from getting into an accident.
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