As we head into the winter months, it is time for the snowflakes to fly.

Now is also the time to prepare a winter weather survival kit for your vehicle.

What You Need To Know

  • A well-stocked kit could save your life

  • The items you need are not very expensive

  • Already have a kit? Double-check it 

We all know how driving in winter weather can turn white-knuckle in the blink of an eye.

What if you hit a patch of ice? What if the snow is blinding and you slide off the road? What happens if your vehicle stalls out in the middle of a snowy drive?

One thing you can do for peace of mind is to make a survival kit, and keep it in your vehicle. It doesn't take too much time, it’s not very expensive, and it could save your life somewhere down the road, literally.

What do I need?

In general, you want to have some things that will not only keep you alive if you get stranded but also some items that may help if you become stuck on the side of the road.

First, grab a small plastic tote bin. Once you have that, place the following items inside:

  • Bottled water
  • Granola bars
  • Matches
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket
  • Spare gloves
  • Cat litter (traction)
  • Mini first-aid kit
  • A cell phone charger

A finished kit might look something like this:

(Lincoln County, Wis. Government)

The idea behind the survival kit is that it can come in handy if you become stranded in your vehicle for a long time. 

  • Water: to keep you hydrated
  • Granola bars (or other non-perishable snacks): to give you energy
  • A blanket or matches: to help you survive the elements.

Are you wondering about the cat litter? The litter is for traction! Throw a few handfuls under your tires to help get you unstuck from a snowbank or icy spot on the side of the road. Other people like to use a small 2x4 board or even a bag of sand.

If you already carry a kit in your vehicle, that’s great! However, it’s a good idea to check on the items each year. Toss out any expired food. Replace batteries for the flashlight. Make sure the matches still work.

Bottom line, you never know when you may need a winter survival kit until it’s too late. This is the time to start planning and preparing for the winter months ahead.

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