There are times when winter weather moves in and takes us by surprise. Having a Winter Car Survival Kit is just a good idea. An emergency car kit is something that you can piece together as your budget allows. Simply purchase an item or two each time you shop. Head to the dollar store for some of the basics and a home improvement or sporting goods store for other important essentials. Keep your essentials in an old coffee can for safe keeping!
Winter Car Survival Kit Checklist
Water – Water is essential. If you are in frozen weather then the water bottles in your car may freeze. Choose small water bottles that you can warm up with the car heater or with your own body heat (if necessary). You can always reuse soda bottles or other bottles that were headed to the trash or recycling. Pack a container of Nuun (or similar) to add some electrolytes to the water. You can find electrolyte supplements at sporting good stores.
Food – Non-perishable snacks are easy to pack. Great foods to pack include raisins, dried fruit, cracker, energy bars, small candies, and granola bars. There are often Larabar and other protein bar coupons available to print at Coupons.com to keep your budget in check. Meals Ready to Eat and GoPicnic are great options of long(er) lasting foods that you can toss in and forget about.
Blanket(s) or sleeping bag – You will be able to stay roasty toasty warm with an extra blanket or sleeping bag. Space blankets are something we should all have in our cars since they are tiny, easy to pack, and incredibly useful! Seriously, go ahead and buy a few today to put in your car so you have them in case you ever need them.
Flashlight with extra batteries – The night is long and dark. A flashlight can help and extra batteries just make sense.
Ice Scraper – Your hands will be cold, so an ice scraper with a sleeve is a great idea! My husband has a similar one in his car, and I actually don’t mind using it since my hand stays warm. You can always use a credit card if you have no other option.
Shovel – There are Emergency Snow Shovels that are perfect to keep in your car. A shovel can be used to help dig out your car tires. Kitty litter or a bag of salt are great to have on hand as well. Both of those items provide traction for tires.
Toilet Paper – When you have to go, you have to go. Keep some toilet paper in your emergency kit so you are prepared. Keep feminine supplies and diapers on hand as well.
Emergency Cash – Cash never goes out of style and can be spent when stores have no electricity to run credit cards. Tuck a few dollars (per person) into your car survival kit.
Extra Cell Phone Charger – Head to Amazon and browse until you find a charger that works for your budget. You can always order an extra, extra cheap charger that ships from China that will make its way to your house in 3-5 weeks just so you have an extra. A Portable Backup Battery Charger Power Bank is a very smart idea. We have 2 and I will start rotating one into the car. I really like this one that turns into a flashlight too!
Reflective Vest – People will be able to see better when you wear a reflective vest.
Candles and Waterproof Matches: If you need to start a fire you will be glad you packed waterproof matches. The candle can be used for light as well.
Battery Powered Radio: This basic Sony battery powered radio is $12.99 and will provide you with the ability to get the latest new, but you may want to upgrade to something like this Ambient Weather WR-089 Compact Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio, Flashlight, Smart Phone Charger with Cables which has a lot of extra bells and whistles!
After watching Facebook updates from many of my friends during the 2014 #Snowpocalypse I am adding an old pair of tennis shoes to my emergency kit. It isn’t fun walking in the snow in heels or shoes designed for work! I will keep a change of clothing for my children in the car as well.
I hope you never find yourself needing a Car Survival Kit. But if you do….hopefully you are prepared!