Winter time, particularly during the holidays, has people travelling on slippery, snowy roads. Cars breakdown, accidents happen and before you know it, you can find yourself stranded in the cold. A little pre-trip planning can make this type of situation more bearable. Pack a few essentials and though you may never need them, you’ll have the added confidence of knowing you are ready for most anything Mother Nature can throw at you.
Items for the Car:
Jumper Cables – Car batteries are sometimes difficult to start in cold temperatures, particularly if the battery is older. Keep a set of jumper cables in the trunk in case you need assistance getting the engine started.
Ice Scraper/Snow Brush – An ice scraper or snow brush are essential for clearing windows, headlights and license plates after a snowfall or ice storm. If you are traveling from a warmer climate where these are not needed yearly, be sure to pick them up before traveling to snowy regions.
Bag of Sand – Sand or a bag of cat litter can be a life saver if your wheel becomes stuck in snow or on ice. It adds traction to help you break free.
Folding Camp Shovel – This small tool stows easily out of the way without taking up too much space. It can also be a lifesaver if your tire becomes stuck in deep snow or mud.
Rain Gear – This is not an absolute necessary but if you have to change a tire or walk any distance in bad weather, you’ll be glad you packed it. Pack a set for each person traveling.
Socks and Gloves – Extra pairs of these can be a blessing. If your gloves become lost or your socks get soaked trying to change a flat, a fresh pair of either can be the difference between protected extremities and frostbite.
Blankets and Towels – Pack one of these for each person. You might need towels for drying off and blankets to ward off the cold while you have to wait for roadside assistance.
Flashlight – A flashlight can come in handy if you need to make repairs in a poorly lit area or need to walk in the dark. Don’t forget to pack fresh batteries.
Radio – A separate radio will conserve the car’s battery or work if the car battery dies. It can help you stay in touch with weather conditions. Pack batteries for this item too.
First Aid Kit – In the event of an accident, winter weather can delay help from arriving. A well-stocked first aid kit can be helpful. You can buy ready-to-use kits or assemble one of your own.
Non-perishable Food Items – Snacks like granola bars, tail mix, nuts can help keep energy levels up. Pull-top canned goods like fruits are another good choice. Bottled water is a must. If you are traveling with a baby, pack formula, diapers and other essential baby items.
Sources: Personal Experience, Safety.com