15 Items That Should Be In Your Vehicle During the Winter

Winter brings about erratic weather patterns and chances are that we may be caught in them while we are driving. Blizzards, black ice, and whiteout conditions are just a few of dangers of driving during winter.

Emergencies typically come when we least expect them, and preparing for them is the best way to ensure your safety.

Having an emergency kit in our vehicles is a beginning protocol to vehicle preparedness but during times of extreme weather, you need to go a step further.

Prepare for being stranded during winter conditions and have items in your car to reflect that. One way to ensure that you have preparations for all bouts of extreme weather is it change items in your kit to reflect the seasonal changes. Those that live in northern climates will find themselves dealing with winter-related issues with their vehicles more so than in southern climates, but we should all prepare for emergencies in our vehicles.

Some of these supplies may save your life.

  1. Collapsible shovel
  2. Windshield scraper and small broom
  3. Flashlight
  4. Battery powered radio with extra batteries
  5. Food and water for 3 days
  6. Extra winter layers – hats, socks, and mittens
  7. First aid kit with pocket knife
  8. Any necessary medications
  9. Blanket(s) and/or bivvy bags
  10. Tow chain or paracord
  11. Road salt 
  12. Booster cables
  13. Emergency flares
  14. Fluorescent distress flag, brightly colored rag, or ribbon
  15. Snow chains

We depend on our vehicles to safely get us to our destinations, but we must take care of the engine and other components of the care in order for it to work when we need it to. That said, before the winter sets in, use these tips to check your vehicle to ensure it is primed to withstand the bouts of cold weather. This will ensure that when winter comes around your car will be ready.

What are some items that you have in your vehicle for winter conditions?


Additional Reading:

A Few Tips for Surviving a Blizzard in a Stranded Car

Frostbite: How To Survive Winter’s Unrelenting Brutality

Winter Survival: Practical Preps for an Emergency Bug Out

When You Lose Power this Winter, Here’s What You’ll Need

Post-EMP: How to Get Out of Dodge in the Snow

10 Must-Haves to Stay Warm in the Harshest of Conditions

Winter brings about erratic weather patterns and chances are that we may be caught in them while we are driving. Having an emergency kit in our vehicles will help to ensure our basic needs are met.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 4th, 2014
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19 Responses to 15 Items That Should Be In Your Vehicle During the Winter

  1. Jason in KT says:

    Matches and/or lighter, extra cell phone battery, referee’s whistle. Three day’s water? Six liters per person? Better to carry some water purification tablets or a small filter.

    • Graywolf12 says:

      We have the pills plus a life straw for each. Old fashioned canteens to carry water in. We have lanterns that run on batteries, and have a recharger built in. They have attachments to recharge phones and other devices. You can not have too many space blankets.

  2. cclarkacres says:

    I make sure there is a jon/jane in car…you never know…wet pants are not a good thing!

  3. EquaYona says:

    And if there is any room left, you can carry some luggage as well.

  4. Sunny says:

    This article omits one VERY important item. And I have seen other articles on this theme and it not there either. It baffles me. Do the people who write these articles speak from experience? It certainly does not seem like it.

    A battery operated, self contained jumper cables/tire inflator unit – which also can get power from the cigarette lighter. It can fulfill 2 purposes and is a necessity if you need it if you breakdown and/or have cold weather issues – to jump start your vehicle and/or put air in the tires.

    #12 is “booster” cables – more commonly called “jumper” cables. But to use the cables you need another vehicle or battery which are strong to be able to use them. In a lot of cases, that is not an option. You need to be able to jump start the car without needing another source for power. And also to put some air in the tires if need be.

    Also, what is not mentioned is having a decent jack, lug wrench and a decent spare tire – #16, #17 and #18.

    Along with of course – TOOLS! A good toolbox with decent basic tools.

    Cold weather can bring on issues with your vehicles as well as a breakdown. It is best to be prepared completely.

  5. Opie T says:

    LOL @ #10, are we supposed to believe that a tow chain and paracord are interchangeable?

    • buttcrackofdoom says:

      paracord, also called 550 cord is called that because it can lift 550 pounds…if you do the math, double it 8 times for a 4000 pound car and yes, you COULD tow with it. 100 foot roll divided by 10 would give you a 10 foot tow rope for a 5000 pound vehicle. i would rather have the chain, even better yet, a REAL tow strap though. i didn’t comment earlier, but a tow STRAP acts like a rubber band when snatching a stuck vehicle….a CHAIN doesn’t stretch, so when you stretch out the slack, your tires on the tow vehicle just spin and the momentum stops.. yuh kinda gotta pull with BOTH before you understand.

  6. David "Stickman" Grasty says:

    This is pretty weak…fire? shelter? Tow rope OR 550 Cord…WTF??? How about a small tool kit? Replacement parts? And, yes, the inside of the vehicle will typically get colder than the ambient temperature outside, so having a mylar blanket/tarp/wool blanket, combined with fire, will keep you warmer than sitting in your car at night. Fix a flat? Fishing line/hooks? Weapons? Weak sauce…

    On the water, snow could easily be safely melted and drank with-out the need to purify 99% of the time…

  7. David "Stickman" Grasty says:

    In the winter months, for non-over weight Americans, you need fatty foods…I keep high fat/protein/sugar foods in the vehicle. Also a mini stove/candles for producing heat.

  8. David "Stickman" Grasty says:

    Melted snow shouldn’t need to be purified…

  9. Tim Brown says:

    tell the pukes you are not ‘in’ new jersey since their nj is a fiction – it is a name on a piece of paper. You are ON the land, call it Nation New Jersey. You , as a man, have inherent or God-given rights to defend, travel, eat, collect water, grow a garden, etc.
    never enter the ‘bar’ in their ba’al worshipping ‘courts’ – stay out of their ship at sea ( admiralty / maritime ‘law’) . Stay behind the bar, on the land….well,,,TMI for here. study. enjoy life.

  10. Robert says:

    I carry cat litter.

  11. Graywolf12 says:

    Go on a 3 day fast.

  12. Graywolf12 says:

    Know all the back roads. Here in East Texas we have miles and miles of oil field roads. Some go no where except a well, but if you know where to turn you can go long distances without traveling on a black top road. There are many place off these roads to hide out for the night of a short time. Since they are in the woods there is fire wood and game to shoot. To kill small game use an air gun with silencer or a 22 with CB caps or shorts. There are new subsonic bullets that are quiet, but I have not shot any so I do not know how quiet they might be.

  13. Graywolf12 says:

    Most of our medical supplies came from the Farm and Ranch store or pet shop.

  14. Graywolf12 says:

    Those wusses would die of a heart attack her in Texas. If you look you will see the clip of a knife on Jeans as well as church cloths. I have a black one for dress pants, and a silver one for daily use. The silver is easier to find if I lay it down some where, Both have a serrated edge,Tonto point, and a 3″ blade. Cary something to sharpen the blade with. A dull knife is dangerous.

  15. Al Terego says:

    Ya know what kills me about these “prepper” articles, and the attitude of many preppers in general? It seems that it’s all about having stuff! Buy this! Have that! You need this! You’ll die without that!

    I think in actual real-life scenarios, preppers, just like the average person, will be bogged down by all of their crap, rather than being helped by it!

    Having LESS stuff is usually more helpful. Less to fuss with, and you learn to rely on what ever is at hand/improvise/rely on your own skills and ability to be able to move more freely and faster. The more crap you have, the more of hindrance it usually is.

    And think about it: What ever level of junk accumulation you are at now; when was the last time you actually used any of that crap? Do you even know where everything is? Is it in working order? Will it be at hand and easily accessible when needed?

    Also, having less crap means that you will not be as likely to risk “iffy” situations, falsely thinking that your crap will save you.

    Travel lightly… It makes the journey far more pleasant; and generally has no effect on your ability to handle emergencies.

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