Nobody ever plans on needing to use an emergency kit, but everybody should still plan on having one on hand, just in case. Accidents do occur and mishaps can happen, so being prepared for them is the best way to mitigate their resulting consequences. This preparation is especially imperative in the winter because cold temperatures can make a bad situation infinitely worse. So here is our list of must-have items to include in your winter travel emergency kit.
- Shovel - Used for clearing away snow from your exhaust pipe and tires
- Windshield scraper - To brush and chip off snow and ice from your windows for better visibility
- Flashlight with spare batteries - For illumination during the night
- Water - Stock enough so that you can stay hydrated, a couple of gallons should be sufficient
- Nutrients - Pack high-energy, high-calorie foods like protein bars, dried fruits, peanut butter, etc.
- Lighter or matches - Used to make a fire if necessary. Keep matches in a waterproof container.
- Extra cold-weather clothing - Pack spare hats, mittens, socks, etc.
- Multi-tool pocket knife - Think Swiss Army Knife, which can come in handy for a variety of needs
- First-aid kit - Just in case an injury is sustained during your trip
- Tow rope or strap - Used to help get your vehicle un-stuck if its lodged in a snowbank or ditch
- Road salt or kitty litter - Pour beneath your tires to create traction if you get stuck
- Blanket - For extra warmth and comfort inside your vehicle
- Booster cables - Make sure to get a high-quality set in case you need a jump
- Cell-phone charger - Pack along a spare so you have a means of calling for help
- Signaling device - Reflective triangles work, or you could tie a neon bandana to your antenna
- Road flares - Can be used as another signaling device or for starting a fire
- Collapsible fuel container - In case you run out of gas and need to transport fuel
Although we hope you never have to use it, we still hope that you take the necessary precautions by packing along a winter travel emergency kit just in case something goes wrong. If you are stranded and in need of help, the best move to make in cold climates is to remain in your vehicle and call for assistance. Your car, truck, or RV provides important shelter and it will best catch the attention of anyone able to come to your rescue. Do you have any other items to add to our list? Let us know by sharing them in the comments section! Stay safe out there this winter!