Now that winter is in full swing, it’s long past due to load up your vehicle with the essential supplies needed to survive if the worst were to happen.
Think about it: if you were driving out in the middle of nowhere during a winter snowstorm and either had a vehicular breakdown or got stuck in the snow, would the gear you currently keep in your car enable you to survive?
If the honest answer is no, then you need to keep reading.
Here are the items that you need to pack in your car for the winter:
At least one extra pair of pants, jackets, coats, warm shirts, vests, and pants should all be kept in your vehicle at all times. You’ll be glad you had them if you have only your casual everyday or business clothes.
Keep warm wool blankets in your car as well. They’ll help keep you warm if you have to bunker into your car overnight.
Warm gloves will also be a necessity to keep in your vehicle. You’ll likely use them in your everyday life and not just during a survival situation as well.
Keep at least one pair of winter snow boots in your car at all times as well. If you need to leave your car to go find civilization, do you really want to be trekking through the snow wearing your casual shoes?
In addition to boots, you should also consider a good pair of snowshoes. Snowshoes work by evenly distributing your weight across the snow, thereby preventing you from sinking in deep with each step. In other words, they allow you to cover more ground quickly and with less energy. If you need to trek back to civilization when the snow is deep, these will be indispensable.
Ice Scraper and Brush
Most people at least keep these things in their car during the winter anyway, but it’s still worth mentioning: you need an ice scraper and brush in your car during the winter at all times.
If your car gets stuck in the snow, you can set up a signal reflector on the outside to alert other passing cars to your presence. As an alternative, you could also go with a red or orange flag.
Flares can also be used for signalling, especially from farther distances. In fact, if your car gets stuck out in the snow miles away from help, firing a flare in the air right away could bring help to you in a short amount of time.
If your car gets stuck in the snow, it could be possible to get out with the aid of a snow shovel. If you have to leave your car behind and trek through the woods, a snow shovel will also make building a shelter significantly easier.
If you spread cat litter over ice, it will give you a lot more traction and make you less likely of slipping and causing injury.
First Aid Kit
A complete and portable first aid kit is something that you should keep in your car all year round anyway. Your first aid kit should be comprised of items such as antibiotics, prescription medications, bandages and gauze pads, and tourniquets.
A good fixed blade knife is another item that should be kept in your car all year round. It can be used for self-defense, shelter building, and as a simple
Fire Starting Materials and Candles
Matches, lighters, and magnesium flint strikers are also items that you should keep in your vehicle at all times. Invest in a set of candles too, so you can quickly get a small fire going in the car to warm your hands over with.
Water and Food
Plan on keeping at least a three day’s supply of water and food such as protein or energy bars in your vehicle too (and do so throughout the year and not just during the winter). Rotate them out at least once every six months.
Always keep a metal cup, container, or canteen in your vehicle that you can use to melt snow over a fire or to boil water to make it safe to drink.
Map and Compass
Don’t be dependent on a GPS device, because it could run out of batteries. A good map and compass (and knowledge of how to use them) could mean the difference between whether you walk out in the right direction or not.
Finally, be sure to invest in a good backpack that you can use to carry everything to begin with if you ever need to leave your car.
Most people won’t even pack up their vehicles with a fraction of the above items during the winter. But if you don’t make the same mistake, you can be rest assured knowing you can drive out into the middle of nowhere during a major snowstorm and be prepared for the worst to happen.
Article written by Nicholas Oetken, writer for Survival Gear Systems, Guns.com, and many more top survivalist websites.