Winter is Not a Season, It's a Celebration, But If You're Not Prepared It Can Turn Into a Nightmare.
There's no harm in hoping for the best as long as you're prepared for the worst. Winter is just around the corner and with that winter travel. The winter season can offer an array of serene and picturesque views, which inspire many people to venture and seek out the perfect winter scene or vacation. There are also several holidays and get-togethers that occur during the winter months. And, if you live in a northern climate, there is just your everyday travel to school, to work, to the store, or just out and about. What do all of these scenarios involve? Driving and traveling on sometimes treacherous roads or quickly changing weather that could become deadly. Are you prepared to safely travel to your destination? There are plenty of basics to keep in your car if you live in a cold climate area or travelling to one, but is there anything extra you should keep on hand if you’re planning to travel through more rural areas in the winter months?
Let’s start with the basics:
- Blankets, mittens, socks and hats
- Winter boots
- Ice scraper and snow brush
- Flashlight, plus extra batteries (or a hand-crank flashlight)
- Jumper cables
- First-aid kit (band-aids, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, antiseptic cream, medical wrap). See this first-aid kit checklist from the Red Cross.
- Nonperishable high-energy foods such as unsalted and canned nuts, granola bars, raisins and dried fruit, peanut butter, hard candy.
- Bottled water (Note: Water will freeze if left in your vehicle. Consider insulated containers, or other alternatives.)
- Lighter and box of matches (in a waterproof container)
- Multi-tool (such as a Leatherman multi-tool or a Swiss Army knife)
- Road flares or reflective warning triangles
- Windshield cleaner
Now onto some of the extra items you might want to include when traveling greater distances in colder and snowier areas:
- A bag of sand to help with traction (or bag of non-clumping cat litter)
- Collapsible or folding snow shovel
- Tire chains and tow strap
- Hand warmers
- Sleeping bag
- Camp Stove with alcohol burners, such as Littlbug stoves, that can provide some heat or melt snow for water.
Other important items to consider for your winter vehicle preparedness kit:
- Small fire extinguisher (5-lb., Class B and Class C type) in case of a car fire
- Tire gauge to check inflation pressure in all four tires and the spare tire
- Jack and lug wrench to change a tire
- Rags and hand cleaner (such as baby wipes)
- Duct tape
- Foam tire sealant for minor tire punctures
- Rain poncho
- Battery– or hand-crank–powered radio
- Scissors and string or cord
- Spare change and cash
- Paper maps
It’s important to be prepared when exploring the world and even more important to be appropriately prepared. When you’re planning for your trip, make sure you’re prepared with everything you need, not only for your trip, but in case your trip doesn’t go quite as planned and you find yourself in a dire situation.
Emergency preparedness kits can also spark ideas for gift giving, especially for those that are near and dear to you or those individuals that seem to have everything. If there is that special someone that is faced with winter travel, perhaps consider creating a winter travel kit from the items listed. What a perfect gift! A gift that could help keep your loved ones safe when they are on the road.
What other items would you deem necessary when creating your winter travel kit?