Winter is coming, as Sean Bean said in Game of Thrones. For him, that meant a sudden bout of deadness. For us motorists, not so much. That said, we do still need to be prepared for the worst that a chilly Mother Nature can throw at us, so here’s our list of five motoring must haves that you should keep in your car throughout winter.
01 Spare bulbs
You can buy a pack of spare bulbs from any good motor factor, and they’re worth their weight in gold. With darker mornings and afternoons/evenings it’s important that you can see where you’re going. More than that though, it’s also important that you can be seen – so don’t ignore a blown bulb thinking that you can see fine. It’s not just about you. Make sure to check your Haynes manual so you know how to change the bulbs over.
02 Snow chains
It might seem a bit overkill, but when you need them, you’ll be glad they’re there. They fit to your wheels simply enough – no jacking up needed – and they work wonders when they’re put to use. Plus, it’s no hardship to keep them in your car – they don’t take up much space.
Just think about how the roads always grind to a slippery halt when it snows. This is your way to avoid being a part of that. Be sure to fit them to the DRIVEN wheels of the car, otherwise they’re not much use!
If you get stuck you’re going to need to keep warm, and blankets are a tried and tested way to do that. You don’t need anything fancy, just something that has actual thermal benefits – don’t buy something because you like the look of it! Keep them in the boot and then should the worst happen, you’ll be able to wrap up, safe and warm.
04 Heat packs
You can get these from good motor stores, or from anywhere that sells camping/outdoor supplies. They’re little gel pockets that, when ‘cracked’ (you bend them in half) heat up thanks to an internal chemical reaction. And they get really warm indeed, so you and your passenger will benefit. And they fit in the glove box, so there really is no excuse to not get some. You’ll be glad you did if you get stuck on a cold winter’s night.
05 Power inverter/spare phone
We live in the communication age, but that’s of little use if your battery dies while you’re stranded in a snowy wilderness in the middle of nowhere. As such, it’s always work making sure you have power options for you phone.
You could get an inverter, which will give you a standard three-pin plug, you could be sure to have a 12v lead for your phone in the car, or, you could buy an emergency pay-as-you-go phone and leave in the glove box. For £20 it’s worth it for the peace of mind.