If you live in the southern half of the United States it is easy to forget just how serious winter weather travel can be. In the mountains and in northern rural areas, winter means that simple car trouble could become a matter of life or death. Once the calendar has turned past the turkey and football of Thanksgiving, It is a good idea to make sure your car is packed for proper winter weather travel.
We already covered making sure your car was properly prepared here. What follows is a list of items you should pack for anything more than a short commute in the cold and snow.
- Kitty Litter/Sand - If you have a rear wheel drive car this one does double duty. A bag or two adds weight over the driven wheels for better traction. If you do get stuck, a couple handfuls thrown down under the tires can quickly get you on your way again.
- Shovel - After a snowstorm, or worse yet, after a snow plow buries your street parked car, you are going to need a serious implement to dig it out. Perhaps more importantly, if you skid into a snowbank far from help, it may be the difference between getting home or getting frostbite.
- Warm Clothing/Boots - Chances are you commute back and forth to work, or head to the mall without dressing for an arctic exhibition. That’s fine, but if the weather takes a turn for the worse, or you break down or get stuck, you are going to appreciate a warm parka, gloves, a hat, and warm winter boots. Pack for the whole family before you go on a holiday road trip.
- Space Blankets - These tin foil like blankets fold up small enough to pack several in the glove compartment, but they work. If you break down or get stuck and have to stay in the car and wait for help (which is safer than going out into the cold dark night) these may save your life.
- Flashlight - You should always have a small LED flashlight in your car. They take up hardly any room, and a super useful. LED bulbs use very little power, but still make sure the batteries are fresh and pack a spare set just in case.