Winter is here! There’s no more denying it. Those of you who were out there stapling the leaves back on the trees (like me) now have to come inside and start tending the fire. Maybe you hate the cold, maybe you love it, regardless of your relationship with frost it never hurts to be prepared! So even though you may not have been prepared for that first icy morning when walking out to get the paper in just your pajamas became no longer acceptable, you can be prepared for whatever might come next!
Black ice | Blizzards |Loss of traction |Low visibility |Hail
… These are just a few of the hazardous conditions you will encounter when you drive this winter. You never know what kind of sticky situations you might land in! That’s why in every vehicle driven by you or your loved ones, you should always make sure you have these top 10 essential winter road ready items:
1. Phone Charger / Battery
We’ve all experienced the desperate 1% search for a charger – being stuck on the road side in piles of snow is the last place you want to relive that trauma. Plus, if you’ve noticed literally every bad – gone worse situation in every horror movie ever escaladed because the victim had no way to contact people for help! Lesson learned (thank you, modern day cinema). So many sticky situations can be solved or even avoided with our oh so beloved and incredibly useful cellular device. So stop by the store and grab one today!
Handy for when you stuck in snow or mud! Don’t forget that adding fresh snow or dirt can help add that extra traction needed to get out of the rut you might find yourself in. You don’t need an oversized I-Just-Got-Back-From-Burying-Someone looking shovel either – look for something compact and light. And no, you don’t have to disclose it to the cop when you get pulled over for speeding and he asks if there are any weapons in the car… I think?
3. Snacks and Water
If you’re like us, your emergency supply of snacks may end up getting consumed more often than not in NON-emergent situations… like the carpool line. But make sure you keep that supply stocked! No one likes to imagine they will end up stranded in the very machine that affords them such mobility, but it happens! A couple bottles of water and some protein bars could make a bad day just a little better or even sometimes, save your life.
This comes in handy so often. Whether you’re digging around for stuff at night, experiencing under the hood problems or having to walk to get assistance, when you need a light you need a light. A using the one on your phone isn’t always the best idea especially in emergent situations. Using that valuable battery on your phone could be a gamble. And on most phones, that application uses a lot of power.
5. Blankets / Jackets / Mittens
Having these important backups for emergencies is a must, but they also come in handy for everyday use! The occasional indoor event that turns into an outdoor event, or maybe even a cuddle session in the backseat. Definitely worth the trunk space.
6. Kitty Litter
This heavy bag adds weight to the back of the vehicle which helps cars without 4 wheel drive gain traction, and it can also be used to add to the pile of mud or snow you got your tires stuck in (after using your handy shovel, mentioned above).
7. Ice Scraper
Keeping your mirrors and windows clear is a top priority for safe driving this winter. Keep an ice scrape in the car to avoid the defrost wait! Don’t forget if you’re parked some where long enough and its cold enough they may freeze over again – so keep it in your car not your garage.
8. First Aid Kit
You can make one at home or purchase one for relatively cheap online. What ever you do, remember to tailor it to your specific needs. Have a regular rider with a sever allergy? Stock the EpiPen. Often a victim to the winter sniffles? Throw some Dayquil in there.
9. Jumper Cables
Low temperatures put extra strain on your battery, so don’t forget this essential. Like the flashlight, when you need it, you need it. A freezing night can turn a weak battery into a dead battery without any warning.
10. Extra Windshield Washer Fluid
Having this fluid available to be applied to your windshield during a storm is a huge help. The antifreeze can drastically improve visibility. It can also help cut your defrosting wait in half if you’re ever caught without your ice scrape!
Keeping these top 10 most essential winter road ready items in your car could make the difference between a life-threatening emergency and an inconvenience.