Any well-seasoned cottage dweller knows the frustration of a Friday night coffee fuelled drive on snowy roads. This trek is made even more difficult when the snow starts to fly, or the roads ice over. In these cases, it is always better to remain on well-traveled roads, as they are more likely to be regularly maintained, and help can be flagged down much quicker in the event of any trouble. Although it is not likely that you will end up being stranded in your car, or have to camp out overnight, this list of items can be helpful in a variety of situations that you could encounter on the roads this season.
Food and water
Although both of these are important to your survival and comfortability, water is undoubtedly one of the most important things to add to your car kit. Water should be kept in plastic bottles, preferably smaller ones so that it is not frozen when you need to use it. For food, you should include non-perishable high-calorie options, that don’t take up a lot of space in your kit. Things like nuts, dried fruit, granola, and protein bars make good snacks. Make sure to rotate things out every few months, and to pack things that you already enjoy eating.
Let’s face it: among stereotypes of being too kind, and our famous love of hockey, Canadians are known for their ability to weather the cold. But that’s not because of some miraculous polar bear gene that we have, its because we are prepared, and layered! Now understandably you are not going to put on a pair of long underwear and two extra shorts every time you go for a drive. But what you can do is include a blanket, or sleeping bag in your car kit, as well as some dry socks, warm gloves, and a hat. It would be a smart idea to put your old winter boots in there too so that you have something warm and practical to put on your feet if you need to venture out into the snow. You should also include a few candles and an old coffee tin, as well as some of those disposable hand warmers to keep your fingers and toes toasty.
This is probably the biggest category, mainly because an emergency kit is intended to provide the necessary things, and safety is on the top of this list. A basic first aid kit in your car is a must for all times of the year and doesn’t take up much room for all its usefulness. You should also have a light stick (or a few glow sticks), a whistle, wind up flashlight, pain medication, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, matches and/or a lighter, a few candles, a pocket knife, a collapsible shovel, a bucket of sand or kitty litter, and a road map.
There are other things that you may wish to include in your car kits, such as a portable radio, paper and pencil, a good book, and any prescription medication. What you pack depends on the individual needs of you and anyone else that you regularly drive with, but it is a smart idea to include some of the basic things listed above. Emergency car kits are relatively inexpensive and can be used in many situations. Even if you do not have a direct need to use your kit, keeping it in your car may enable you to help someone else you meet on the road. It is always better to be prepared for the situations that you may encounter especially when driving in the winter months. Be prepared, be warm and, drive safe everyone!