What should I include in my Winter Emergency Car Kit

This winter in Vancouver has seen more snow than any other in recent memory. The most common headline these days seems to be “Commuter chaos on the roads in Vancouver!” With so much snow falling on the city, the roads and the cars that drive on them are having a very difficult time. It’s not uncommon to see cars sliding into ditches or abandoned at the bottom of hills.

Every car should be equipped with a winter emergency car kit, especially in cold climates. You never know if you are going to run into trouble on the road, and if you do, you don’t want to be left completely stranded with no resources while you wait for assistance. When the temperature drops in the winter weather, you are going to feel much safer having an emergency kit in your car.

So, what should you have in your emergency kit?

There are a few essentials that are smart to keep in your car at all times, especially through the winter months. We’ve compiled a list of things that are easy to find and will help put your mind at ease while driving in the winter weather.

It’s a good idea to start with a durable duffel bag that you can fill up and tuck discretely into your trunk. But what to put in it?

Non perishable food items

This can include boxes of granola bars, ready to eat beans, canned mixed fruit, and so on. You don’t want anything that you’ll have to prepare, just items you can open and eat. Don’t forget to pack a can opener if you include canned goods in your emergency kit.

Bottled water

Even if it does freeze a little in the cold weather, you are still going to want some bottled water in an emergency situation.

Heavy blanket

Wool blankets or sleeping bags are a must have in the emergency kit. If you get into an accident and your car won’t start, you are going to need to keep warm in the winter weather while you wait for assistance. You can consider adding an old pair of gloves or toque just in case.

Candles and matches/lighter

If you are stuck for a while on the side of the road, lighting a candle in the car has two purposes. It will draw attention from passersby and will help keep you warm inside the car.

Flashlight and batteries

If you go off the road, you are going to need to be happy you have a strong, well-functioning flashlight on you.

Multipurpose tool

Look for a high quality one that includes a sharp knife and can opener.

First aid kit

You should always keep a well stocked first aid kit in your car and it’s even more important to include one in your winter emergency kit. Make sure that there are bandages and gauze, bandaids and tape.

Hand warmers

If you are stranded, you are going to be grateful you have these handy devices. Once activated, they can last several hours while they radiate heat. You can line your shirt, pockets or shoes with them and they will work wonders in keeping you warm.

Cat litter

Cat litter is a great alternative to sand or salt if you go off road and are stuck in a ditch. If your tires are spinning out, simply pour some cat litter around the tires so they can grab some traction and get out of the rut. It truly works wonders.

While it might sound like a lot, once you have the components gathered, you can throw them into your trunk and not think about it again. And hopefully you won’t have to!

If you are going to be driving in snowy conditions in Vancouver, it’s best to be prepared. Put on winter tires, always keep your phone charged and make sure you have a well stocked winter weather emergency kit on hand. Remember, safety first!