Last Updated on September 20, 2022 by Rose Morah
When driving in winter, it is important to always have an emergency kit in your car.
A good car emergency kit saves you time when you get stuck, may end up saving a life, and makes it easier to get unstuck during winter.
In this article, we have listed must-have essentials that you should have in your emergency kit when traveling in winter.
- Car winter emergency kit
- 1. Collapsible shovel
- 2. Flashlight
- 3. Jumper pack and cables
- 4. Snow chains
- 5. Carry spare floor car mats
- 6. Emergency triangles
- 7. Carry disposable body heaters
- 8. Carry regular glow sticks
- 9. Have emergency contacts and addresses
- 10. Headlamp
- 11. Have a satellite messenger or a personal locator beacon
- 12. Carry tea lights or a big candle
- 13. Gloves
- Other essentials to include in your winter car emergency kit
Car winter emergency kit
1. Collapsible shovel
A collapsible shovel is a must-have car accessory that helps you when you get stuck when driving in winter.
I recommend getting a snow-removal type of shovel as it gets the job well done.
Lightweight travel-size shovels are also easy to find. But personally, I prefer a heavy shovel because it doesn’t break easily.
If you have a truck, then I would recommend getting a full-size shovel.
A good size LED flashlight is a must-have in your car emergency kit because it will help you see at night in case you get stuck.
Be sure to carry extra batteries just in case the light dies, depending on the situation you are in.
3. Jumper pack and cables
Jumper cables are an important car emergency essential in winter.
Having jumper cables in your car is important just in case you are stuck with no one to help you out.
This also saves you time because you don’t have to wait for someone to offer you theirs.
4. Snow chains
Snow chains are a great accessory that helps prevent the car from skidding on icy roads or getting stuck in the snow.
Try not to drive on half a tank of gas during winter. You don’t want to be trapped in a storm with no gas.
5. Carry spare floor car mats
Car mats have helped me multiple times when driving in the winter.
I normally throw them under the tires that are stuck to help increase the traction. In most cases that is usually just enough to get me out.
I have some cheap mats that I carry for that reason so I normally don’t have to use the expensive ones to get myself unstuck.
6. Emergency triangles
Emergency triangles should always be in the car whether it’s winter season or not.
However, they are even more important during the winter because when driving in snow and ice the braking distance increases.
So, if let’s say you are stuck over the crest of a hill or just around the bend, you will need the emergency triangle to give a clear warning to other drivers.
7. Carry disposable body heaters
Disposable body heaters are important for use when you are stuck in snow for a longer period.
They help make you feel warm when stuck inside your clothes.
However, I’d also recommend that you always check the expiry dates of the disposable body heaters because the expired ones are not that reliable/efficient.
8. Carry regular glow sticks
Glow sticks are perfect for use if you get stuck and can’t get yourself unstuck.
You can use them to flag down other cars and make yourself visible. The good thing is that they don’t use batteries and they can work even in winter conditions.
So, before you head out, be sure to get packs of regular glow sticks and store them in your glove compartment for emergencies.
9. Have emergency contacts and addresses
Emergency contacts could also include friends who live along the route, assuming you are driving far distances from home.
This will helps in case you get stuck at night with no way to unstuck yourself. You can leave the car and go to sleep at their place.
Additionally, if it gets too snowy and slippery to drive, you can just take a bus or walk to your friend’s house.
A headlamp acts as an alternative to a flashlight because sometimes it is hard to hold the flashlight when you trying to unstick yourself out of a situation or when changing a tire.
11. Have a satellite messenger or a personal locator beacon
If you are going on a winter road trip in remote areas, I recommend getting a satellite messenger or a personal locator beacon just in case your phone signal fails.
The signal will be picked up by a satellite right away.
This car emergency accessory can help save a life.
12. Carry tea lights or a big candle
The tea lights or candles help preserve some heat and keep you warm without consuming batteries or fuel as you wait for help.
This is especially when you are stuck and have to wait for the tow truck for a prolonged period of time.
I also recommend getting a proper surface in the car to place the candles as they burn. Additionally, be sure to follow safety precautions when using the candles, like cracking the windows for enough oxygen.
Get a good pair of warm gloves that you can use when changing your tires during winter.
Other essentials to include in your winter car emergency kit
- Hand warmers.
- First aid kit.
- Rope. Kinetic recovery rope.
- A knife or multitool.
- Duct tape.
- Tow strap, hitch pin, and shackle.
- Traffic vest.
- Road flares.
- A pair of MaxTrax/ Traction boards.
- An emergency blanket.
Lastly, remember to carry water and some snacks when going on a road trip in winter.