Unless you haven’t looked out the window for the past two months, it’s obvious that winter is in full swing in Canada. Along with sub-zero temperatures that last for days on end, winter brings later sunrises, early sunsets and bitterly cold winds. If you are planning a trip to see family this winter, or simply have a long commute, you will need these five items for your car’s winter emergency kit.
These items will include a shovel, ropes or chains and anything you can use for traction (salt, gravel, cat litter). Having a “get out” item in your car’s winter emergency kit means that if you get stuck in a snow bank, end up in a ditch or simply don’t have the engine power to get moving on a snowy or icy road, you’ll have the necessary equipment to dig or pull yourself free.
If your vehicle breaks down on a busy road, you will need road flares and a reflective vest. Without these items, it becomes extremely dangerous to get out of your vehicle, especially during nighttime.
Another “help me” item for your car’s winter emergency kit is a set of booster cables. Without booster cables, you can have all the “get out” items you need but if your battery is dead from the cold, you could find yourself stranded.
Depending on where you live in Canada, you could find yourself broken down or without gas in a sparsely populated area. If you are travelling on roads without a lot of traffic, be sure to keep many “keep me warm” items in your car’s winter emergency kit. These items include extra hats, mittens, coats, blankets and little heater packs for your hands and feet.
Once again, these items will help you if you find yourself stranded on a lonely highway, or get stuck after dark. Having an extra flashlight, a rechargeable battery pack for your phone and some candles and matches can mean the difference between being seen on the side of the road at nighttime or not.
In the majority of cases, you will not be stranded for such a long period of time that you will find yourself starved or dehydrated. However, for the slight cost of bottled water and granola bars, you can never be too careful. Packing food and water in your car’s winter emergency kit may not be necessary, but it will make your emergency slightly less miserable.
Canadians all over the country have to contend with difficult driving conditions. It’s always great to be prepared by installing winter tires and ensuring your car is up to snuff, but it’s also ideal to prepare for the worst. Remember to stock your vehicle with these items to ensure getting snowed in or dead battery isn’t any worse than it needs to be.