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6 Essentials for Your Winter Car Safety Kit

driving on the highway during winter storm

Every winter, hundreds of drivers find themselves stranded on the side of the road or in traffic due to unsafe road conditions. Sometimes it’s a brutal snowstorm; other times, highways halt to a stop because of accidents. Either way, every driver in an area where winter storms can occur needs a winter car safety kit in their trunk to protect themselves from the elements.

You may already have some of the gear in our winter car emergency kit checklist around the house, but some specialty emergency products are best purchased from authorized dealerships to ensure they are working and ready when you need them.

Our goal with this checklist is to help you put together a winter car emergency kit checklist that’s quick to assemble, doesn’t take up a lot of space in your vehicle, and contains all of the necessities you’ll need in case you get stuck or stranded in a winter storm.

6 Essentials for Your Winter Car Safety Kit

Whether you live in the frozen tundra of the northeast, the snowy mountains of California, or even the humid south, our winter car safety kit checklist has everything you need to keep you safe, hydrated, and warm in an emergency.

1. Emergency Thermal Blanket & Bivy Sacks

LifeSecure emergency thermal blanket

An emergency thermal blanket is one of the most essential winter car safety items in your trunk. When stranded on the side of the road, an emergency blanket keeps you warm until help arrives. Look for an emergency thermal blanket that’s compact and easy to store in your car for your homemade car survival kit.

LifeSecure offers an emergency thermal blanket pack that retains and reflects back up to 90% of body heat while being wind and waterproof. Our emergency thermal blankets help prevent shock by keeping you warm, dry, and clean, which is perfect in case you are stuck in non-moving traffic on the highway in the middle of a snowstorm.

2. Food and Water

Heater Meals Entrees 6

To have water with a longer shelf-life on hand, LifeSecure recommends purchasing a case of emergency drinking water. Each case contains 64 pouches appropriately rationed for emergencies with a five-year shelf life. One case provides three days of drinking water for up to ten people.

Being trapped in your car during a snowstorm is a terrifying experience but can be life-threatening if you don’t have extra food and water. Pack high-energy foods like granola bars, trail mix, and water in every winter survival kit. Keep a manual can opener on hand if you have canned goods in the kit for your car.

Another food option is LifeSecure’s Ready-Hot Meals. Also, with a five-year shelf life, these meals do not require refrigeration and come with a fully disposable cutlery pack. Simply pour the enclosed packet of water into the Food Heater Bag, reseal, and in ten minutes, you’ll have a hot meal to fight off hunger while stuck in a winter storm.

3. Snow Shovel vs. Compact Shovel

5 in 1 tool rothco

This winter, add a snow shovel to your trunk if you get stuck in the snow. If you find your car unable to move on the side of the road, it’s important to start digging at the front of your car until you hit the pavement. 

Rather than purchasing a full-size snow shovel that’ll take up precious cargo space in your car, look for a compact shovel that’s easy to store in your vehicle. There are multiple options available, including collapsible shovels and mini shovels. Fair warning: a small shovel requires you to bend over while digging out your car, which can cause pain the longer you’re shoveling.

Note: If you don’t already, have an ice scraper and snow brush in your car. You’ll use them every time you have to clear snow off your vehicle, your headlights, and your windshield.

4. Extra Clothes

If you’re stranded in your car during a winter storm, you will want to have some extra clothes and winter gear on hand. You’ll want to turn the car on and off while stuck without leaving it on for too long. This means leaving the heat off for extended periods.

To avoid getting cold, pack a few extra layers of clothing, gloves, a hat, and a scarf. Not only will these keep you warm (alongside your thermal blanket), but they will protect you from the elements if you find yourself digging your car out from the snow or helping others.

5. Portable Phone Charger

Another effect of leaving your car off while stuck in dangerous winter weather is losing the ability to charge your cell phone. The last thing you need is to lose the ability to call for emergency services or reach out for help. Don’t let something as simple as your phone dying to prevent you from getting the help you need. Make sure you have a portable phone charger in your winter car safety kit to keep your phone charged, and call for help if needed.

LifeSecure offers a selection of portable phone chargers, but we recommend the Solar Powerbank. It will fit in your glove compartment and has enough strength to charge your phone, tablet, MP3 player, iPod, GPS, camera, or other digital devices. It also includes two female USB ports for charging two digital devices at once, so if you are stuck in your car with another person, you can charge two smartphones simultaneously.

cold weather preparedness kit

6. Cold Weather Preparedness Kit

LifeSecure offers a complete cold weather preparedness kit for an all-in-one winter car safety kit solution. These include an emergency survival sleeping bag, three 20-hour heat packs, a box of waterproof matches, and waterproof fire starter sticks. Simply throw them into a backpack, leave them in your trunk, and you’re all set for around 72 hours (for one person only).

Trust LifeSecure to make sure you’re prepared for any emergency.

Whether it’s a blizzard or a hurricane, LifeSecure has everything you need to protect yourself, your family, and your home from life-threatening emergencies. Our wide selection of emergency kits, supplies, and protective products are designed to keep you safe no matter the situation.

author avatar
David Scott
David Scott
David co-founded LifeSecure in 2005, just a few months before Hurricane Katrina taught everyone that one can go hungry and thirsty in America and even die before help arrives. For over a decade David has focused on developing and discovering superior emergency and disaster survival solutions - kits and supplies. He has trained community groups in emergency preparedness, helped non-profit organizations prepare emergency kits for needy individuals, conducted community emergency response exercises, and developed emergency plans for non-profit organizations. David makes an ongoing study of how best to prepare for and respond to various natural and man-made disasters, and his mission has been to help others “live Life SECURE” every day by preparing for what may come someday.