winter car emergency kit
Tips & Tricks

Get Your Car Emergency Kit Ready For The Winter

Cold weather is here and you need to be prepared by getting your car emergency kit ready with these few items.

Winter and cold weather is fast approaching! Some regions have already seen snow!

And towards the end of the week we have another shot of cold air coming down from Canada bringing in more snow for some.

With the cold air on the way, it’s a good time to ensure you have all you need in your winter car emergency kit.
You will want to be sure you have a good way to keep your family safe and warm when on the road during the winter season.

Whether you just break down on the side of the road, get stuck on a icy road or, God forbid, have an accident, you will want to have these items nearby in your car emergency kit.

Items to Add to Your Winter Car Survival Kit

  • Water– Store water in your trunk. Use smaller bottles instead of larger gallon ones since they defrost quicker.
  • Food– Store some nonperishable food in your car emergency kit. Things like nuts, canned fruit, energy bars, and hard candies will give you energy and sugar if you are diabetic.
    Multi-tool– A good multi tool will come in handy if you need to cut up a seat belt or cut small limbs for a fire. It can also help open canned food if needed.
  • Flashlight– Keep a good flashlight and extra batteries in your kit. Even though we like rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, we do NOT recommend them for your car emergency kit. It is better to have a good LED flashlights with extra batteries in this case. You don’t want to get stuck in a situation where you won’t have a way to have some light.
  • Mylar Emergency Blankets– Make sure you have plenty of good thick emergency mylar thermal blankets. These blankets are perfect for conserving body heat in emergency survival situations. These help prevent hypothermia or shock and keep yourself and your family warm and safe, so they are important for your emergency.
  • Sleeping Bag– If you want you can add good sleeping bags or thick blankets to your kit. I wouldn’t recommend adding more than 1 or 2 because it’ll take up so much room. But paired with the mylar thermal blankets it makes you even warmer.
  •  Windproof/Waterproof Matches– Another item that is important is waterproof and windproof matches. These work no matter what conditions. They will even work after being submerged in water! So no matter what conditions, these will light!
  • Lighter– I also like to bring a lighter as well. You can never have enough ways to start fires in a survival situation in my opinion, and they don’t take up too much space either.
  • DIY Lint Fire Starters– I always like to keep some of the DIY lint fire starters in my car as well. These will light up easily. That way you will have a nice way to start a fire hopefully.
  • First Aid Kit– First aid kits are important as well. Make sure it is fully stocked. You never know when you may need it!
  • Cell Phone & Charger– You need to always bring a cell phone with you and a car or solar charger for it. Even if you don’t have a cell phone, you can get a prepaid phone for a decent price and pay a little for a phone card. This will give you a way to contact someone if you need help.
  • Hand Warmers Hand Warmers will be a big comfort if you are outside your car for a long period of time.
  • Gloves– Gloves are also important to keep in your kit. If you find yourself outside for an extended period of time, you will be glad you had a good insulated pair of gloves in your kit. Keep a pair for each family member in your kit.
  • A Form of Entertainment– I also like to add entertainment to my car emergency kit. In emergencies, you get stressed and time seems to slow down when you are bored. Add something to keep yourself and your family entertained for a while so you can relax. It will make time go by quicker and the kids won’t be bored so it’s a win-win!
  • Tools– Tools such as a compact shovel, a tow rope, jumper cables and a basic tool kit is good to have in your trunk in case your vehicle breaks down.
  • Salt or Kitty Litter– Rock Salt and/or kitty litter provides traction if you get stuck on an icy patch. Very handy to have as well!

Final Thoughts

Driving during the winter poses challenges. Be prepared by making this car emergency kit if you don’t already have one.

Read up on winter driving tips on how to safely travel on the roads and what to do if something happens.

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Sergeant Survival

I spread the news of disaster preparedness and homesteading skills to the masses. My mission is to teach the keyboard commandos out there some real life skills.


  1. Great List Sarge

    Have them all. Used the kitty litter after a ice storm many times.

    Switched over to poncho liners instead of the sleeping bags and Mylar blankets. I put them in those clothes storage bags that you suck all the air out with a vacuum. Very thin and will fit anywhere. Have a military poncho also.

  2. We had a new neighbor move in from Chicago who was a retired postman. In the winter he always carried either a bag of sand or cat litter. When I asked why he said that if you got stuck in ice or snow it would help to get you out. Years later we moved up in the mountains and we had a ice storm. We couldn’t get out of our driveway. After about a hour I remembered about the sand, went out and threw some in front of the tires and to my amazement it worked.

    Now in the winter both of our vehicles have cat litter in them (2 containers). Its cheap insurance and its light enough that my wife can carry and spread, a bag of sand weights 50 to 80 lbs.

  3. When I lived in Colorado I always kept a fully loaded backpack in the trunk. It kept me comfortable and alive on more than one occasion.

    With your permission and with full accreditation (including a link to your site here) I’d like to reprint this article in my monthly Dying Time Newsletter for my readers and subscribers.

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