Guest Author - Lisa Linnell-Olsen
When you head off in your vehicle during the winter months to participate in your favorite winter sport, it is wise to make sure that you have a good winter vehicle safety kit. People who live in cold climates should always keep a safety kit in their vehicle during the winter months. In the event that you and your family run into trouble on the road, your vehicle winter safety kit can provide what you need until help arrives.
Before we jump right into the winter vehicle kit, make sure that you have your basic vehicle safety items in your car or truck. You should already have a shovel, tire iron, spare tire, emergency flares, jumper cables, extra fuses, and maybe a tow strap or tire chains. Most automotive and large discount stores sell premade vehicle safety kits with these items in a small package for you to store in your vehicle.
The winter vehicle kit is harder to find premade, and you will probably be best off to make your own. The winter kit should be stored in the passenger cabin of your vehicle, in the event you get stuck inside during an emergency.
One of the best containers to keep your winter vehicle safety kit in is a coffee can. Coffee cans are of a compact size, can be used as a melting pot to turn snow into water or cook in, be used as an emergency shovel, and the shiny inside can be used for signaling in remote areas.
Items to place inside your coffee can kit include:
Space blanket for a compact way to reflect heat and keep warm
Bright garbage bags, which can be used to sit on, protect from moisture, or be cut into emergency ponchos
Candy and granola bars for quick energy
Several feet of nylon rope
A knife to cut holes, rope, or any other items
Any special medications, such as allergy meds or insulin tablets
Candles or Sterno fuel cans to provide both heat and warmth
Compass (and know how to use it)
Packets of instant soup mix, and hot chocolate for fast energy in cold weather
You should still have room for any other items you can think of that may be necessary for your family in an emergency. Outside of your kit but still inside the passenger cabin, think of carrying an extra blanket to keep warm and also to throw down on snow covered ground if you need to change a tire. You should also look for a place to store a few sealed water bottles that will stay liquid on long drives. Try to find someplace to store water where the bottles won't fly around in the cabin when you stop suddenly. Look for a place near the floorboards where you vehicles heater blows.
Lastly, carry extra hats and mittens in the vehicle. These will come in handy in an emergency, and also if someone loses these items during an outing and just wants to be comfortable on the way home.
There is nothing that can ruin winter fun like being ill prepared when emergency or surprise situations strike. Having these items in your vehicle will add to your peace of mind throughout the coldest months of the year.