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12 Essential Things to Keep in Your Car for Winter

Although all we all travel by car (or truck like me), winter can be a dangerous time to travel.  

From black ice to blizzards and clumsy drivers, nearly 76,000 people in the United States alone are involved in a car crash in during the winter.

That’s exactly why you need to be prepared for anything before you hop into your car.

Today, we're going through the 12 essential things to keep in your car for winter.


1. Blanket


In my opinion, the most important thing to have ready in your car is a blanket.

If your car has been buried in a snowdrift and it refuses the start, you need to be able to keep yourself warm.

Though having hand warmers and extra winter clothes is also useful, blankets have been proven to be one of the keys to survival.

My recommendation is to opt for a mylar blanket. Not only are these made with space-age material used at NASA but they will protect you from the winter weather far better than a normal blanket.

car emergency preparation checklist download

Mylar Blankets feature the following perks:

  • Heat-reflective: Mylar can reflect up to 95% of radiated heat meaning this will keep you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather, as well as coming in handy for fire building, cooking, signaling, and food preservation.
  • Lightweight: Mylar is incredibly thin and light so you can take it anywhere unlike a wool blanket.
  • Waterproof: Essentially a large plastic sheet, mylar can be fashioned into various types of shelter, protective clothing, water collection and transportation devices, and other creative uses.

2. Spare Tire with Tire Jack and Tire Iron

spare tire and tire iron

This should be an obvious one, but a spare tire with a tire jack and tire iron should be in everyone’s car year-round.

It’s important to make sure that your spare tire is in good condition. Be sure to check it from time to time.

If you have to change your tire, make sure you pull off the side of the road and use your hazard lights.

Again, this might be obvious to some of you but we all start our survivalist journey at different times. Check also the 10 C’s of urban survival.

After that just follow these quick steps on how to change your tire:

  1. Loosen The Lug Nuts
  2. Lift Your Vehicle Off The Ground
  3. Remove The Lug Nuts and The Tire
  4. Place The Spare Tire on the Car
  5. Replace The Lug Nuts
  6. Lower Your Vehicle and Begin Tightening
  7. Lower Your Vehicle Completely and Finish Tightening

3. Jumper Cables

jumper cables things you need to keep in your car

Because dead batteries happen to the best of us, jumper cables are another essential thing to keep in your car.

With jumper cables, you want to check them periodically to make sure they are still in good shape and not beginning to fray.

So often, we take our preparations for granted, and then when we need to use them, they are unusable.

You should familiarize yourself with your car’s engine so you know what you are doing when your battery dies on you.

You can also pack an emergency battery booster so you don’t have to rely on a Good Samaritan happening along.

4. Flashlight

survival flashlight

Much like in other good survival kits, a flashlight is one of the most useful items you can have around, or you can try the Lamplight oil lamp.

Flashlights allow you to better see what you have and how to manage your situation.

That aside, flashlights can also allow you to signal help. If possible, have a few extra batteries to ensure your flashlight works properly.

When it comes to lighting options, you have quite a few.

Lanterns and torches can give you more brightness and power for longer amounts of time.

Some companies even make self-defense torches that can help you defend yourself if you need to.


5. Matches

Matches can help you to easily start a fire.

Some of the best options are water-proof matches which last longer than normal matches.

What do you do if you don’t have matches and need to start a fire though?

Lucky for you, we have just the thing.

Click here to check out our blog on how to start a fire without matches.

6. Snow Shovel

snow shovel things to keep in your car

If you’re stuck in the snow, the snow shovel is going to be your best friend.

A shovel is crucial to digging yourself out of the snow and can even be used to make a kind of snow shelter if the situation calls for it.

Sadly, shovels aren't always so easy to fit in your car so you may not have room for it.

However, if you have the room, make sure you have it handy. 

7. Freeze Dried Food

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Anything from beef jerky to granola bars, freeze dried food is great in these types of situations and give you the energy you may need during this event.

It isn't recommended that you keep water or other liquids in your car because they will explode in below freezing temperature.

Plus if you’re thirsty, there is plenty of snow to help you out.

8. Seat Belt Cutter

One of the lesser-known things you need to keep in your car at all times is a seat belt cutter.

The best way to have one attached to the back of your EDC knife.

A lot of knives that have a seat belt cutter, also have a glass breaker will shatter through any window, both automotive and home, to allow for an easy escape from a wrecked vehicle or compromised home.

I highly recommend all of their products and use them in my day to day life.

9. Flares

While caution lights help a lot, flares will really help others to know you are on the side of the road.

Obviously, this is important as you don’t want to get hit but it can help double as another source of light for you in the middle of the night.

10. Change of Clothes

change of clothes things to keep in your car

Having a change of clothes is another one of the essential things to keep in your car.

If you’re in a rush and have to bugout because of an emergency, having a spare change in clothes can help you last longer in your bugout location.

The other side that makes it perfect for the winter is if you get cold and wet while changing your tire or in the event of an accident, you can change your clothes and not have to worry about frostbite or hypothermia.

If you’re worried about your clothes being too cold, just wrap them in your blanket to keep them warm.

This works especially well if you invest in a mylar blanket.

11. Duct Tape

Any respectable survivalist knows the many different uses of duct tape.

It can fix everything - haven’t you heard?

Seriously, just make sure you have a roll or two in your vehicle at all times.

You never know when you’ll need the magical duct tape.

12. Emergency Kit

emergency kit things to keep in your car

Getting all of the last 11 items in your vehicle quickly can be a challenging task. Wouldn't it be great if someone did the majority of the work for you? 

Well, Valley Food Storage has done just that. 

Our VFS Emergency Pack is one of the most useful products we have available.

With this pack, you will have  the most important keys to survival all in one bag - food, water, and shelter - all ready to go.

All you have to do is add in a spare change of clothes and a flashlight - you will be 100% ready for any winter vehicle mishap.

Wondering what’s included in this pack?

  • Heavy-Duty Tactical Canvas Bag
  • Long Term Emergency Food Pack
    • Macaroni & Cheese (5 Servings)
    • Tomato Basil Soup (5 Servings)
    • Multigrain Cereal (10 Servings)
    • Freeze-dried Strawberries (15 Servings)
  • Pressure Water Filter Straw
  • Utility Utensils
  • Emergency Shelter Tent
  • Waterproof Matches

It has literally everything you would need in case of an emergency. We put it all in a single bundle just for you.

This is so good in fact, I personally have one in each of my vehicles at home - my truck, my wife's car and my teenagers car.

This kit has helped put me at ease when my family is out and about in the winter.


Conclusion - 12 Things You Need To Keep In Your Car During Winter

Winter is a beautiful time of the year but can also be a very dangerous time.

You never know what can happen so it’s important to have these 12 things you need to keep in your car during the wintertime.

  1. Blanket
  2. Spare Tire
  3. Jumper Cables
  4. Flashlight
  5. Matches
  6. Snow Shovel
  7. Freeze Dried Food
  8. Seat Belt Cutter
  9. Flares
  10. Change of Clothes 
  11. Duct Tape
  12. Emergency Kit

If your high water vehicle has all 12 of these things to keep in your car, you will be prepared for anything emergency that could happen during the winter.