Essentials to Keep in Your Winter Car Kit in Case of Emergency

An in-depth guide on the essentials you need in a winter car kit. Essentials to Keep in Your Winter Car Kit in Case of Emergency

Driving conditions during the winter months can be unpredictable and dangerous.  Everyone should have a winter survival kit in their vehicle in case something should happen.  This is wonderful, but during the winter months, there is a winter car kit that you should have on hand in case you get stranded.  In this blog, we are going to look at the items you should consider having in your vehicle during those long winter months.

Snowbrush/Ice Scraper/Shovel Winter Car Kit - Folding Shovel

All of these items may seem common to have on hand, like the snowbrush and ice scraper.  These are used obviously to help get rid of the snow off your windows or the ice so that you can see.

Now you can’t keep a full-size shovel in your vehicle, but you can keep a portable, foldable shovel.  If you never have seen one, they are available usually at a military supply store, but if you don’t have access to one, you can go to any local store and they usually have different types available.

Salt/Sand/Safety Absorbent/Kitty Litter

If you live in a state that offers snow, you have all had to throw salt on the walkways or sand.  This obviously melts the ice and snow to clear the pavement or concrete.  Keeping some of this available in your vehicle will help you if you get stuck, by putting some under your tire will help you gain some traction.

Some people use cat litter, while others will buy a safety absorbent from the store.  Anything you decide to get will help you in a pinch.

Jumper Cables

One thing most people don’t think about having in their car is jumper cables.  You should really think about putting them in your vehicle if you don’t have them.  With cold weather, comes cars not always starting.  Having these available will give you the opportunity to have your car jumped if this issue should happen.Winter Car Kit - Jumper Cables

Road Flares/Warning Kit

When the roads are covered with snow, the shoulder of the road is not always available to be stopped on.  Having road flares and a warning kit will potentially save you from being hit by other cars on the road.  Normally in these kits are road flares that will light up to make you seen by others.  These flares can also be used to start a fire if need be.Winter Car Kit - Triangle

There will also be collapsible warning triangles that you set on the road to mark your location.  The road flags that you set up and put out are to warn other drivers to move over.  Sometimes these will be listed as a car emergency kit on the shelves.


When getting a flashlight for your kit, you are going to be looking for a flashlight that has long battery life.  Newer flashlights even come equipped that you can change the settings on them to actually flash and not be a constant light.  This can act as a beacon for you.  A good LED flashlight along with some extra batteries should be good enough to keep in your vehicle.

Small Tool Kit

While you will never know what you might need as far as tools go, having the basic common ones in your vehicle to help you fix your engine if you need to.  Try keeping a multi-tool on hand, as well as a couple of screwdrivers, small socket set, wrench, a pair of pliers and a couple of spare fuses.  These things while you may not need them, might come in handy.Winter Gloves

Extra Clothing/Footwear

We all tend to dress warm enough for winter, but if you are stuck on the side of the road, having more clothes to put on might be nice.  Also if you have to try pushing your vehicle or change something outside, you could get wet and cold, and having a change of clothes with you will help you get warm faster.  Especially footwear, not everyone has shoes that are waterproof, so having extra shoes in the vehicle that are dry, will help keep you warm.

Blankets/Emergency Sleeping Bag Emergency Sleeping Bag

If you break down and happen to get stuck in your vehicle, you may end up spending the night in your car.  Also since breakdowns always happen at the most inopportune time, you could possibly be waiting a long time for someone to come get you.  Having some extra blankets in the car for extra warmth will help keep your body heat up.

Most people will take spare comforters or blankets that they have laying around and put them in a tote in the back of the car.  They do make emergency sleeping bags now, and what these do are fold up really nice and small, while reflecting 90% of your body heat to help you keep warm.  These come in handy if the possibility is there that you will be there all night waiting.


If you are like some people, the first instinct is to leave the car running so that you have the heater running to stay warm.  This, however, means that you will eventually run out of gas.  To try to preserve gas, you can bring along a metal can, like a paint can, put a medium-size round candle in it, and then light it.

This will make a great little heater for your car since it is in a small space.  Also if you do manage to find shelter other than the car, you will have candles for light and matches to start a fire.

Heat Packets

These are small packets that you can put in your shoes or gloves to warm up your feet or hands.  These are usually shaken to be activated and it gives off heat for an extended period of time.  Keeping these in your car would be handy if you have to stand outside for a while and then need to warm up when you get back into your car.  This could help keep frostbite away.Winter Car Kit - Hand Warmers

Non-Perishable Food/Water

Keeping hydrated and nourished while being stranded somewhere is crucial.  Granola bars, trail mix and some bottles of water are a great idea.  If you want and know where you can get dehydrated ration packs, like used in the military, you can keep these in the vehicle.  All of these ideas will keep you nourished and full in case you are stuck for a long time in the vehicle waiting for someone to help you.

Portable Phone Charger

Cellphones are a lifeline for most people, and having one with you if you are stuck on the side of the road, will save your life.  However, if you don’t have enough battery power to make your phone calls, having a portable charger in your car could save your life.

You can buy these in all different shapes and sizes, so make sure that you get one that has a long battery life and is fully charged for in your car.Winter Car Kit

Tow Rope

If you happen to get stuck in a ditch or snowbank, having a tow rope might be helpful.  Road crews might not always be readily available and if there is someone around with a truck who is willing to help pull you out, having a tow rope will come in handy.


You might want to keep a pad of paper and pencil in your vehicle to write down information that could be important.  When calling a tow company or your insurance company, they may give you a phone number to call or a claim number that you need when the person helping you shows up.

Snow Socks

These are not socks for your feet, they are actually fabric doughnuts for your tires.  They are a great space-saving item to have in your car, and they will help give you some extra traction on icy roads.Winter Car Kit - Snow Socks

Emergency Escape Tool

There are many different types of emergency escape tools out there, but even just one of them will be beneficial.  There are tools that have different uses, such as a hammer for breaking windows and a cutting blade for seat belts. One of these may just help you if you are stuck in your vehicle.

Winter Car Kit - Rescue Tool


If you do run out of power either in your vehicle or even your cellphone, having a compass and map would be beneficial.  Sometimes people can get lost if you are on a country road somewhere and your battery dies.  Having a map of the area and a compass to help navigate your way would be beneficial in these moments.

Keep Your Winter Car Kit Stocked

All of these items would be helpful to have in your car.  Some people put these kits together in a couple of totes and label them appropriately.  Some will divide them up and have your standard car survival kit and one that is your winter emergency car kit.  Each of these should be in your car if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow or freezing rain.  Check your vehicle and see if you have these items in there, if not, then think about putting them together so you are prepared in the future.


  1. Family Handyman – 13 Things you need in your winter car survival kit
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  6. Popular Mechanics – 7 things you must carry in your car this winter
  7. Imminent Threat Solutions – 13 Common sense items you need in a winter vehicle emergency kit
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