October 11, 2014 at 3:43 pm #26553
We’re getting the first dusting of snow here and winter will soon be upon us. I spent a few mins today checking the ‘essentials’ in my car. While I have much more stuff than this, I would consider this the minimum equipment to have in a car with me, just thought I’d share it.
All of these items are easy to obtain and should not be expensive:
1) Jump start cables (and now how to safely use them) I prefer to buy ‘heavy duty’ cables as I have had a couple of monumentally spectacular ‘close calls’ with the cheaper, thinner ones.
2) A spare fuel can with nozzle (90% full)
3) A warning triangle
4) A high visibility vest
5) A small foam pad (to kneel on if changing a tire or inspecting underneath the car)
6) A static tow rope. I use caribiners on either end to allow for quick attachment/removal.
7) A head lamp and spare batteries
8) A pair of work gloves
9) One or two spare pairs of warm gloves/hat/socks
10) One or two wool blankets
11) High energy long life snacks (I keep in the glove compartment)
12) Hand sanitiser
13) ‘Fix a flat’ emergency tire inflator
14) A snow shovel
15) A physical road atlas (in case all electronic options are unviable)
16) Depending how you dress for work a pair of good boots and a warm jacket in the trunk maybe required…
17) Roll of duct tape
18) Wet wipes
It’s also worth checking your jack, spare tire, jack points etc are all in good condition and working properly…
Even if it’s not winter near you yet, it’s still worth a few minutes getting these or similar items stowed away in your vehicle! Hope this helpsOctober 11, 2014 at 5:11 pm #26568
Excellent list! Add to that: Bottles of water (it doesn’t pay to get dehydrated esp if stranded. Can keep one or two inside your jacket to keep them from freezing.)
Hand warmer packets (I find changing a tire in icy weather drains/numbs my hands in short order, then I skin my knuckles etc easily.)
In our current location, a good rain jacket/poncho since cold wet rain is more hypothermia-producing than cold powder snow.October 11, 2014 at 5:57 pm #26571
Toby, good idea. You may also want to check out your regular winter gear to see how it works in the real world. Last winter, it got down to -10F with a -30F wind chill. I took advantage of the weather to put on my heavy winter clothing and go for a hike. I discovered two weaknesses in my gear that I have remedied so don’t forget to check out all your gear, not just put it in your car/BO bag/ etc as it must work.
For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!October 11, 2014 at 6:02 pm #26573
Foe anyone buying items on the list, make sure the carabiners rated strength matches the tow strap. Toby maybe you could post the rating of the carabiners youe are using.October 12, 2014 at 2:19 am #26638
Lots easier to assemble the winter Emergency Pack now, rather than later…
"ROGUE ELECTRICIAN" Hoping to be around to re-energize the New World.....
Cogito, ergo armatus sumOctober 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm #26657
Carabiners are rated to 4000kgs if I remember correctly.
As the winter temps. are routinely -20c or below, I don’t keep water in the car as it just freezes. I mentioned I have a bunch of other stuff in the car, one of which is a spirit stove with fuel, so if I need water I would melt the ice/snow.
Yes, it is essential you check your winter gear to make sure it’s up to the task!
Thanks for the comments so farOctober 12, 2014 at 1:51 pm #26667
4000kg = 8818lbs Pulling heavy vehicles out should probably be done with higher rated rigging to be safe.
More info at:October 13, 2014 at 4:21 pm #26794
I have a 10,000 pound Warn on the front of my suv vehicle (detachable) when I go into the woods or need to use it. But to actually use it to full potential since my vehicle is only 4000 pounds I would have to hook rear end to a tree or something. In fact this winch is way to strong for my vehicle but I also have a truck with a bumper able to take the weight. I can’t imagine breaking grade 8 bolts but you never know. I lifted the front of my truck off the ground trying to take down a tree limb once. Thats why its called the art of winching. Nice to have though.October 13, 2014 at 9:59 pm #26841
I used to live in Maine , and every year , Maine State troopers would find somebody dead by the side of the road . Most of the time the reason is the same , they underestimated the weather , and attempted to walk to that little town that didnt seem that far away , instead of staying put in their car . Now I live in Arizona , the desert is a different ball game . A large tarp is a must to have , as temps inside a car will be higher than outside your car ……even if its 117 degrees out .October 13, 2014 at 10:14 pm #26845
Tolik, I would add that people who freeze to death in the manner you describe invariably didn’t have proper cold weather gear in their vehicles. Most winter clothing is more designed to look robust than to actually be robust, and for those who go from a heated house to a heated car to a heated store or office it is fine. They only discover that they are inadequately dressed when they have to be outside for a long time in the cold.October 13, 2014 at 10:22 pm #26847
That is a good point .October 13, 2014 at 10:31 pm #26851
Having had my share of frozen fingers, toes, and ears over the years, I learned all are preventable. It just takes a little effort when you are buying clothes to focus on functionality rather than fashion. Then again, maybe I do look fashionable when I wear this hat? It keeps my head and ears warm on the absolute coldest of days.October 13, 2014 at 10:38 pm #26852
I like the Russian fur hats. http://www.amazon.com/Russian-Soviet-Military-Cossack-Ushanka/dp/B002Y3Y7D2October 13, 2014 at 10:45 pm #26854
The Russian ones are good too but I stick with the New England look. Easier to blend in that way.October 18, 2014 at 8:09 am #27331
Great points. And yes, getting people to understand the problems of extreme weather is becoming more and more challenging as so many move from climate controlled space to climate controlled space and purchase clothing based on fashion instead of functionality…
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