Need to drive in the winter? Be prepared with this winter emergency car kit checklist if you get stuck in a snow storm or blizzard.
Winter Emergency Car Kit Checklist
If you live in an area that is prone to snow in the winter, it’s vital to be prepared when you are traveling. You never know when you could get stuck in a snow squall!
To be prepared for any winter travel emergency, you should get a winter emergency car kit together and keep it in your car.
What Should Be in a Winter Emergency Car Kit?
Here’s what you should keep in your emergency car kit in the winter:
- flashlight / lantern
- portable smartphone charger
- solar/ hand crank radio & charger
- non-perishable high energy snacks
- blanket or sleeping bag
- winter boots
- winter hat
- hand warmers
- first aid kit
- ice scraper/snow brush
- kitty litter/sand
- basic car kit
- road flares
- multi-tool/ basic tool set
- small shovel
Many of these items can be packed in a bag or box and either kept in the car throughout winter or near the door to grab before trips. Just be careful with some items like the water and portable chargers as they might not do well in freezing temps.
If your whole family is traveling with you, be sure to have enough supplies for everyone!
Winter Car Kit Items to Stay Warm and Dry
If you should get stuck in the snow while driving, remain in your vehicle as much as possible until it is safe to leave.
TIP: If you keep your car on, make sure that your exhaust pipe does not get blocked by snow!
In your emergency winter car kit, you should keep a warm blanket, gloves, winter hat, and snow boots. The goal is to stay warm and dry, especially if there’s a chance your car could run out of gas and your heat no longer works.
If you have the space, it might not be a bad idea to keep a sleeping bag in your vehicle for extra warmth. No space? Consider keeping emergency thermal blankets in your emergency car kit so you can retain as much body heat as possible.
A blanket like a Toasty Tote with a open space in the bottom for your feet is great for when you need to move around in your vehicle.
If your car’s heat shuts off because you’re out of gas, hand warmers or toe warmers can help keep you warm.
To keep your energy up and stay hydrated, pack non-perishable snacks and water.
Need to use a bathroom but don’t want to leave the car? Bring along a portable urinal.
Emergency Car Kit Items for Winter
Some of the items in your emergency car kit for winter are for staying safe and feeling secure.
A flashlight or lantern will help provide light in your car at night and can help you locate items in the dark if you need to get out of the car. Make sure you have enough batteries.
Glow sticks can also provide light in your vehicle and don’t require a power source.
Your smartphone can help you call for help and show you where you’re located on GPS, but it’ll be no good if the battery dies. A car charger and a portable charger can help provide power when your phone dies.
TIP: Keep an emergency contact sheet in your glove box in case your phone dies and you need phone numbers or other information about your vehicle.
Should your car shut off or your portable battery runs out of juice, a hand crank charger/radio can give your device the needed power. With this, you can also tune into the NOAA station to get updates about the weather. Some even come with a built in flashlight if yours dies.
Winter Car Kit for Emergencies
The rest of the items in your kit are for getting out of trouble.
Make sure the basic car kit or roadside assistance kit in your car (the one you should keep in your car year-round) has:
- jumper cables
- flares /reflective triangles
- tire pressure gauge
- first aid kit
- and basic tool set.
If it has more items, like this premium car kit, even better!
For the winter, you’ll also want an ice scraper, snow brush, and foldable snow shovel in your emergency car kit. They will help you clean off your vehicle and dig it out when it is safe to do so.
If you need to get out of a slippery spot, kitty litter or sand can help your tires get traction. Just put some kitty litter or sand in front of your tires to help you get traction on the road.
Is Your Winter Emergency Car Kit Ready?
Have everything you need to travel safely in the winter? Is there anything I missed? Feel free to leave a comment below!