The 30 items you should ALWAYS have in your car's winter emergency kit
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30 Essential, Winter Emergency Items You Need To Keep In Your Car

Be ready when disaster strikes.

Unsplash- Open road during winter

A car crash. Black ice. An engine that dies at the worst time.

It's happened to all of us Your car probably isn't in the best shape afterwards, but what happens if these aggregating things turn out to be something much larger, a struggle between life and death? Can you honestly say you're prepared for the worst?

If you're like the average person, your answer is probably no. Heck, the average person doesn't even have a seat belt cutter, much less a first aid kit. These are the top 30 things to keep in your emergency kit nestled securely behind the passenger seat.

1. Cat litter

Unsplash- Cat

Getting stuck is one of the biggest problems that people face when winter hits. It's not too bad when you're at home, but if you lose control of your vehicle and end up on the side of the road... Well, that could be an issue. Cat litter that clumps can give your tires just enough traction to get you out of a bad spot.

2. Flares and reflective triangles

Unsplash- flare

If you can't get unstuck, you lost control of your vehicle and can't get it turned back on, or if you're injured badly enough that you can't drive, flares and reflective triangles can be literal life savers. Placing them in areas where other drivers can see them is a must.

3. Water

Unsplash- Water bottle

Dehydration will kill you faster than almost anything else. Getting a 12 pack of water bottles from Wal-Mart can be the difference between life and death.

4. Waterproof matches

Unsplash- Lit match

Waterproof matches are just that: matches that you can strike even when you're stuck in a damp area. If you're stuck on the side of the road and can't get your car to turn on, these could help you get through the night even if they got wet in the snow.

5. Raisins, jerky, protein bars, and other snacks

Unsplash- Granola and fruits

You don't wait to be munching on your leather boots if you get stuck, do you? Snacks like protein bars, raisins and jerky can help keep you awake and feeling well if you're stuck for an extended period of time... or if you have a hungry toddler. Either one.

6. Manually powered flashlights and candles

Unsplash- Candles

Hand-powered flashlights will be your best friend. By cranking the flashlight, you can power the light without worrying about dead batteries. If that's not a viable option, candles are a good backup.

7. Batteries

Giphy- Battery charging

Not into hand-powered flashlights? Have a medical device? Packing a few AA and AAA batteries could be helpful.

8. Distress flags

FLickr- Orange flags

Distress flags aren't dissimilar to flares and reflective triangles, but the added object never hurts. flag down drivers using these and get help sooner.

9. A whistle

Flickr- Crossing guard with whistle

We have three items to grab people's attention, but why not add a fourth? Loud whistles can both attract the attention of drives and scare away some wildlife, so keep one in your emergency stash.

10. A car charger for your phone

Giphy- Dead battery

Keep that phone charged! With any luck, you can contact EMS.

11. Emergency blankets

Amazon- Emergency blankets

In case you need to sleep in your car overnight, emergency blankets can be real life savers. Most emergency blankets are designed to trap your body heat in and use it to warm you during the night.

12. A first aid kit

Flickr- First aid kit

Whether you were in a crash or were attacked by a wild squirrel (should've brought that whistle!), you're likely going to need that first aid kit. Keep this nearby and you'll be able to treat any minor injuries you get.

13. A pocket knife 

Flcikr- Hunting pocket knife

If the whistle doesn't work, a pocket knife can be used to protect you in bad situations.

14. Medications

Flickr- Medication bottle

Prescription and non-prescription medications can be vital in these situations. If you're ill, unable to think clearly, or depressed, you'll be unable to escape as quickly. If possible, store a week's worth of medications in your first aid kit.

15. Money

FLcikr- Money in man's pocket

This is always a good one, no matter the time of year.

16. Battery powered radios

Flickr- battery powered radio

Keep up to date, aware of the situations around you, and know when truckers may be passing your area. At the very least, it'll keep you awake.

17. An external battery

Flickr- Jumper cables

External batteries can help jump start your car. You don't even need another car!

18. An air compressor

Amazon- Automatic air compressor

Fix those flats on the go!

19. Seat belt cutters

Amazon- Seat belt cutter

Keep this near you at all times! If your seat belt ever locks and you're unable to escape, seat belt cutters will come in handy.

20. A FireCord

Amazon- FireCord

FireCords are flammable cords of fabric-like material that you can use to start a fire. Nifty, right?

21. A collapsible shovel

Giphy- German shepard shoveling

When you need more than just kitty litter, grab a collapsible shovel. Miniature shovels tend to break more easily, so invest those extra dollars.

22. A tool kit

Flickr- Tool kit

Doubling as weapons, a tool kit is vital to aspiring mechanics. At the very least, you can make quick repairs.

23. Duct tape

Flickr- Duct tape

Have you ever heard the rumor that duct tape can solve anything? Well, that's almost true. At the very least, you can use it for makeshift repairs until you get to the next town.

24. Warm clothes

Flickr- Baby in warm clothes

If worst comes to worst, you can huddle up in your three layers of shirts and wrap yourself in your emergency blanket. Additionally, if you opt to search for help on foot, these extra layers can mean the difference between life and death.

25. Maps (yes, the paper kind)

Flickr- Map

If you're out of service or your phone is dead, a paper map can help direct you to safety before your car runs out of gas.

26. A fire extinguisher 

Giohy- Jack Jack on fire

Cars catch fire. Need I say more?

27. Documentation

Flickr- US Passport

A state ID or passport can help both identify you in a life threatening situation and get you home more quickly. If the police come and for some reason you don't have your license, it can prove who you are and lend more credibility to your claims.

28. Hygiene products

Flickr- Woman holding packaged tampon

Who cares about surviving when you come out with toxic shock syndrome? Packing hygiene products such as tampons, baby wipes, and paper towels can help you avoid getting sick.

29. Boots

Flickr- Person in good snow boots

Walking in heels or sneakers could prove uncomfortable or even dangerous in the winter. Store a pair of water-resistant boots with good treads in your emergency kit to protect your feet from frostbite and make it easier to walk through high snow banks.

30. A travel kit or tub

Giphy- Packing GIF

Put this bag or tub in your back seat! Fill it with your emergency kit and viola! Instant safety kit for winter emergencies.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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