It’s no secret that being prepared for the worst helps to lessen the effect the worst has on us. This is especially true when it comes to winter driving. No one expects to be stuck or stranded in a winter storm in their vehicle, but it’s a reality. It does and can happen. To ensure drivers are prepared to last up to 24 hours in their stranded or stuck vehicle, it’s important to keep a survival kit at the ready. Here are a few critical items every driver should include in their kit.
Most drivers recognize the need for a shovel, extra washer fluid, ice scraper with brush, non-perishable foods, a blanket, flashlight with extra batteries, flares, a tool kit and other vehicle-related items, but what about items for the driver? If it takes hours upon hours before the vehicle is rescued, wouldn’t it be important to ensure the driver was in good health, especially in frigid weather? So let’s take a look at other items which can benefit the driver.
Getting stranded for a short period of time many drivers can make do and easily survive that ordeal until help arrives. Once those few hours turn into extended hours, especially once the cabin area loses the warm temperatures, drivers need to ensure they have the needed items to survive the night in their vehicle.
The first thing that comes to mind is additional clothing. Spending time in deep snow trying freeing your stuck wheels can often get the insides of boots wet and gloves soaking wet. Having an additional pair of socks and gloves can reduce the chance of having frostbite on toes and fingers. If the inside of their boots are wet, keep a pair of plastic bags in the vehicle. Once dry socks have been put on, drivers can then place their feet into a plastic bag and then into their boots. This can help keep their feet dry, plus the plastic bags act as an insulator.
After a while, the interior heat may dissipate so to help generate some warmth, a candle placed in a clean soup can without sharp edges and can provide enough warmth to keep the driver comfortable. Don’t forget a lighter or waterproof matches to get that candle lit. Since being warm is top priority, having a full ski mask or at least an extra toque will help to keep the driver’s head and face warm. This is especially helpful if the original hat was completely wet and cold from the outside elements. A scarf helps to warm up your neck and a pair of long underwear to help keep the lower body warm as well. To top off the ‘let’s stay warm ideas’, having a blanket can help keep all of the body heat together until help arrives.
The last part of a survival kit drivers should keep in their vehicle during the winter season would include an up-to-date first aid kit. Some products of a first-aid kit expire, so checking the items every few months would be a good habit to get into. Additional items would fall under the category of comfort. This would include dried foods for protein, a book (some rescue efforts could take multiple hours), a washcloth to freshen up and toilet paper. And trust me, toilet paper really is a comfort item.