Most people keep ice scrapers and brushes in their cars for winter. That is a good start, but there are several more things that you should make sure that you have in your car. These are 10 of the essential items for your car in the winter.
Kitty litter may seem unusual, but if your car is sitting outside in a snow storm while you are away from home, it can be a life saver. Unused kitty litter can be placed under and around your tires to help you gain traction in the snow and ice.
A portable or collapsible shovel will come in handy for those times that the snow is too deep for the kitty litter by itself. The shovel will likely have a sharp edge too. This can come in handy if your car gets stuck in ice.
No one wants to imagine getting stranded, but if you get stranded, you will want to have at least one blanket in the car with you. A blanket can be used in the case of either getting stranded on the side of the road to wait out the storm or in the case of an accident.
Flares can be seen in the snow or in normal road conditions. Flares can be used to let other drivers know you either need help or are stopped on the side of the road. If your car gets stuck in an isolated area, you will want flares to help mark your location.
Flashlights and Batteries
Flashlights are always essential and should be in your car all year. A flashlight can help you see at night if something happens on the car, a tire goes flat or if your car goes off the road. Batteries go together with the flashlights. Make sure the batteries are in date and the correct size.
This can be an invaluable resource. Membership in AAA will provide you with emergency roadside assistance, towing and gas. The program has trucks available on call all the time.
Gas Can and money
An empty gas can will save you time and money if you ever get stranded without gas. You will be able to travel to the nearest gas station and get a couple of gallons of gas to help you make it to a gas station where you can fill up. You will also want to have about $5 hidden in the locked glove box for just such an emergency.
Matches or a lighter
This will help if you need to build a fire or light your flares. Matches, or a lighter, can also help melt snow or ice should you be stranded in your car.
Cell Phone and Charger
This should go without saying. Never leave your house without your cell phone and a charger that works in the car. This is especially true in the winter. If you have an accident, get lost or need help, you can use your cell phone in most places to quickly call for help.
A small snack or other non-perishable food item should be kept in the car in case you get stranded somewhere. A box of granola bars, or something similar, would be perfect to keep under the seat or in a box in the trunk. That way if you are hungry, but it is safer to sit on the side of the road and wait for the storm to pass, you will be able to eat something.