10 Overlooked Winter Necessities for Your Car

Winter driving can be a challenge. Bad weather driving may entail being stranded. This becomes more daunting if your vehicle is not prepared with the essentials. Often, people disregard obvious items they should carry in their vehicle during the winter. A shovel is important, but it will not keep you warm. Equip your vehicle with these 10 overlooked but fundamental winter car necessities.

1) Warmers – Warmers are a vital item to keep in your car. This pertinent winter/cold-weather product is available in a variety of designs geared to specific parts of the body. You can purchase hand, foot, toe, insole, and body warmers. Variety packs, which feature a mix of warmers with varying hours of heat, can be found online.

2) Newspapers – As a winter car necessity, you can utilize newspapers in several ways. In a pinch, newspaper can be used in place of a windshield cover. It will save you from having to scrape ice. A few newspapers wedged under a tire will provide some traction if the car is stuck in an icy spot.

Of course, if you did not stock the car with warmers, newspaper offers some degree of warmth if you are stranded. They are especially good for blocking wind if you have to leave your vehicle to seek help. Wrap them around your body under your coat. Place newspaper in your boots for extra warmth. They will come in handy if you need to light a fire for warmth or as a search signal.

3) Winter Windshield Washer Fluid – Those who reside in states that deal with icing and cold should replace regular washer fluid with a winter mixture. A winter mix generally contains methanol, which delivers the de-icing action. This also helps to keep the fluid from freezing in the tank. Usually, it’s a critical item we forget about until we need it.

4) Jumper Cables – Most new or newer cars rarely need to be jump started. However, extreme cold can suck the life from a battery. In the winter, it’s a good idea to stick a set of jumper cables in the trunk. To be on the safe side, you can have your battery tested at an automotive shop or dealership. Naturally, you should replace an old battery before harsh winter weather sets in.

5) Extra Wiper Blades – Bad wiper blades are irritating and a driving hazard. It’s even worse to try to clear an icy windshield with blades that are shot. Wiper blades hold up only so long. Are you are trying to get extra mileage out of a pair that should have been replaced?

If so, pop a new set in the trunk just in case the wipers give out in a storm. Driving in icy winter conditions with worn-out wipers is an accident waiting to happen.

6) Blankets/Clothing – Most people don’t plan on being stranded in their vehicle. However, during cold winter months, you should be fully prepared for an emergency. The importance of carrying blankets and extra clothing is understated. Pack a box with some old sweat pants, sweatshirts, hats, and mittens. Don’t forget a few pairs of socks.

Extra clothes are essential winter car necessities, especially if the clothes you are wearing get wet, or if you are dressed for a night out and not winter weather. If you have children, pack spare clothes for them, too.

7) Water and Snacks – Carry an insulated cooler with bottled water and energy-boosting snacks like granola bars, nuts, or seeds. Hopefully, even if you’re stranded for a while, you’ll have heat in the car that will melt the water if it has frozen over time.

8) Toilet Paper – Toilet paper is likely among the most overlooked winter car accessories. A roll of toilet paper on hand is a blessing if you end up stuck on the side of the road.

9) Kitty Litter – Purchase a cheap bag of kitty litter, and toss it in the trunk. The litter works great if you’re stuck in snow or on ice. Simply place a few handfuls of litter under the tires. In many instances, it provides better traction than sand.

10) Lighters and Kindling – Although it may seem odd to put a bundle of kindling in your car, it could save your life. If you should meet with the misfortune of car trouble or have an accident on a less-traveled road in the winter, you may be isolated for some time. No one can predict when they might need to start a fire to keep from freezing.

As well, a fire can help searchers locate you, because it acts as a signal for help. You can purchase fire starters or bundled kindling in the home or outdoor section of most major department stores. Be smart and safe in winter by stocking your car with these overlooked winter necessities.

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