Being stranded in your vehicle for whatever reason is no fun, but stranded in the winter can be a life or death situation if not prepared.
Here is a list of items to consider when putting your winter vehicle EDC together.
- cell phone (or any other type of communication device)
- list of emergency numbers (good if you don’t have them all memorized, but also good in case your phone auto locks and you’re unconscious allowing emergency personnel to get in contact with the right people)
- small battery bank to charge phone (in case you can’t start your car to charge your phone)
- flashlights (yes, it’s plural, more than one flashlight is ideal)
- food (granola bars etc because you don’t know how long you will be stranded)
- water (might be difficult if you don’t bring fresh water every time, as it could freeze depending on your climate, rotate often)
- seat belt cutter, glass breaker (I put these two together because they can work together to help you escape if you became physically stuck in your vehicle)
- flares (for visibility or for fire to keep warm)
- glow sticks (for visibility, being seen)
- lighter/matches (for fire to keep warm, thaw frozen water)
- saw (for fire wood or if a tree/ branches fell over the road)
- pry bar (never know when a handy tool like this is needed)
- tow rope (in case you just need a tow out of a ditch or similar)
- jumper cables or better yet, a battery bank that self boosts because it is good not having to rely on someone else if out in the middle of nowhere
- first aid kit (this is a given for obvious reasons)
- garbage bags/tarp etc (to keep yourself or other items from getting wet, wet + cold = very bad)
- shovel (full size is best but a compact shovel is better than nothing)
- sand/cat litter/traction devices (to help get you unstuck in snow or ice)
- blanket (mylar to reflect heat back to you, or wool or synthetic, not cotton as it retains water, more blankets the better)
- gloves and hat, winter boots (extra winter clothes in general because depending on where you’re going, you might be wearing something unsuitable for winter like work clothes, gym clothes etc. Also good to have if the clothes you’re wearing get wet)
Remember, redundancy is not bad with anything in your winter vehicle EDC. Also, be conscious of how many people can be in your vehicle at any given time, this will determine the number of items you will carry.
Whether you’ve never thought about putting a winter vehicle EDC together before, or you’ve been putting one together for years, I hope this list has made you think of things you might not have before.
If there is something I missed, please share in comments! I’d love to hear.
Safe driving everyone. Until next time.