Temps in the single digits…uncertain weather conditions
Once again I am reminded how dangerous it can be to be driving in the middle part of the country with its ever changing weather conditions. I drove 50 miles from my home in wintery conditions. The roads were snow covered even as the plows were leading my way. The temperature outside the car was a balmy -2 degrees. My hands were white on the steering wheel as I drove well below the posted speed limit on my journey north.
All of a sudden, the sky turned blue, the roads were perfectly clear and my way north was moving at its normal pace. Fortunately for me, the trip was uneventful. That is not always the case. A few weeks ago I remember hearing about motorists stranded on the east coast due to snow and horrible road conditions. Many were stranded for over 24 hours in the cold weather. As I prepared for my trip, I made sure I had with me some basic survival equipment in the form of a go-bag for my car.
It only took me a few minutes to gather what I needed because I already had some things on hand. If you are just starting out in your preparation journey, here are some ideas to get you started.
First off, you will need a bag to leave in your car year-round. It will contain different items depending upon the season. So today, I’m going to start with your winter bag.
You can use any bag you currently have but it must be something you can carry easily if you must leave your car for some reason. I purchased a backpack from my local 5 Below Store for $5. I bought a red one so it is easily visible inside the car. Be sure to keep the bag within easy reach, so mine is on the floor just behind the front row of seats.
Cold Weather Protection
Here are some items I have in my bag for winter.
- Fleece blanket
- Chemical hand warmers
- Warm socks
- Gloves, hat, scarf
Here are the items I keep year-round.
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Candles and lighter
- Metal cup
- Eating utensils
- Cell phone charger with cords
- Rescue Me device (cut seatbelts and break windows)
- Notebook with pencils, sharpie, pen, etc.
- Duct tape
- Space blanket (silver, lightweight thermal)
- First Aid Kit (gauze 4×4’s, roll of gauze, bandaids, etc.)
These are items I rotate out of my pack every couple of months.
- Water (I use a metal water bottle that holds about 6 cups. In winter, leave space for freezing.)
- Crackers, chips, granola bars
- Canned tuna or chicken with pull-top can. (The foil pouches also work well.)
- Beef jerky
- Food that won’t spoil if it get frozen or heated.
- Mints or hard candy
- Medical gloves
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
Winter weather can surprise us when we least expect it. Have your bag ready and be prepared!