Necessities for Winter Driving
Be prepared for winter roads
Winter can be a beautiful time to travel and explore the outdoors, but it does require a little more preparation. There are maintenance issues that are wise to take care of (for example checking the antifreeze levels and making sure your lights and wipers function well). However, there are also several items that you will want to make sure to have with you if you are still planning on being out and exploring after the snow falls. Read on to learn the must haves to stow in your RV or car.
In the case of an accident or emergency, and extra set of pants, gloves, and shirt can make a huge difference in your ability to handle the cold temperatures. Make sure you pack enough for every member of your family, and that they are in an easily accessible location.
Multiple extra blankets come in handy not just in an accident, but also when temps are colder than expected during winter fun activities. When you return to the car after exploring, and the car takes a bit to warm up, it is helpful to be able to wrap up in something cozy. For emergencies, blankets made of foil Mylar are inexpensive and take little room, but are exceptional at reflecting body heat. You can find them in most sporting goods stores and online, and they cost as little as a dollar.
If you end up stranded for a time, snacks are a must. Things that are good to keep in your vehicle during the whole season include energy bars, packs of trail mix, dried fruit and jerky. These will all help give you needed energy to keep going. If you bring a pet along, make sure you bring food for them as well.
You just finished a breath-taking snow-shoeing adventure and return to your vehicle only to find it won’t start. Extreme weather can be brutal on batteries. Make sure you always have a set of booster cables – and that you know how to use them!
Flashlights and batteries
Winter days are notoriously short, and you can easily even with the best planning end up in the dark. Flashlights can help you see under the hood, change a tire, or signal distress to other passing vehicles. Make sure when choosing your flashlight to pick one that can withstand harsh conditions.
Winter roads have notoriously bad visibility. If you’re stuck on the side of the road, you want to make sure you’re visible – both for help and to make sure you don’t get struck by another vehicle. Emergency flares are great for roadside visibility, and if needed can also help you start a fire for heat in an emergency.
When it’s cold, we tend not to feel as thirsty. However, being hydrated can help regulate your body temperature and keep you alert while you wait for help. While there may be an abundance of snow, it is not recommended to melt and drink it unless an extreme emergency. Snow often contains pollutants, and you will not always have a fire readily available to melt and boil it.