An unexpected auto repair or auto emergency is never a good thing, but in winter conditions, it can kill.  Whether you’re off on a Holiday road trip or just on a winter adventure, knowing the proper equipment for a winter preparedness kit can save your life.  If you are to travel anywhere that experiences major winter weather or drops to sub-freezing temperatures, carrying a kit like this may actually be essential to your survival.

How to Build an Automotive Winter Preparedness Kit

You will want to start with a big bag.  Something along the lines of a larger gym style bag will likely do the trick.

Staying Warm

I highly recommend having a wool blanket, as the insulation provided is exceptionally good.  If you prefer though, a good warm blanket will work.  Better yet, one of those wear it over your clothes wraparound or over the head deals.  Though they look silly, but in the event you find yourself broke down on the side of the road in terribly low temps, something like this can be the difference between staying alive and freezing to death.  For that matter, if you happen to be changing a tire in really cold weather, you just might be glad you have it!

Work Light

Having a flashlight is a given, but if you will be doing a lot of driving in these conditions, you may want to consider a light that can mount under the hood.  There are even some that are magnetic, allowing it to stick right to the underside of the hood, right where you need it.  Another feature to consider is the light’s power source.  Battery options are great, but then you also need to be sure to carry spare batteries.  If you’re looking for using as little space as possible, you may want to opt for a model that offers a cord to the accessory plug or cigarette lighter.

Windshield De-Icing

Any ice scraper will be able to be used in a pinch, but why make it harder on yourself than you have to?  There are a variety of options here.  You can easily find choices of heated ice scrapers, but there is a product called Heet Windshield De-Icer.  Spray a little of this on your window and it breaks that ice right apart.  Of course, you’ll still need to scrape it off.

Like I said, there are a variety of heated scrapers out there.  Depending on what you want to spend, there are options with a glove style mitt to protect your hand and wrist.

Another great tool for de-icing is lock de-icer.  It takes little pressure to break off your key in a lock when the lock is frozen.  You can spray Lock De-Icer right in the lock to free that baby right up.

Keeping Hands and Feet Warm

Because part of having a Winter Auto Preparedness Kit is being ready for worst case scenarios, this is an important category.  Let’s say you find yourself having to actually abandon your vehicle to seek help on foot.  It is likely you will not have on shoes appropriate for a trek like this.

Keeping a pair of CrossTrax slip on covers can go on right over your shoes providing increased insulation for your feet and offering nylon webbing that will increase your traction in less than favorable conditions.  These are even great in muddy or other wet surface conditions.

Glove or boot warmers can also be a great help.  In extremely cold temperatures you need to keep yourself warm enough.  Having some of these handy warmers is essential in my opinion.  They are versatile and can be placed anywhere from in your gloves to in your socks.  If things get too bad, you can always pack your clothes with some to help keep the body temp up.

 The Basics

In addition to the items mentioned above, you ALWAYS want to keep the basics with you as well.  This means having some bottled water and some food.  It doesn’t need to be canned goods and a can opener or anything.  Some great compact choices would be nutritious, vitamin and protein rich foods.  Granola bars or any of the many protein bars out there are great choices.

Get it Together

Now that you have a good list to build from, gather the suggested items to build your Winter Auto Preparedness Kit.  Grab that bag and fill it up.  If you have spare room, adding a few extra bottles of water is always a good idea.

Because Sanford’s Automotive Service cares, we want to provide you all of the information you need to keep yourself and your family safe on the road.  Unexpected auto problems or auto repairs are just a part of driving, but informed and educated drivers are always prepared.  If you find yourself in need of domestic or foreign auto repairs in the Columbia, SC area, drop by our auto repair shop on Wilson Boulevard or visit us online for a map and directions.