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Embrace the suck
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776 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
May sound like a "Public Service Announcement" but its time to start thinking about winter and in-vehicle winter survival kits again...

Environment Canada is calling for a colder/snowier winter than normal in western Canada (La Nina effect) and this likely extends down into the mid-west USA. We have also seen the distress caused by last year's snowstorms that swept thru the southern US. If you MUST be on the road during bad winter weather (or even just travelling period in winter) you should have a survival kit in your vehicle. What follows is what I consider the minimum (modified from last year due to tips from this site:) )that should be kept in your vehicle if travelling in the winter. Snowstorms can hit just about anywhere and can wreck havoc on the highways (200 motorists stranded on a highway for 24 hours in Ontario Canada in Dec 10 during a major snowstorm and at least 1 died due to not being prepared)

Collapsible shovel (entrenching tool etc). To help dig yourself out or keep exhaust clear of snow if using heater to stay warm (carbon monoxide). If using heater to stay warm, run engine for 15-20 minutes, turn off for 20-30 minutes to stretch your fuel supply as long as possible. Remember to keep 1 window open just a crack for air circulation. By the way, can you off the top of your head say which side of your vehicle the exhaust is on???

Sandbag full of gravel, or my personal favourite, a 15 pound bag of kitty litter. To be used for traction to get unstuck;

Warm Blanket (or sleeping bag) for each vehicle occupant. If possible, all occupants should sit in back seat to utilize combined bodyheat if stranded;

Fleece top and bottoms for each occupant;

Warm hat, boots and gloves per occupant;

Flashlight and batteries - or one of the solar/crank flashlights;

10 - 12 candles (not the long skinny candles, the 1.5 inch wide, 6 inch tall ones that burn for 8-10 hours.) One of these can keep you from freezing to death in a cold vehicle. You'd be amazed at how much they warm up the air. On average, they'll raise the temp by 8 - 10 degrees F in the vehicle. They can also be used to melt snow for drinking;

Box of strike anywhere matches in a ziploc baggy;

6-12 power bars per occupant, you can be stranded for a while.....;

stainless steel mug per person. Can be used with candles to melt snow for drinking;

If you can ensure they don't freeze (ie bring them inside when not in vehicle), 3 or 4 large bottles of water;

4-6 signalling flares;

vehicle chains, particularly in mountainous regions; and

Coloured ribbon to tie to antenna.

Up here we always travel in coats and boots so I have not included on this list. Again this is what I consider the minimum, throw whatever else you want in as you see fit (toilet paper, extra ziploc baggies, a book). This easily fits into my winter survival go bag (less chains and kitty litter) and will sustain me for a minimum of 48 hours....
 

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Ná satail orm
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993 Posts
Hand and foot warmer packets, tow strap, and a bright orange reflective vest. All my winter gear I carry in the car is Blaze Orange so I can be seen in the snow. Also a permanent marker and one of those cheap yellow For Sale signs with a plain back to leave a note on as to which way you went if you have to leave the vehicle but DON'T leave if you don't have to.
 

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post-apocalyptic mutant
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716 Posts
Decent list, thanks.

I carry a spade in my trunk. The folders are too small. I don't like candles, I'd rather have flashlights and spare batteries. I also add chemical hot pads, large and small.

Hydration is seriously important, so I keep a few gatorades in the passenger compartment so they won't freeze in the trunk.

One last thing: I also keep a propane torch, plus flint igniter, under the driver's seat. A frozen trunk lock can keep you from your valuable supplies.
 

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Never Ever Give Up!
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975 Posts
This is something I don't know why more people don't keep in their vehicle. I keep at all times. We fish alot in the winter, and have needed stuff like this before. A smaller kit is also in each persons boat.
Complete first-aide kit
Two full size towels (you never want to be wet and cold)
Two wool blankets
A roll of toilet paper
Fire starting kit (three ways to make fire)
Two machetes
Two small propane bottles
One Coleman propane lantern (with extra mantles taped to the inside)
One Coleman propane heater
PUR Hiker filter system
Large Nalgene bottle
Complete tool/repair kit for the Jeep
2x 100' of Paracord
Extra socks and underwear
Leatherman
Swiss Army knife
Two extra clips of .45 acp
NOAA weather radio
One gallon of water
Extra Maglite
Bag of assorted Hot Hands
Small bag of snacks like cereal bars and trail mix
This is really just simple stuff that doesn't take up that much room when the back seat flips up, and you can store lots under the seat. The rest just goes in clean milk crates and food storage containers.
Everyone should have at least and extra blanket, towels, and water.
 

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Just a regular girl
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134 Posts
Nice reminder. I just put a set of warm clothes in the car for my kids. They change sizes every year, so I have to switch them out. Candles are a good idea... hadn't thought about that, and it's the one thing I don't have in my vehicle bag.
 

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Banned
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1,885 Posts
This reminds me.....I need to throw a windshirt in my car (In about 2 months)..That's about when it gets "cool" around here..I don't really have much of a need for a survival kit since I'm seldom farther then 12 miles from my home..I figure if it got bad, I could always run the first six, and walk the last six..
 

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trapper
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1,781 Posts
I have blankets,axe,shovel,2 bags of gravel, box of 6 8-10 hour candles, tin can, zippo,matches, lighter fluid, bag with dryer lint, 4 reflective construction vests, spare socks, shirt, pants, working on getting another pair of emergency shoes. tow strap, notepad, pens and markers, 3 MREs and some candy bars.
 

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.
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3,649 Posts
One last thing: I also keep a propane torch, plus flint igniter, under the driver's seat. A frozen trunk lock can keep you from your valuable supplies.
i have had that happen to me a few times with the door lock. i just heat up my key with a lighter. sometimes, it sucks not being able to get into your car at all.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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66,608 Posts
It's pretty easy to prep for winter down here. I change to a thinner oil (it's a diesel), check my antifreeze, and I put a jacket and rain gear in my BOB which is always in the vehicle. That's about all I really need to do here.
 

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Embrace the suck
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776 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
It's pretty easy to prep for winter down here. I change to a thinner oil (it's a diesel), check my antifreeze, and I put a jacket and rain gear in my BOB which is always in the vehicle. That's about all I really need to do here.
In my dreams up here. Last year I shovelled my driveway for 14 straight days (snowbanks were over 6ft tall when done - this didn't include the "normal accumulation":D:) and we had a stretch where even the local ski hills didn't open due to the combined temp and windchill of below -40 CELCIUS
 

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Burner
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668 Posts
Unless I missed it, those that carry candles for warmth, heating etc should have a way to use them that prevents them from tipping over and causing a fire. I use metal coffee cans for this purpose. I also punch holes along the top rim and with baling wire can make a "grid" to support a canteen cup for heating.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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66,608 Posts
In my dreams up here. Last year I shovelled my driveway for 14 straight days (snowbanks were over 6ft tall when done - this didn't include the "normal accumulation":D:) and we had a stretch where even the local ski hills didn't open due to the combined temp and windchill of below -40 CELCIUS
I remember laughing so hard. Someone was telling about just having shovelled their driveway when the plow came along and filled it back in. I love snow, but that much of it has to get old after a while.

And BRRRRR! I get shrinkage just thinking about -40C!
 

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Zombie Ron Paul 2016
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1,513 Posts
It's pretty easy to prep for winter down here. I change to a thinner oil (it's a diesel), check my antifreeze, and I put a jacket and rain gear in my BOB which is always in the vehicle. That's about all I really need to do here.
I remember when I was in El Paso telling some of my local buddies about the Midwest winters I've seen, one of them asked me if black ice was a real thing or just a myth. I laughed my ass off
 

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CdnVet0506, thanks for starting this post. I've been working on getting things together to put in my mom's car in case she has problems when she's out driving this winter. I hadn't thought of the shovel or cat litter. I also didn't think to have her know which side of her van the muffler is on.
 
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