Winter weather is almost here. Being prepared can save yourself a headache or a freezing afternoon. Here are 13 items you’ll want to keep in your car during the winter – and a couple you may want to keep in your car year-round.
1. Ice Scraper
2. Snow Brush
These two are combined because they are often found together. The one I have has an ice scraper on one side and a snow brush on the other. But, they can also be bought separately if you don’t have space for the combo version. If you’re short, like me, you’ll want to make sure to get a long-handled version so you can reach as much as possible. And while you’re clearing your car off, don’t forget to make sure you can see out of your mirrors and that your headlights and brake lights are cleared off.
3. Windshield Washer Fluid
Keep an extra bottle in your car, just in case. There’s nothing more frustrating than running out and not having time to replace it for weeks, especially in the winter. Make things easy on yourself and just have it on-hand.
4. First-aid kit
This is one of those items that you should always keep in your car. It’s a good idea to keep a simple first-aid kit handy, just in case.
Just in case your headlights aren’t working or you have to leave your car and walk while it’s dark out. Keeping an extra set of batteries in the car can be helpful, as well.
If you get stuck, having a shovel on-hand is always a good idea. Sometimes your only option to get yourself out is just going the old fashioned way – shoveling yourself out. If you live or work someplace that gets plowed while your car is parked, this might come in handy more often than you think it will. Smaller car-drivers may need to shovel their cars out of parking spots fairly often.
7. Snow Boots
This is where having a pair of snow boots in the car is also helpful. I don’t wear snow boots into work or while I’m out running errands too often. But, when I have to dig my car out, I probably don’t want to walk around in whatever shoes I wore all day. So, I keep a pair of snow boots (and thick socks) in my trunk and slip them on when I need to shovel my car out.
8. Kitty litter or sand
If you get stuck, sometimes all you need is a little extra traction. Keeping a bag of sand or kitty litter around can be helpful to get your car moving again. Plus, if you get a heavy bag or two, having the extra weight in the back of your car can help with traction a bit, too.
9. Jumper cables
Jumper cables are a good item to keep in your car year round. But add that cold weather and batteries don’t get along too well and you’ll definitely want to keep them in your car for winter. Keep a set of jumper cables in your car for those times when you don’t plan to have something go wrong; those extra-cold mornings where your car just won’t start.
If you do get stuck or find yourself in a situation where you need to call for help, stash a nice warm blanket in your car. That way you won’t be freezing while you’re waiting.
11. Heavy Coat
If you need to leave your car and walk somewhere or need to dig yourself out, a heavy coat is helpful to keep in your car. You can bundle up or replace the nicer coat you wore to be in public for an extra-huge parka to keep warm.
12. Hat and Gloves
A hat and gloves are good to keep in your car for any situation. Your heater stops working, you have to walk somewhere, you have to wait for help or you just get cold while driving. Having some way to keep yourself warm is a good idea.
13. Phone Charger
This may seem a little silly, but if you get stuck somewhere or need to call for help, having a dead phone isn’t very helpful. As long as your battery is running, you can charge your phone a bit. Keep a charger in your car so you can call for help in case you need to.