Winter car survival kit

All vehicles should contain a basic car survival kit. Because anyone driving in remote areas, especially during winter months is at risk of ending up in a wilderness survival situation. Winter weather can be extremely unpredictable and unfortunately the wilderness is very unforgiving.

However, a little knowledge and preparation can go a long way in preventing survival situations. Here are a few important points to always remember when driving in remote areas.

Inform someone of your route

Always tell friends and family where you are going and when you plan to return. If something happened and you won't be back at that time, call them.

Lost or stranded

car survival kit
If you get in trouble you should stay with the vehicle. Studies show that you're more likely to survive if you don't venture out looking for help. Furthermore, since you have informed someone about your route the search and rescue crews know where to look.

With a properly equipped car emergency kit, you could survive in your vehicle for days if necessary. If you, for some reason, decide to leave your vehicle, only do it if the weather clears, and you have proper clothing.

Prepare your winter car survival kit

Prepare for the unexpected. Think of the worst possible scenario and prepare for it. Always have a survival kit in your car that never gets taken out.

Essential items to have in your car:

Flashlights and extra batteries.
A multitool knife.
Extra set of clothes - so you can turn the car off and still stay warm.
Extra socks, gloves and hats.
Waterproof matches and candle (- used to help keep warm).
Small can - to melt snow for drinking water.
Local maps.
Tools (screwdriver, pliers, wrench).
Road flares.
Jumper Cables.
Small shovel.
Set of tire chains.
Bottled water.
Food – e.g nuts, dried fruit or energy bars.
Cell phone - make sure your cell phone battery is fully charged.
First aid kit – and know how to use it.

Update the contents of your kit on a regular base and make sure all drivers and passengers know where to find it.


Never go for a car trip during winter time without proper clothing. That probably mean you have to bring with you a winter jacket and trousers, boots, gloves and a cap. You never know how far you will be required to walk.

winter car survival kit

Share your advice and tips

Have you created your own car survival kit, or maybe you have a story or experience to share? Let others know about it.

Do you want to read what other readers have said? Either scroll to the bottom or click here.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

The great urban wilderness - Yes you do need to prepare 
I've lived in the, west - southwest portion of Ontario Canada my entire life. This area is one of the most densely populated portions of the entire country. …

Too much can become too much 
I live here in the Rocky Mountains, two weeks ago we got hit with over 3 feet of snow in many places in the Denver area.I learned a long time ago to prepare …

Dad was raised on a ranch in Wyoming. When he married Mom, & she - the city girl from Back East - asked what the seasons were like, his response was "Two. …

Frozen water 
A critical question is how do you melt the frozen water in the bottles in your kit? All the water bottles, juice bottles etc are plastic. If you heat …

Suitcase of survival 
I had a small survival kit in my car. It was missing many of the items listed on this page. I had recently plan to review the kit, but was interrupted …

Car emergency kit 
You should add a roll of paper towels minimum, 2 or more heavy duty tow straps, a 2-ton come-along, an axe, youth size will do, a wood fired hobo stove, …

Coffe Can Kit 
Here is a simple, low maintenance kit, well suited for aviators who want something along, but don't want to make a hobby of it. “COFFEE CAN KIT” …

LED flashlight 
Recently, LEDs have found their way into all kinds of applications, but one of the most important, especially for those who camp, hike or even drive to …

Duct tape 
I will only make one suggestion - duct tape. I think it's a great survival tool. Duct tape can be used for everything from gear repair to first aid. Keep …

Winter Vehicle Gear Not rated yet
To prepare for winter (cold weather) driving, one must first know and appreciate what that is. We all too often jump into a pre warmed car, or even a cold …

Winter car survival kit Not rated yet
Very good article. I would just add a few things to the survival kit: Extra pair of glasses, extra pair of sunglasses in unbreakable case. fire starter …

Plastic bags can save you from frost bite Not rated yet
Any sort of plastic bag, can be put on your feet, under your shoes or boots, to prevent water from getting to your feet. Put 1 sock on, cover it with a …

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