Things you should always have in your car this winter

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28. A stormproof match kit that protects and holds up to 40 matches. Pack them in the trunk for emergencies, like times when you’d be forced to actually light a fire

amazon.com Promising review: “I lit one in the kitchen to test how easily they started. Turns out it was pretty fast. So I tried to blow it out, then I tried again, then I tried again. Panicked, I ran to the sink and tossed it in the dishwater. It bubbled for several seconds meaning it was still attempting to burn while submerged. Holy crap! I’m assuming since they could withstand three sturdy blows and submerging in dishwater, they’ll probably work when you’re trying to light them in your mom’s basement under the leaky pipes while testing your tactical survival gear.” —Alex Get it from Amazon for $11.30 (available in three colors).

9. A two-pack of auto insurance and registration document wallet holders for those unfortunate times when you’d be asked to produce your insurance or registration information. At least you’ll know exactly where they are

Amazon Promising review: “I was getting tired of having my insurance and registration paper just thrown in my glove box haphazardly. Not only did it look tacky but digging through the glove box was more of a pain when you had to deal with loose papers in the glove box. I tried this out to have some structure in my glovebox and I’m pretty happy with it so far. Plus, it looks better and organized in my glovebox.” —Jared Get it from Amazon for $3.80.

2. Bow hunting

Some would say that this is the “manliest” thing to do out there, but it is not the reason why I chose this activity. Hunting is one of the primal human means of survival, but it has been made obsolete by modern society. When you go to the wilderness searching for prey, you connect to something deeper within you that has been neglected for generations, and it is a life-changing feeling. There are a few reasons why I recommend bow hunting over using rifles.

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First, it requires some strength to wield a bow, and when you combine that with all the hiking, it will make your hunt a brutal workout. Second, it is fairer to the animals. Bow hunting requires a lot of skill, and the reach of the arrows is shorter than guns, so you will have to step your game up to be able to hunt something. Lastly, it is more fun, so get the best compound bow for yourself, step outside, and discover your ancestral nature.

Winter Accessories to Have on Hand

While not essential, there are numerous other items that might be worth keeping around just in case. You never know what might be useful, so here are the top things that online driver reviews suggest you keep around:

  • Things to keep your car clean, such as paper towels in case of a spill, windshield washer fluid, or even some polish
  • In winter, it definitely helps to keep a blanket or jacket in the car, and a foldable shovel might come in handy if you ever find yourself snowed in
  • Similarly, if a sudden downpour should hit, you’ll thank yourself for packing an umbrella or a raincoat
  • Some emergency food supplies might come in handy if you break down overnight. High-calorie food that provides a lot of energy is your best bet, but be sure to pack some bottles of water, too.

4. Windshield washer fluid cleans off the mess

        Credit:                      2010 Products

Credit: 2010 Products

If you always seem to run out of fluid right around the time your windshield is crusted up with salt, then make sure you’re topped-off before the snowfall starts.

Before the bad weather starts to hit, double-check to make sure your windshield fluid levels are full. You don’t want to get stuck without fluid after your windshield is covered in salty, icy muck—not to mention refilling the tank while it’s sleeting outside is less than ideal. Finding de-icer for your car in a pinch can also be difficult, as most convenience stores tend to jack up the prices in the middle of a storm.

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We recommend investing in some concentrated fluid, because one bottle of concentrate can make up to 55 gallons. That means you’ll always have some on hand, without having to sacrifice 55 gallons worth of storage space. Get 2010 Windshield Washer Fluid Concentrate at Amazon for $18.96

7. Phone charger

Charge your phone as you drive. Plug in when you hop in and never run dry.

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Now you’re all ready to roll in comfort and peace. If only all car salesmen would read this post and ask you next time you’re ready to purchase, “Now Sir/Ma’am, are there any critical essentials you would like in your car before you drive away?” Don’t be surprised if it happens at the time of your next purchase.

2. This emergency tool has everything you need

Credit: Luxon

There are a few essentials you should always carry in your car, no matter the season: a flashlight in case of a nighttime emergency, a hammer to break safety glass so you can escape if your car starts to submerge in water, and a pressure gauge to check your tires. It’s important to note that tire pressure can really fluctuate in wintertime.

If you’re like us, though, you want to keep your car as clean and uncluttered as possible. This single Roadside Emergency Tool features a safety hammer, LED flashlight, a seatbelt cutter, and a hand-cranking USB charger. We especially like this tool’s ability to cover the basics, as well as charge a dead phone. However, if you’re looking to build out a more comprehensive winter emergency car kit, read this round-up of all the emergency essentials. Get the 7-in-1 Emergency Tool Kit at Amazon for $26.99

Safety and Survival

You might already have an emergency go bag or kit set up. If you spend a lot of time in your car and it’s always nearby when you’re home, you could just keep that kit in your trunk — or create a second, lighter version.

In any case, your safety supplies should include:

  • First aid kit

  • Torch

  • Multi-tool (here are our five favourites)

  • Matches or other fire starter (Bonus: a candle in a can for winter emergencies)

  • Energy bars or MREs (the instant food that heat up with just water)

  • Water bottles

  • Weather radio

A few car-specific items:

  • Seat belt cutter and window breaker. Keep this in your glove compartment, not in your boot, obviously.

  • Flares or reflective triangle, so you don’t get hit at the side of the road in the dark.

  • Maps. Yes, the paper kind.

FAQs

What things are you required by law to keep easily available in your car?

While there are a lot of things you should keep in your car, only a select few are legally essential. You must, at all times while operating a motor vehicle in the USA, have a valid driver’s license, a copy of your car registration, and your car insurance information.

What are the most important things to keep in your car?

A simple beginner’s checklist of things you should always have in your car includes: a car emergency kit with a spare tire and tire-changing tools, a properly stocked first-aid kit as well as your medical information in the event that paramedics need to rescue you, legal documentation such as your license and registration, a fire extinguisher, and emergency contact info in case you lose your phone and need to call for help.

How do you keep things cool in your car?

The best way to keep things inside your car cool, is to keep your entire vehicle cool. There are some pretty simple ways to do this, as well as a few life hacks you may want to consider. Firstly, be sure to avoid parking in direct sunlight whenever possible. Covering your dash and steering wheel also helps to keep the ambient temperature down, and using a sunshade or window visor further helps in this regard. You can also rely on a solar-powered fan when on the move, since it won’t draw from the car’s electronics, which can actually increase overall heat instead.

How do you keep things in your car from freezing?

In particularly cold areas of the US, it is actually possible for certain liquids to freeze inside your vehicle. When it comes to the water flowing through your engine, you should be using anti-freeze. However, for bottles of water or other liquids inside your car, you may need to resort to a cooler. Yes, you hear correctly. Coolers are more climate-controlled than a steel box. The plastic maintains the internal temperature far better, especially if you warm it up before storing your food and drinks inside. This will help offset the slow cooling process a bit and prevent your goods from freezing or potentially exploding.

What are the essential things to keep in your car in case of an emergency? In the event of an accident or a breakdown, there are a number of tools and gadgets that can make your life a lot easier. A fire extinguisher will come in handy if you have a particularly explosive accident or your engine overheats to the point of combustion. If you simply have a flat, some sealant and a tire pump might solve the problem, or you can replace the tire with a spare and your tire jack. In either case, a reflective emergency triangle will help steer other motorists away from your vehicle and reduce the risk of further harm. Should you break down in the middle of a blizzard, attaching some colorful material to your car antenna can help emergency teams to locate you, although flares do the job even better. If you live in an area where it can sometimes take days for emergency response teams to reach you, it is imperative that you keep enough non-perishable food and water on board to carry you through.

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