You can never know what a Wisconsin winter will bring, it's best always to be prepared.
Most Wisconsinites are no stranger to the winter emergency kit, kept in the backseat or trunk. Even though the need for these kits are far and few between, when the need does arise, they could very well save your life. Or at least, help you avoid being stranded, cold, and annoyed.
So, where do you start when building your winter emergency kit? Many kits can be pre-bought, but most people have what they need lying around the house and can build their own kit pretty quickly.
Here is a Checklist for Some Basic Items Your Winter Survival Kit Should Have:
- Ice scraper and snow brush
- Phone car charger
- Jumper cables
- Portable Battery Jump Boxes are also very popular!
- Small first aid kit
- Pocketknife and spoon
- A multi-tool is a great option for lots a tools in a small space
- Bright cloth (tie to antenna or door handle)
- Packets of soup, hot chocolate, tea, bouillon cubes, bottled water, etc.
- Peanuts, protein/energy bars, dried fruit, etc.
- Socks and gloves (not cotton)
- 2 packs of matches.
- 1 pen light and batteries (keep separate)
- Collapsible or folding snow shovel
- Duct tape
- A bag of sand to help with traction
- A bag of non-clumping cat litter will also work well for this
For Storing Your Winter Emergency Car Kit:
- Water-proof duffle bag or backpack
- Plastic storage bin with a cover and lock handles
- Clear plastic is a good option as it will help you find what you need faster
This checklist is a good jumping-off point, and you can always add to your survival car kit over time. For those who are making long winter trips, we would recommend checking out this more advanced kit from Safety-Goods.
Winter Driving Tips
Just a few more quick tips and reminders before you hit those winter roads!
- Should you ever become stranded in bad winter weather, don't leave your car unless you are very close to help.
- Be sure your tires are inflated and have good traction.
- Keep your gas tank filled above halfway to make sure your gas line does not freeze-up.
- HOT TIP: Stuck without sand or kitty litter? Use the floor mats in your car and place them next to your tires and inch out across them.
- Increase your following distance to five or six seconds.
Best of luck out there!