What You Need in Your Winter Roadside Kit

Winter roadside kit- scraper
Highways Agency, Flickr

The weather in New England continues to be frigid. But these conditions have not altered our desire for a road trip. We have too many places in our backyard to pass up. There’s Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and other northern destinations where we can ski, hike, snowmobile, ice climb, or whatever it is to satisfy that itch for excitement. Road trips are one of the great American pastimes, regardless of what time of year it is. While driving in the winter can be a little more hazardous, it doesn’t mean you have to cancel your plans. You just need to do a little more planning ahead. Obviously, you’ll want to get your vehicle road-trip worthy– but what kind of stuff should you take with you to make sure you stay safe?

Before you embark on your trip, here are the winter roadside kits you want to have.

Emergency roadside kit – These kits are fairly inexpensive and can contain a vast array of safety goodies such as jumper cables, general tools, gloves, flares, and even car care guides. Make sure you shop around and find the one that best fits your needs. Of, if you aren’t finding exactly what you need, make your own.

Winter Roadside kit – This kit is the basic equipment you would have with you during everyday winter driving. It consists of ice scrapers for your windows get two, one always breaks), can of de-icer, extra set of wiper blades – there’s nothing worse than having your wiper blade freeze to your windshield and then be torn off when your turn the wipers on, and a small snow brush. Your winter roadside kit will be your best friend when those flakes start to fall.

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Survival kit – Out of everything you pack for your trip, a basic survival kit is the most important. There really are an endless number of things that can go into this kind of kit. First, make sure you have blankets, warm clothing, gloves, hats, and boots. If your car breaks down or your clothing gets wet because you have to change a flat tire, you’ll be thankful you brought these items along. Also, bring extra food and water. This is more than just snacks and soda. Bring something you can easily eat that’s high in protein, like canned meats that don’t need to be cooked. If you bring canned goods, don’t forget your can opener! Other good items for your survival kit are flashlights and extra batteries, chemical hand warmers, a working cell phone, and a GPS device to tell you where the heck you are if you become disoriented. Also, it doesn’t hurt to bring matches and a candle, not for romanic reasons silly, but to keep warm in case you break down.

Dig out kit – The final kit is what we like to refer to as a “dig out kit” a complement to your winter roadside kit. Getting stuck in snow can be one of the most stressful things in the world. Without the right tools, it can be near impossible to get out of. A dig out kit is pretty basic. First, you’ll need a small shovel to help you clear snow from around the tires. Next, you’ll need either cat litter or a couple of pieces of old carpet to put under the tires to give you some necessary traction. A tow rope can come in handy too either to help someone out or for you to get out of the hole you are in. Pretty smart thinking, eh? We think so too.

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These four kits will ensure that you have a safe and fun winter road trip. It may seem like a lot to pack, but if you get caught in a blizzard, it sure is worth it.

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