It’s January and it’s really, really, REALLY cold outside. Ottawa Public Health has been issuing frostbite warnings and anybody that’s had to deal with car trouble has also had to worry about loosing some key extremities to the freezing cold. In an effort to help people keep all their fingers and toes this winter, we’ve put together a list of items you should consider keeping in your vehicle.
Some of what’s on the list is available here at Perth Kia but the majority of it can be found at Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart. We recommend storing the items safely in your vehicle. If your vehicle isn’t equipped with storage compartments, purchase a box that can be easily secured. Some already come with cargo compartments for storage. For instance, if you’re lucky enough to be driving The Kia Rondo with the Floor storage you’ll be able to store many of the items in the floor and out of the way.
Depending on your travelling habits, you may not need everything on this list but keep an open mind and remember – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Blankets and Warm Clothes:
Keep plenty of blankets in your vehicle. They have multiple purposes from first aid to simply keeping warm…and if your car breaks down and you’re stuck with no way out for an extended period of time, blankets along with shelter will keep you alive. You can also keep a change of clothes if you want but an extra pair of gloves, a tuque and socks is important.
First Aid Kit:
Purchase a basic first aid kit that can be kept in your vehicle year round. It’s also a good idea to have some type of first aid reference guide. Stock up on some dried food or snacks and throw in a few lighters and matchbooks too.
Jumper Cables and Tools:
Battery faults are the most common reason for breakdowns. They can die any time of the year but are especially vulnerable during winter because the cold causes battery power output to drop, they also don’t charge as well or as quickly and their load increases. Keeping some tools is always a good idea. Even if you don’t know how to fix anything on your vehicle, someone who stops to help out might.
Brush and Ice Scraper:
A cause for many bad accidents during winter is flying debris from vehicles covered in ice and snow that weren’t cleaned off properly prior to hitting the road. Be sure to have a brush and ice scraper handy for your safety and everyone else’s.
Make sure you have a spare tire with you as well as the tools required to install it. If you’re driving long distances or are often in the middle of nowhere; bring an air compressor with an easy power source and emergency flat tire sealant also.
Flashlight and Extra Batteries:
Find a powerful flashlight for your kit and if possible bring 2 of them. Aside from being a light source, it can be used to signal people in a storm. Pack multiple types of extra batteries too.
You should consider purchasing collapsible shovel if you don’t have one. They take up little space and come in handy if your vehicle gets stuck in the snow and you need to dig it out. For, “middle of nowhere long distance drivers”, also consider putting a bag of sand in your trunk for added weight and additional traction to your rear tires. Use the sand if you’re vehicle’s stuck in the snow
The majority of people today have a cellphone but if you’re driving long distances; bring a spare pay as you go phone. Store it in a Ziploc bag and wrap it in one of the blankets so that the cold doesn’t damage it over time. Have extra batteries and be sure to have a charger in your vehicle also.
Windshield Washer Fluid:
Visibility is always an issue during winter. If it’s not snowing, then the wind is blowing snow around obscuring your vision. Your windshield gets dirty fast…be sure to always have spare windshield washer fluid. Also, use cold weather fluid otherwise it can just make things worse.
Thanks for reading and have a great 2015.