Posts Tagged ‘winter survival’

What should I put in my vehicle in case I am stranded in a winter storm?

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

stranded-main_FullWhat should I put in my vehicle in case I am stranded in a winter storm?

This article will help answer this and be your survival guide to increase your chances of staying alive if the worst occurs.  This article is not written as a survival guide that is guaranteed, it is just written to show you a couple things that you should be aware of and have in your vehicle in the chance that you are in a survival situation.  I am not saying that you should be somebody who loads there vehicle with survival gear, but I am saying you may want to consider having some items in your vehicle just in case.

Winter is now approaching so you are going to want to decide whether or not you are going to go ahead and purchase some winter survival gear for your vehicle or not.  You can do as little or go as extreme as you want.

First we will discuss some tips on little things that you can do to help prepare yourself in case you are stranded.  The first thing that you can do is keep your vehicles gas gauge always above ½ of a tank.  This will allow you plenty of fuel to burn if you are stranded allowing you to have heat.  It will also insure that you will not be left with only the water left in the bottom of your tank freezing your gas lines.  This will prevent vehicle trouble from occurring.  If however you do have frozen gas lines you can put Seafoam in your tank and try cranking your vehicle over, it should unfreeze your gas lines.  I would recommend carrying one bottle of Seafoam in your trunk in case this happens while you are driving.

The next thing that you can do to help yourself out in the cold winter without doing anything is to make sure to carry your cell phone.  Make sure that it is charged.  If you are sick of always buying new car chargers like I am every time you get a new phone try investing in the ATD-5951 Power Inverter.  This ATD-5951 Power Inverter will allow you to bring your home phone charger with you and plug it in to your vehicle.  All you do is simply plug the inverter into your cigarette lighter or 12v power source inside your car and turn it on and plug your charger in.  It is simple and will pay for itself the first time you do not have to buy a car charger.  They work great because in the cold winter months the cold will decrease the batteries life so if you are planning on going on a road trip during the winter the ATD-5951 Power Inverter will allow you to charge your phone giving you some peace of mind.

This next thing is common sense, but I figured with our busy lives it is worth mentioning.  Make sure to dress warm when driving in the winter.  I know that all of us get in a hurry and leave the house with just our winter jacket on, but if you are stuck or stranded you will need gloves and a hat so you will not freeze your fingers and ears.  If you have trouble remembering to put these on before leaving the house do what I do and just set a set in the glove box for just in case.

Now we will move onto some of the things that you should carry in your survival kit.  You can use as little of this list, or as much.  I will say the things first that I feel are necessary and will then add on some extras.  First things first you are going to want to have a blanket in your vehicle.  I am assuming that you are wearing a heavy winter jacket this is why I would recommend a heavy blanket that is extremely warm first.  This will help you stay warm in the event of being stranded.  You may want to throw in one old winter jacket just in case, this would be considered one of the add ons.  Next you will want to have a couple pairs of warm socks and winter boots.  Old winter boots will work just fine.  These will help keep your feet warm and prevent you from getting frostbite.  Now that you have your body warm you will want to make sure that you have some food in your car.  You will want to have some high calorie food such as nuts, candy, anything that is able to stand cold temperatures and still be edible.  If you have old snow pants I would also advise putting these in.  They do not have to fit the best and they do not have to be in perfect condition, but something to keep your legs warm is a must.  With the snow pants I would also recommend some warm gloves, warm hats, and any facemasks.  If you have scarves those work excellent for keeping your neck and cheeks warm.  Now that you have all of these items to keep you warm we will discuss some items that you could add to this list and make it even better.  You could add some cheap candles and matches.  These will provide some heat just make sure to vent the fumes and be careful not to catch anything on fire.  These items listed above will help you from receiving frost bite on any part of your body.  Frost bite can become severe and lead to some serious problems.  Make sure to carry warm clothing at the very least when traveling to help prevent frost bite from occurring if you are stranded.

Now that we have some warm clothing and food we will go into some of the tools needed to survive.  The first thing that you should have is a good set of booster cables such as ATD 7972 Booster Cables these will help allow you to start a dead vehicle if you are stranded.  The best option for starting your car would be this DSRPSJ2212 Schumacher Jump Starter this is an all in one jump start pack that will allow you to jump start your vehicle without having another vehicle.  Another Jump Starter that will not only charge your phone, laptop and Jump Start your car without connecting to another vehicle and fit in your glove box………it is also rated to Jump Start Heavy Duty Diesels which is the Cal Van 560 mini jump starter and comes in an organized zippered case with all the cables and DC charger included . You will also want to have a shovel in your vehicle in case you need to dig out.  There are small collapsible shovels that will work great for this so that they do not take up too much space.  I would also recommend a flashlight such as this . This will help you to have light while you are stranded.  This Master Appliance Triggertorch is also a good idea.  This is a handheld blow torch with a 2 hour constant run time life.  It is rechargeable and will allow you to unfreeze frozen parts on your vehicle.  It will provide heat if need be, and will also provide flame.

Now that you have a list of some ideas of what to have you will also want to follow a couple of these instructions.  You will never want to wander off during a storm you will want to stay with your vehicle.  It provides shelter.  Next if your vehicle is running make sure that the tail pipes are clear otherwise harmful carbon monoxide can build up.  And lastly keep hope.

I know that this article is a little different but with winter fast approaching we really need to think about what we should put in our vehicles preparing for the worst.  It is always best to be over prepared than underprepared.  For more information on checks you can do to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter check out this article How should I winterize my car?.  I wish you all a good winter season and please take the time to prepare and avoid driving in bad weather.

Written by: Cody Mammenga an NDSCS Student