When it’s bone chillingly cold outside, we feel it, animals feel it and so do our cars. Whether you have a new car or an old car, extreme cold temperatures can make them act up or simply not act all. So what do you do if you find yourself waiting for a tow, it’s -24°C outside and your car won’t start so there’s no heater to warm up with?

Towing companies are extra busy on these colder-than-usual days and evenings and you may be stuck waiting for awhile in those frigid, sub zero temperatures. In this situation, a winter emergency car kit could save your life so if you haven’t got one in your car already, don’t wait for a first-hand experience before you get one.

Inside Your Winter Emergency Car Kit

1. Warm Blanket

Staying warm in the cold can be the biggest battle when you’re dealing with a broken down car so a big warm blanket to cuddle up in is essential. Whether it’s a Survival Blanket or one of Woolrich’s wool blankets, you want a blanket that is large enough to wrap yourself up in and protect your body form the cold while you wait.
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2. Toque or Beanie

Having a warm toque or beanie to throw on while you’re waiting in the cold will keep your head and ears warm and avoid excess body heat from escaping. If you have a balaclava you find you are not wearing often, you could throw it into your emergency kit too so you can have total face coverage which would be ideal if ever you are stuck in a blizzard.
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3. Warm Socks & Mittens

Once your extremities get cold, it is hard to get them warm again and sometimes it can even be painful. Avoid frozen fingers and ice-cube-toes by stashing some warm and cozy socks and gloves into your winter emergency car kit. Something cozy and made of merino wool like the Wigwam Unisex Pine Lodge socks or the Icebreaker Lifestyle Light OTC Carina socks would be perfect.

For the fingers, I would suggest mittens over gloves because although they may offer more freedom of movement for your fingers, mittens are generally warmer. In either case, you could always add one pair of each into your winter emergency car kit. Picking a pair of mitts or gloves that are waterproof are great too so if you need to be outside the car in wetter weather you can keep your hands warm and dry.
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4. Headlamp or Flashlight

If you run into an undesirable situation at night, having some source of light other than your cell phone is ideal because as we all know, the cold also affects cell phones too. Find a small flashlight or a headlamp and add a pack of spare batteries into the kit too just to be safe. Some headlamps like the Petzl Tikka R Plus Headlamp are rechargeable so ensure that it is always fully charged to avoid any unpleasant surprises when you really need it.

For a flashlight that does it all, pick the Black Diamond Ember Power Light flash light. You have light and a USB port which you can charge hand-held devices with like your phone. This is ideal if your phone has died and you need to call for help or are waiting for a call from the towing company.
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5. Candles & Matches

When your car is dead, there’s no chance of using the heater for warmth so a blanket will do. If you are going to be stuck for an extended period of time, it is possible that eventually a blanket won’t cut the bite from the sharp, winter winds so a small candle can be a suitable source for heat.

Throw in a pack of waterproof matches and some candles into your winter emergency car kit. You’ll be thankful for them when the time comes and you’re stuck in your car and it feels like a commercial-sized refrigerator.
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Snacks & Water

You never know just how long you’ll be stuck for so a few granola bars to snack on and some water are crucial. Whether you stock your kit with bottles of water and Clif Bars or Probars that are quite filling or you’ve just got a box of your basic granola bars or fruit snacks, any type of non-perishable food that will satisfy your hunger.
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Winter Driving Necessities

Winter driving is serious business depending on where you live and you need to take the proper precautions to ensure that you are prepared. Aside from a winter emergency car kit, there are a few other items that should always be in your car during the winter months. These things include a shovel, booster cables, snow/ice scraper, a first aid kit and even some flares.

Don’t get caught freezing in the cold this winter. Winter weather can be unpredictable and result in unexpected car issues putting you in a dangerous situation if you are not properly prepared.