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The 9 Things You Need in Your Car This Winter

Minivan Stuck in a Snow Filled Ditch along Highway

BanksPhotosGetty Images

If you already have an emergency kit, well done. Essentials such as first-aid supplies, jumper cables, gloves, a flashlight, duct tape, a tow strap, and some simple tools should already be in your trunk if not for daily driving, then at least when you set out on a road trip. Here are some winter-specific items to include for times when the roads are covered in slush.

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Snow Socks

amazon.com

$99.96

When you unexpectedly need extra traction, snow socks are a space-saving, temporary alternative to snow chains. These fabric doughnuts fit easily over the drive tires and can increase grip enough to extricate a stuck car or get it up a slippery hill.

Spare Phone Charger

Eton amazon.com

A smartphone is indispensable when you’re on the road and is your primary means of rescue in today’s interconnected world. But to reach help you need juice: A charging cord is a good idea, but a hand-crank charger that works away from the car or when the car battery is dead is an even better one.

Wool Blanket

Pendleton amazon.com

$169.00

Your car provides shelter, but you don’t want to run the engine you have a limited amount of fuel and deadly exhaust may find its way into the cabin. To keep warm, use a blanket, supplemented by hand warmers when it gets really cold.

Road Flares

Aervoe amazon.com

$30.31

Battery-powered lights work for hours and are great for alerting other drivers if your car is on the side of the road. Flares may seem antiquated, but the heat they put out prevents them from being obscured and buried by driving snow. Plus, in an extreme emergency they can be used to start a warming or signaling fire. Flares are usually sold in packs; make sure you have at least three sticks.

Folding Shovel

SOG amazon.com

$29.99

$24.98 (17% off)

Shovels come in all shapes and sizes, but this one is a big upgrade because it collapses down into a tiny package when you don’t need it. But if you find your car completely buried during a snowstorm, you’ll be happy you have it. 

Windshield De-Icer

amazon.com

$28.75

Sometimes your car’s windshield de-icing strategy falls short, especially during ferocious blizzards. That’s why it’s not a terrible idea to keep a can of de-icer in your car. Its cap also doubles as a scraper. 

Flashlight

ThruNite amazon.com

$45.95

$29.99 (35% off)

It gets dark early in winter, so whether you’re caught out late at night—or just driving home from work—a good flashflight will help you access the situation. While a smartphone camera flash is ok, ThruNite’s Archer nicely occupies the middle ground between cost, size, and functionality.

First Aid Kit

Swiss Safe amazon.com

$24.79

This is a year-round item you should always have in your car, but especially in the winter. This one has everything you need, from bandaids to trauma sheers.

Water

The last thing you want to be without is water. Make sure you’ve got plenty of H20 around to last you through an unforeseen delay.

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