Having essential winter EDC items in your car can be the difference between making it home, and spending the night in your car.
Imaging you are on the way home from work on a cold winters night, snow is falling, and the traffic is slow moving. You decide to take the next exit and hit the back roads. You get stuck on a hill and slide into the hedge. What do you do? If you are prepared, you should have the equipment to help you out of this situation.
The majority of people now carry a mobile phone, so communications isn’t normally a problem, provided you have signal, but there are a range of other items you should carry in you winter car EDC kit to make life a lot easier, and safer for that matter.
In this article, we are going to look at some other items you should always carry in your car during the winter incase of an emergency.
As wintertime approaches, I have been making some changes to my usual car EDC kit, and selecting the items I will be carrying with me this year. I have made some changes from last years winter car EDC kit, due to lessons learnt in the heavy snowfall we experienced here in the UK.
So, lets get to it, here is my winter car EDC kit list.
NOTE: This is my car winter EDC kit, I will usually have my usual EDC pack with me in the car, as it has essentials like phone chargers, leatherman, cable ties and some other bits and bobs.
- Portable Jump Battery Pack
A set of jump leads is a start, but they are not much use when no one else is around to get a jump off. A good portable power pack doesn’t cost much, and can really save your ass if the car battery dies in the middle of no where.
- Power Bank and Charging Leads
People seem to be using their phones more and more today, always on social media, it seems like an addiction, a pandemic spreading across the globe. This high phone usage means the battery on devices is being drained before the end of the day, so having a way to charge your phone is essential. Don’t rely on a car charger, as you might have to walk somewhere…
- USB Re-chargable Head Lamp
Another great addition to the winter car EDC kit is a USB re-chargable headlamp. Why USB? Well, most devices charge from USB now, so generally, you nearly always have access to a USB port. If you have a portable power bank for your phone, it can be used to charge your headlamp too! Don’t skimp and buy some cheap crap headlamp, because, as the saying goes, buy cheap, buy twice!
I have done a review on a headlamp I bought a while back, check it out!
- Fold Up Shovel
A fold up shovel, or even just a normal shovel is a great item to carry in you car winter emergency kit. It can be used for scraping snow away from around your wheels to allow you to throw salt/grit down if you get stuck, and can also be used for shovelling grit onto the road to assist with grip.
- Bucket of Road Salt/Grit
Last year, I picked up a bucket of this from a pile at the side of the road. Combined with my shovel, it has come in handy on numerous occasions. I recall a evening last year when I got stuck going up a hill in the car, and if it wasn’t for the grit and shovel, I would have had to wait to be towed, as there was hills at either side of me.
- Snow Chains
Last year I bought snow chains for the first time. Here in the UK, we had very heavy snow, and it lasted for a long time, making a lot of the roads around my area impassable to cars. Snow chains made a big difference, and enabled me to get places I would not have been able to get to without them. Adding snow chains to your can winter EDC kit is a great idea if you live in an area that gets snow.
- Warm Clothing
You never know when you may get stuck miles away from home, or your car breaks down and you have to walk home, or to a friends house. A set of warm clothes in your boot can make the walk a little more pleasant. You should carry a heavy jacket, wool hat, waterproof layer and a pair of warm gloves.
- Change of Socks
A change of socks can go a long way. I usually keep a set of socks in my car EDC kit anyway, but in winter, I will change these for a pair of heavier socks. It’s good to have a spare set incase you get wet feet.
- Waterproof Walking Boots
Back on the topic of having to walk home. Having a pair of warm, comfortable and waterproof walking boots will make any walk in snow, or wet weather just a little easier. You won’t be battling cold and wet feet!
- Polarised Sunglasses
Polarised sunglasses are great for cutting out the glare from snow, and a pair with blue lenses are even better. The sun tends to be lower in the sky during winter, which can sometimes make driving hard. Having sunglasses in your winter EDC kit will make all the difference.
- Thermal Mylar Blanket
A thermal mylar blanket can be the difference between life and death. It can be used in a survival situation to keep warm, of if you break down, and need to try and preserve body heat whilst waiting for rescue in your car.
- Drinking Water
A few bottles of drinking water are great for a number of reasons, 1, for drinking obviously, and second, to refill your washer bottle for the windscreen. We all know how dirty the windscreen gets in winter time, and how annoying it is when the washer bottle runs dry! Keep a bottle or 2 or water in the boot.
- Warm Blanket
Stuck in the snow a long way from home? Heavy traffic at a standstill on the motorway? A good warm blanket is a great addition to your winter time car EDC kit. It can be used to keep warm if you break down, get stuck, or have to wait in the car for any length of time, obviously!
- Reflective Vest
Having to walk home? Make sure you’re seen by other road users. A reflective vest doesn’t cost much, and can prevent you getting hit by another motorist. On Mainland Europe, they are required by law!
- Windscreen De-IcerA frozen windscreen! I hate having to wait for the car heaters to defrost the windscreen. Carrying a can of deicer means I can get the job done fast, and be on the road. It’s also great for doing the mirrors.
- Ice/Snow Scraper
Pretty self explanatory. You would carry an ice scraper in your winter car EDC kit for scraping ice off the windscreen, right?
- First Aid Kit
A basic first aid should be carried in you car year round, but I just thought I would drop it in here as it is especially important in winter due to the increased risk of an accident due to ice and snow.
- Some Food/Cereal Bars
Having something to eat in your car isn’t essential, but it can keep energy levels up if you get stranded.
Some further points
You should always aim to keep your car fuel tank above half full, and always give yourself extra time for journeys in bad weather or driving conditions. Rushing causes accidents.