In northern climates winter weather claims lives of travelers every year.
Why not be prepared ahead of time with items that will keep you safe in the event of a vehicle breakdown? These items will earn their weight if you find your ride buried in the snow.
A well prepared vehicle that is up to date on oil changes, maintenance, good tires and a full tank of gas is a good start. If you find that is not enough to start that vehicle out in the sticks you are in trouble. If you slide off the road into a frozen ditch you might be in for a long wait. A fully charged cell phone in many cases might also save the day.
I have examined this emergency situation as the normal breakdown and wait or walk for help scenario in the north. If you are traveling in the far back country in winter have a full winter camping kit with you including gas stoves for cooking and melting ice and snow for water.
1. Winter boots and insulated socks
Many drivers are guilty of only wearing lightweight shoes (or heels for the ladies) while commuting to work. How well will you be able to walk in snow and on ice to get help? Ever shovel snow in high heels? Pack boots and insulated socks to keep frostbite at bay and protection from a fall on ice.
2. Heavy coat
A proper heavy coat in winter conditions is crucial. Even better add the old dress in layers lesson to avoid becoming over heated when walking out or trying to extricate your stricken vehicle from the icy abyss just off the road.
3. Insulated pants or overalls
A heavy coat works great but insulated pants keeps you warm from the waist down. Always keep a pair in your winter traveling vehicle.
4. Heavy hat that covers the ears
Way too much heat is lost out of your head. Cover it up with a warm hat with ear flaps or a proper hood.
5. Scarf or neck gaiter
Keeping your neck warm will allow you to stay much warmer over your whole body. Cover that nose to avoid frostbite.
6. Wet proof insulated gloves
Digging out a vehicle from the clutches of snow and ice will destroy your hands in short order. Better have gloves that will hold heat well and are highly resistant to getting wet. Pockets in your coat only can offer so much protection and you will not be able to work on necessary survival projects.
7. Wool blanket or two
Wool is king along with down. Wool will still retain heat when wet unlike down will though. Waiting for a tow truck under a wool blanket is much better that trying to constantly run a vehicle.
8. Food & water
Snacks are great when the time to wait is little. A proper meal is much better for long term winter survival.
9. Survival kit
Slip a survival kit in your pocket if you are headed out to get help from a stranded vehicle.
10. Snow shovel, tow rope, flashlights and ice scraper
The proper tools for survival are priceless when they are most needed. Take careful stock of what you should be carrying for your own travels to maximize your abilities in an otherwise bad situation.