The Survival Doctor’s Winter-Car Supplies Listby James Hubbard, MD, MPH

One of my Facebook followers recently asked me what I’d suggest keeping in the car for winter weather. I started to tell her to go to my website, but then I realized, surprise, I don’t have it listed. Well I’m sorry for that, but here’s my list.

  1. Cellphone. Always have it fully charged. It can be a lifesaver when used to call for emergency help, but even if you’re out of range, rescuers can use past signals to narrow down where you’re lost.
  2. Coat, hat, gloves. It may seem obvious, but how often do you just not bother if you’re going on a short drive to a convenient location? So, what if you’re in a wreck or your car stalls? And, after this year, we know that a short drive can turn into a multiple hours traffic jam where you might have to cut the engine or even walk a short way for shelter in a store or office building.
  3. Blanket. If you don’t have room for one, consider a space blanket or three, which you can get in outdoor-supplies stores. They’re made of a thin coat of aluminum on plastic and are cheap and very light. They help conserve heat radiated from your body and are best used under your coat or a blanket. But even if you don’t have either, they’ll still help a little.
  4. Food. Store protein bars or other nonperishable snacks, and rotate every few months. Calories produce energy for metabolism, and metabolism produces heat.
  5. Bottled water. It might freeze, so be sure the bottle has a little empty space for the ice to expand without bursting the container. You could also keep it in your car’s interior rather than the trunk. This might keep it warmer, at least while you’re driving.
  6. A tin can with a lid. Keep matches, candles, and lighters in here. Also, if the water freezes, you could warm it up in the tin or melt snow for water.
  7. Battery-booster cables.
  8. Tire chains.
  9. Flares.
  10. Small shovel.
  11. First-aid kit. This should include adhesive bandages, a roll of tape (any kind), gauze, safety pins, and scissors.
  12. Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid. It takes up hardly any room at all.


What about you? Do you have these? Ever needed them? Can you think of something that could be added to the list?


>>For year-round survival, click here for your free copy of “The Survival Doctor’s Ultimate Emergency Medical Supplies.”


Photo: Flickr/Jim Purbrick, shared under CC BY-NC 2.0.