49 Essentials for Your Winter Car Emergency Kit

Your car battery dies on an isolated snow covered road at dusk. While you wait for another car to appear on the horizon, you realize your cell phone battery is near dead. The cold air makes its way into your car and drops your body temperature. At this moment, you realize you should have prepared a winter emergency car kit.

When I asked people in the LifeView Outdoors store if they had an emergency car kit this winter, they all said no, and they’re not alone. According to most emergency responders, the general public is not prepared for a crisis. To help, we compiled 49 essentials for your winter car emergency kit.


1. First aid kit - a medical kit that can aid small cuts as well as a larger life-threatening injuries.

2. Waterproof blanket - use it to stay warm or make a tarp.

3. Headlamp - the easiest way to shine light while repairing a car or applying bandages.

4. Duct tape - repair and improvise a situation with all-purpose duct tape.

5. UCO Stormproof matches - a match that is waterproof and windproof can not be beat.

6. Bottled water - hydration is important to survive.

7. Folding saw - a tool to help clear fallen limbs from the road and to start a fire to signal for help.

8. Whistle - another way to signal for help is with a simple whistle.

9. Towels - maintain hygiene and clean-up after making car repairs.

10. Multi-tool - a myriad of tools wrapped into one clean handle can save you space and time.

11. All-purpose gloves - save your skin from cuts, burns and other injuries with a pair of work gloves.

12. Cell phone and charger - a cell phone can be your lifeline to resources and rescue teams.

13. Road map - when your phone or GPS stops working, a map can navigate you to the right place.

14. Energy Bars - nourishment and energy is important to stay alert and safe.

15. Batteries - extra batteries for your flashlight and other battery-operated gear.

16. Candle - a quick way to add heat and light.


17. Ice scraper - a cheap way to increase windshield visibility.

18. Jumper cables - jump start your dead battery with a 6 to 12 feet cable.

19. Tow strap - an affordable and quick way to pull a car out of a shallow ditch.

20. Sand or Salt - two ways to melt snow and add traction to slipping tires.

21. Tire chains - chains around your tires make it easier to commute through ice and snow.

22. Basic car tool kit - repair mechanic issues with a screwdriver, wrench and other car tools.

23. Road flares - signal for help or alert other drivers to slow down.

24. Collapsible fuel container - it saves on space and can be the best way to refill your gas tank.

25. Fire extinguisher - a small 5-lb extinguisher can keep your car from burning.

26. Seatbelt cutter - break the window, cut the seatbelt and know you have a way out.

27. Tire inflator and sealer - fix a flat tire to stay mobile.

28. Car fluids - maintain your car’s antifreeze, motor oil and brake fluid.

29. De-icer - melt ice from your windshield and windows.


30. Compass - a compact, easy to read compass can help you head in the right direction to safety.

31. Flexible 2-liter water bottle - a large flexible container for your water.

32. Water purification tablets - treat any water source with these tablets.

33. Compact shovel - dig out mud, ice and snow.

34. Tactical cord - use the cord to fish, hang clothes, make a shelter and other scenarios.

35. Glow lightsticks - a great light source that is waterproof and does not need batteries.

36. Metal tin cup - a container to drink, prepare food and melt snow.

37. Battery-powered radio - receive the latest weather and news reports.

38. Sleeping bag - an extra layer to stay warm if you have to camp out in your car overnight.

39. Mountain house food - an easy way to make warm food straight from a pouch.


40. Sanitizer - decrease the amount of germs and potential of illness by using sanitizer.

41. Hand warmers - you can warm up your cold hands or dry out wet shoes with the heat packs.

42. Winter weather attire - stay warm with hats, gloves and snow boots.

43. Book, paper, & pencil - entertain yourself while you wait for a tow. You can use the paper for fire fuel.

44. Spare change / emergency money - plan for an unexpected cost while on the road.

45. Umbrella - if you have to get out of your car, protect yourself from precipitation.

46. Copies of important documents - birth certificates, insurance policies and emergency contact information can answer many questions for rescue teams during a crisis.

47. Infant supplies - whether you have a child or helping a family with a child, you can make a huge difference with powdered baby formula, baby bottles and other gear.

48. Insect repellent - some insects survive the winter and can be just as pesky.

49. Sun protection - snow reflects UV radiation and can give you a sunburn.


No matter how prepared you are, mother nature can throw you a snowball or curve ball. At LifeView Outdoors, we care about your safety and recommend you to prepare your winter car emergency kit today. Most of the gear can be found on our website.


LifeView Outdoors prepares people for their adventures with the right gear and tech. Since 2005, the retail operation in Nashville, Tennessee has delivered award-winning educational content to outdoor enthusiasts and schools across the United States.