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If you must leave the vehicle, write down your name, address, phone number and destination. Avoid Overexertion: Shoveling snow or pushing your car takes a lot of effort in storm conditions. Today I’m going to share something that’s not so much a DIY project… but more of a life saver. Even if YOU are a good driver… just remember that your good driving doesn’t matter because there are plenty of people out there who are LOGIC IMPAIRED.
Be ready if you have to spend a long period of time stuck in your car waiting for rescue IN FREEZING TEMPS (applies to most states). PLEASE be sure that your phone is charged before leaving the house, and make sure your gas tank never gets much below the halfway mark.
About UsThe Roosevelts are group of gents producing content that inspires, educates and entertains. As I type this, an “arctic air invasion” is pushing its way south to us in Texas, leaving much of the country feeling as cold as a mid-winter’s day. While I’m sitting here thinking of the precautions and preparations I’ll take for the impending cold spell, I wanted to share a list of the most important items I carry with me and how those correspond to preparing for cold weather.
During an emergency is a lousy time to think of all the things you should have been carrying. While a list is below of what to check, cold weather makes a few of these even more important, such as ensuring your antifreeze level and type of mixture is good to go, putting a winter-specific “no-freeze” windshield wiper fluid mix into your fluid reservoir and keeping the gas tank as close to full as possible at all times. One last note on your cooling system is to ensure it’s flushed every few years, the danger here is that after time, the rust inhibitors in antifreeze break down and make the fluid less effective. Many cables out there feature copper-coated alligator clips rather than solid copper, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You’ll want your jumper cables to be at least 12 feet in length, but longer is always better.
Having a flashlight with you should fall under the EDC (Every Day Carry) category for most of you, but it never hurts to have an extra in your vehicle. There are many different kinds of flashlights out there, but essentially two types of light, incandescent like the Surefire G2 in the photo below, or LED like the Princeton Tec Remix Pro shown. LED can potentially last longer than an incandescent and will keep running even as the batteries get depleted. No matter what you choose, just get something that works for you and will allow you to change a tire or inspect your vehicle at night.
A Jack and Lug Wrench (Tire Iron) are essential and without them you won’t be able to change a flat tire.
I carry a Hi-Lift Jack and a few accessories to ensure I can always jack up my vehicle when necessary on the street or when off-road. The most common vehicle problem is a flat tire, having a proper spare tire with you can mean the difference between making it to your destination or not.
Always check your spare periodically to ensure it’s properly inflated and there’s no cracking in the rubber. This includes a spare tire that’s never been used, especially if your spare is exposed to the elements like on a truck.
A small wrench set, socket set and a pair of pliers will do most of the tasks required, but throwing in a few screwdrivers, some electrical tape, duct tape, a tire pressure gauge and spare fuses will make it even better. While you’ll never know what you might need your tools for, you can get even more specific and just carry the common wrench and socket sizes for your vehicle. This of course goes back to proper vehicle maintenance to avoid anything like this, but who knows, it might be you putting out someone else’s fire.
There are quite a few vehicle Fire Extinguishers out there and I’m currently looking to upgrade the Kidde dry chemical extinguisher that I keep in my vehicle.
Fire Extinguishers made for vehicles will typically come in two different dry chemical configurations (ABC and BC), to fight different classifications of fires. Class A: Ordinary Combustibles – Wood, Paper, Cloth, Trash, Plastics and Solids that are not metal. Class B: Flammable and Combustible Liquids – Gasoline, Oil, Grease, Acetone and all Flammable Gasses.
Remember that dry chemical fire extinguishers need to be turned upside down periodically to loosen up the chemical that will settle at the bottom of the extinguisher. The purpose of an emergency signaling device is two fold, it can be used to alert oncoming traffic to your presence on the side of the road and can also be used as a distress signal in an emergency.
Road Flares are great because in addition to the two uses mentioned above, they can also be used to start a fire.
Activating a road flare is accomplished with a simple strike cap, much like a gigantic match. I carry six of the Orion Signal 30 Minute Road Flares with an integrated wire stand to prop them up on the roadway when deployed. Other markers available include brightly colored flags like an MPIL and reflective items such as collapsible Warning Triangles. I’m going to mention having a radio here under emergency signaling, but the type of radio, whether a CB or other variety is definitely a personal choice.
First off, as my friend Caleb from Lone Star Medics constantly states “Drink Water!” Staying hydrated can be especially important in cold weather, when you don’t have the heat to continually remind you to drink water. The potential of being stranded with just the items in your vehicle is a sobering reality and while food is important, water is even more important. MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are great to carry, but they’re temperature sensitive and need to be rotated out on a regular basis, especially if you carry them in your vehicle during the summer. The best plan is to try and stay with your vehicle if possible until someone finds you and having food and water can help make that possible if you ever find yourself stranded. A blanket is truly a multi-purpose item and can not only keep you warm in the winter, but can be used to treat victims in shock year round. Speaking of jackets, it never hurts to have a full change of clothes, warm undergarments, an outer layer and gloves to help keep you warm when changing a flat tire. The primary purpose of a Rescue Tool is escaping from a vehicle, which in the event your vehicles takes a dive into a body of water, you’re most likely not going to be able to simply roll down the window to escape. Look for a tool that has both a seat belt cutter and a glass breaker and locate it centrally where the driver or passenger can reach it, or have one for each. I have a CRKT ExiTool on each of the front seat belts, which features a seat belt cutter and a glass breaker. A reason to not go with a permanently attached rescue tool is that you can use it for rescuing others that could be in a similar situation, or need to be pulled through a window to escape a vehicle.
While a good knife should already be part of your EDC like a flashlight, it’s never a bad idea to have a spare with your vehicle. In addition to a knife, a good Multi-Tool will also come in handy and can replace needing to carry a few of the tools we mentioned above. I’m partial to the SOG PowerLock because of its leveraging capability, but also really like the Leatherman Wave I have.

While a full-on Trauma Kit isn’t always practical for everyone, having at least the minimum to stop traumatic bleeding is a necessity in my book. Whatever you decide to carry, just carry something that can stop traumatic bleeding and fix the bumps and bruises that come up.
There’s a few things I didn’t cover that aren’t necessarily in my top 12, but that deserve an honorable mention. I touched on fire starting with the road flares, but having the tools to start a proper fire if necessary is worthwhile to mention.
Our resident Eastern Sierra correspondent, Jeff More, wrote a great article on how to assemble your own emergency kit after realizing most out there are junk. Please consider joining our Crew Leader Membership and our growing community of supporters.
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Old man winter has finally arrived and with it the need for an adequate winter survival kit. The snow is falling, the temperatures are dropping and the great outdoors is beckoning. However, many make the mistake of going into this extreme environment without adequate preparation. Whether you’re skiing, sledding or just driving to some appointment, during the winter a simple activity can quickly turn into a winter survival situation. Make no mistake about it; winter can be both a deceptive and deadly time when it comes to survival. Getting caught in a winter survival situation without proper gear or clothing can do more than ruin your fun – it could take your life! While no one plans to get into a crisis or emergency during the winter, everyone should have a plan as to what they would do if it ever happens. Having the proper knowledge and well-practiced skills is of utmost importance. Equally important is having a relatively lightweight winter survival kit put together and carried with you at all times. Following is how to assemble a basic kit winter survival kit and is based upon the type of kit the author has used and recommends. For added support we used the Last Chance Belt to the Tan Molle Shoulder bag, which then became the waist belt for the winter survival kit. For carrying convenience you can use the single shoulder strap that comes with the Tan Molle Shoulder Bag or you can purchase an inexpensive double shoulder H-harness and attach it to the kit. Any winter survival kit requires a solid knife that can stand up to the rigors of a harsh environment. For this winter survival kit we included the Bushcraft Mora knifewith fire steel and diamond sharpener. This knife and fire steel combo work exceptionally well. Coupled with the mini inferno fire starters and some fatwood, it is the perfect way to get a fire going even in a winter survival situation. Wool will keep in approximately 80% of your body heat even when wet, doesn’t burn well so you can get closer to your fire (Note that sparks will smolder and burn holes in your wool blanket) and when stretched over head can also be used as a temporary rain shelter. Tip: Roll up your emergency tarp and plastic ground sheet in the wool blanket and tie the roll using paracord or bank line. An extra pair of wool socks. These are useful for makeshift mittens or to put over your boots for added traction in icy conditions.
Winter is a wonderful time to get out into the great outdoors and enjoy the environment the Creator made for us. There are fewer people on the trails, the air smells crisp and adventure waits around every bend. With a little forethought and planning a proper winter survival kit may be put together and enjoyed.
In this jar I put some essential winter items to help her feet, hands and lips during the cold winter months along with some delicious hot chocolate. That’s it!  Now you have the perfect gift for someone during these cold winter months.
Winter travel can be tough on car and driver, to prepare:Check your tires and make sure your chains fit before the first winter storm and check tire pressure during cold weather. Winter Driving Supply Checklist (pdf 214kb)Keep a basic winter survival kit in your vehicle: flashlight, batteries, blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots, first-aid kit. If you find yourself stranded, be safe, stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.
It is best to store items in your car, not in a trunk, in case the trunk becomes jammed and can’t be opened. About the Author Latest PostsAbout Mamasita AMamasita A, also known as writer Danity Donnaly, is a mother of three, a wife, daughter, sister, friend, employee, Midwesterner, baker, boo boo kisser, writer, shopper and more! Snow can plug your vehicle's exhaust system and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your car.
Many of us will be traveling A LOT (raising hand!) this holiday season, and I want to stress the importance of driving smart and bring PREPARED. If you end up stranded, run your vehicle for about 10 minutes every hour to stay warm to conserve gas and minimize breathing in the carbon monoxide.
DO NOT distribute or copy the content or share multiple images (including collage images) without written permission. Keeping your vehicle serviced includes ensuring your fluids are changed at the proper intervals and topped off where applicable. 16 feet is ideal for most situations and should allow you to get a jump from someone behind you if need be. LEDs nearly run forever and there’s no bulb to have to worry about changing. Incandescent bulbs are typically brighter than LEDs depending on what you buy, but they don’t typically last as long on the same set of batteries as LEDs. I made sure I took the time to teach my wife, Kelly, how to change a tire and that she knows where everything is she’ll need in her vehicle and how it works. With most Jacks, there’s a rod that’s used to turn the Jack to raise it, so make sure you have it. Hi-Lifts are great because they double as a come-along for winching or a jaws-of-life to spread a car door open in an emergency. Tires have a shelf life and a general rule is that a tire is only good for about five years before the rubber starts to deteriorate.
This takes a working knowledge of your vehicle and If you don’t have that, just go with a full set. If you can fit a full-size or folding shovel, I’d highly recommend one as well. How many times have you seen a car on the side of the road that was either on fire, or nice and crispy from being on fire? Here’s a quick primer on fire classes, using the wrong type of fire extinguisher on the wrong class of fire can make matters worse! If the chemicals become caked, the extinguisher may not discharge properly when it’s needed. This goes for those extinguishers you have sitting around the house too.
Carrying another way to start a fire with you is never a bad thing, but they do need to be monitored while in use on the road to ensure you’re not starting a fire and adding insult to injury.
Depending on the length, these can burn from 5 minutes to 30 minutes and don’t require retrieval from the roadside, as they’ll eventually burn themselves out. It’s somewhat thin wire, but even if the flare did fall, I feel they’d still be just as effective.

I have a CB hard wired into my vehicle that can pick up Weather Frequencies and I also carry a backup handheld CB.
Most of us drive along busy suburban roads where a Quik-E-Mart is just a few blocks away, but you’re not always in that situation, especially when traveling.
It wouldn’t be right to mention MREs and not mention carrying some toilet paper too, unless you have one that refuses to exit.
If you’re tight on space, at the very least toss a couple of space blankets into your trunk. I carry an Elephant’s Foot Sleeping bag in my FJ, which is just the lower half of a sleeping bag that has suspenders to go over a jacket.
They’re supposed to clip onto the seatbelt and be removable in an emergency, but mine kept falling off so often, I wired them on. While more of a weapon-specific tool, my favorite pair of Multi-Tool pliers is on the Multitasker Series 3, hands down. Having the basics with you like bandages and common medications is always a good thing and is why in addition to our ITS ETA and EDC Trauma Kits, we also assembled a Boo-Boo Kit. I won’t turn this into a sales pitch for our medical line-up, but I think we have some of the best kits and supplies available out there. Also carrying an empty fuel tank or collapsible container that can be used for fuel would be a great addition, but I did mention to try to always keep your fuel level as full as possible. Stick some cash and coins in your vehicle to be prepared and don’t spend it on fast food when you’re scrounging for change on the floor board. His write-up isn’t cold weather specific, but still has a lot of great points, like spending your money well and buying quality items. Having some important supplies and keeping your vehicle in top condition, move the odds further in your favor. Instead of simply asking for your support with donations, we’ve developed a membership to allow our readers to support what we do and allow us to give you back something in return. I don't think most people carry a spare, even if you did you'd have to keep it charged and a flat battery is one of the easiest car problems to temporarily work around. Kit contains life essential items used for signaling rescuers, staying dry, starting a fire or treating an injury. The added stove and canteen cup are great for cooking and eating. And, it all nests together for one great package which fits in a standard USGI Molle canteen pouch.
You already have a knife and any old pointed stick will work for a fork, but a spoon is a really indispensible part of the winter survival kit. It should be stainless steel or titanium, as a plastic spoon will melt in a hot canteen cup, food canister or when stirring your meal over coals. Even if you don’t live where it snows, it is important to be ready for an emergency when the temperatures drop. Snacks such as energy bars, nuts, peanut butter, raisins and even mini candy bars are good. Put the batteries in backwards so they won’t burn out; just remember you will have to insert properly before you can use the flashlight. Do not overexert yourself, however, since being sweaty with damp clothing can increase your risk of hypothermia.
You want something you can access easily, but that will keep the kit secure and safe.  Even if you are not planning a long trip, it is better to be safe than sorry. I live on the coast of Alabama and it actually dusted snow here last winter- which is pretty much unheard of! When I lived in Minnesota, I always had a winter survival kit in the back of the car – I usually threw in some snacks and a gallon of water just in case.
I put together a Winter Emergency Kit for our vehicle a couple years ago, and keep it in my car at all times. If there’s any snow in your tailpipe, all the exhaust is coming right into your car… so crack your window too! This is the mindset portion of this article, take care of your vehicle and your vehicle will take care of you. If you have an aftermarket lift on your vehicle, I’d hope you don’t need me telling you this, but your factory jack might not reach high enough anymore to enable you to change a flat. Not everyone has the space to carry a full-size spare, but it you can, you won’t have to worry about driving around on an insufficient tire until you can get your flat fixed.
While hopefully the answer is “not often,” it does happen and having a Fire Extinguisher with you could mean the difference between a burnt hose and a burnt car.
There’s a fantastic 2005 study (link to PDF) done by Penn State Transportation Research which analyzes the effectiveness of Orion Signals Emergency Road Flares in enhancing the “safety zone,” or the area which is created by the presence of safety devices.
Chemlights can work here as well, but may not be seen until an oncoming vehicle is close to your position.
It’s a space saver that’s designed to work in coordination with a good jacket to make up for the lack of a top. I’m still looking for a tool that offers the versatility of the ExiTool, but is made better. Last, but not least, a windshield scraper for ice is a cheap tool to toss in your glove box. Be prepared for an emergency, so you can reduce the risk of being stuck and increase the chances for being found.
For those who could possibly be unfamiliar with a Jack and Lug Wrench, a Jack is what lifts the vehicle to change a tire, and a Lug Wrench is what you use to remove the lug nuts that hold your wheel on.
I’ve also upgraded my Lug Wrench to a Gorilla Power Wrench, which is a compact tool that extends to provide even more leverage when removing lug nuts. Hopefully you never have to use your survival kit, but if you ever need it, you will be glad you planned ahead. If you're with someone else, make sure at least one person is awake and keeping watch for help at all times. Program your radio for traffic reports and emergency messages (for WSDOT radio: 530 and 1610 AM).
I think it is good to have these things in your car pretty much all the time year round- you just never know when you might need a flashlight or a protein bar- down here at the beach, I also always keep baby powder because it helps get the sand off of skin.

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