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Gear and Supplies That Will Insulate You From Winter Road Hazards

Mother Nature is not all pretty flowers and warm sunshine. In fact, she can be downright brutal, especially as you hit the road during the winter months. It’s up to you and your vehicle to be prepared for her aggressive onslaught of killer cold, treacherous ice and mounds of unforgiving snow.

Your starting point when assembling your mobile cache of gear, tools and supplies begins with you and your family’s needs.

Survival, especially if stranded in sub-zero temperatures for an extended length of time, should be at the top of your priority list. This means that the basics must be considered first, such as warmth, food and water. Without these essentials, your survival clock will only be ticking downward at an alarming and life-threatening rate.

After your personal needs are met, it’s time to think about rescue or getting your vehicle back on the road. Signal flares, fluorescent dyes, smoke grenades and large brightly colored banners or flags all assist in alerting others to your predicament, while jumper cables, a reliable snow shovel and tow ropes can get you moving once again to your destination or the comfort of your own home.

No matter how certain you are that things only happen to the other guy, your world is very unpredictable. What you thought would be a scenic ride through nature’s picturesque glistening snow may turn into a fight to survive as white begins to surround and virtually trap your vehicle.

Survive Outdoors Longer Rescue Howler Whistles

Overview

It’s proven that the human scream diminishes very quickly in strength and volume with severe repetition. Don’t strain your voice or overuse energy when this small, effective whistle can do far better.

Broadcasting a piercing 110 dB signal, you’ll attract anyone within a mile or so of your location with little effort. Stuck in freezing cold? No worries. The fail-safe design prevents the whistle’s shell from cracking or your lips sticking to the mouthpiece. The howler is a small tool that does wonders when you’re stranded.

Specifications 

  • 110 decibel signal can be heard over a mile away
  • Heavy-duty unbreakable ABS plastic construction
  • Pea-less design won’t freeze or stick to lips in severe cold weather
  • Triple-frequency sound cuts through surrounding noise
  • Compact design fits easily into packs, pockets or glove compartment

MSRP
$9

URL
SurviveOutdoorsLonger.com

Survive Outdoors Longer Survival Blanket

Overview

The key to staying warm is to utilize the body heat you emit and direct it back to you, and this blanket does just that. Constructed of vacuum-metalized polyethylene, the material won’t shred, tear or rip like conventional Mylar blankets. It also won’t crinkle under heavy winds, allowing you a more restful sleep. With a bright orange outer coloring, it will contrast easily against a snow-white landscape, alerting rescuers of your presence. Sized to fit two people comfortably.

Specifications 

  • Reflects 90 percent of radiated body heat
  • Blanket’s material is waterproof and windproof
  • Survival instructions printed directly on the blanket
  • Tear-resistant; will last over repeated uses
  • Size: 60 x 96 inches

MSRP
$7

URL
SurviveOutdoorsLonger.com

Survive Outdoors Longer Pocket Survival Pak

Overview

Store it away and forget about it. That is, until an emergency comes your way. When stranded in your vehicle, you’ll have signaling devices, fire starters, survival tips and more at your fingertips and ready to keep you alive until help arrives. Nearly three dozen items make up this mini kit that fits easily in your gear bag, purse, or back pants pocket. A waterproof zip-seal pouch keeps all gear secure and ready for use.

Specifications

  • Includes signal whistle and signal mirror
  • Spark-Lite fire starter starts fires fast
  • Fits in glove compartment or pants pocket
  • Zip-pouch is durable, resealable and waterproof
  • Waterproof survival instructions by Doug Ritter included

MSRP
 $34

URL
SurviveOutdoorsLonger.com

Emergency Kits Compact Car Emergency Kit

Overview

Compact cars are just that, compact. Luckily for you, this small two-person kit will fit easily inside your trunk and will assist greatly if you get stranded by Mother Nature’s wrath. A durable duffel bag holds all the contents, such as drinking water, a window breaker/seatbelt cutter, an LED flare with flashlight, a first aid kit, hand warmers, a whistle and brightly colored signal banner. Don’t underestimate a harsh, cold winter; be prepared using this season-specific kit.

Specifications

  • Two people, three-day supply kit
  • Easily stores in trunk at only 9 x 11 x 4 inches
  • Non-slip storage duffel bag included
  • Large, easy-to-see distress sign
  • Food in kit: 5-year shelf life; Water in kit: 20-year shelf life

MSRP
$72.99

URL
EmergencyKits.com

Rapala Folding Pack Shovel with Bag

Overview

Never underestimate the amount of snow that can fall during a storm. Without this trusty shovel, you’ll be straining and struggling to displace all the snow that may surround and trap your vehicle. This wide, compact snow shovel can move mounds of the white stuff, enabling you to drive out to safety. This winter essential does the job of a full-size shovel without the added bulkiness and storage challenge during downtime.

Specifications 

  • Easy to store, transport and use
  • Unfolds to over 2 feet long
  • Durable construction will last year after year
  • Big, solid handle reduces user fatigue
  • Includes durable, high-visibility storage pouch

MSRP
$24.99

URL
FishHouseToys.com

Emergency Kits RoadMaster Emergency Kit

Overview

This vehicle emergency kit is a brute, and that’s a good thing! Offering one of the most comprehensive collections of roadside and emergency preparedness gear on the market today, it will have you ready to tackle whatever comes your way. With a snow shovel, tow rope, signal flares and jumper cables, your vehicle will get noticed, towed, or dug out with these indispensable tools. Add to this a supply of emergency food, water, first aid and fire starters and your survival chances go up exponentially.

Specifications 

  • Enough supplies for two people for 3 days
  • Heavy-duty duffel bag keeps all gear organized
  • Bright distress banner and orange vest attracts rescuers
  • Use in car, truck or motorhome
  • Shelf life: Food: 5 years; Water: 20 years

MSRP
$189.99

URL
EmergencyKits.com

Orion Deluxe Roadside Emergency Kit

Overview

The open road can be a scary and dangerous place when you’re alone and stranded far from home. Decrease your worries by carrying this Deluxe Emergency Kit in your trunk or on your backseat. This assortment includes three 20-minute flares, one reflective triangle, a bright glow stick, thermal blanket, orange vest, rain poncho, jumper cables, a multi tool and much more. All gear is aimed at getting you back on the road or to keep you safe while waiting for help.

Specifications 

  • All items packed in durable PVC-coated nylon case
  • Total 79-piece emergency kit
  • Includes essential first aid pouch
  • Size: 8.3 x 12.3 x 4 inches

MSRP
$42.99

URL
OrionSignals.com

BubbaRope Mega Gator-Jaw Synthetic Shackle

Overview

Large trucks and oversize SUVs get stuck in the snow too, so you’ll need a shackle that can tackle the job, and the Mega Gator-Jaw does the trick. With its stronger-than-steel breaking strength, you’ll be worry-free as you secure this shackle to your vehicle’s frame. With its uniquely designed button knot and a self-tightening loop, slip-offs are a thing of the past with this beast on the job. The rope won’t rust, it floats on water and features one-piece construction, eliminating the need for fastening pins.

Specifications 

  • 76,400 pounds breaking strength
  • It floats on water, making towing in swampy water easy
  • Very flexible, will wrap around even the most difficult pulling points
  • Vinyl urethane coating process for abrasion protection
  • Bow width: 11 inches
  • Diameter: 5/8 inch

MSRP
$149.99

URL
BubbaRope.com

Rothco Camo Fleece Blanket

Overview

Going high-tech is great for many things, but a simple blanket can bring warmth and comfort when Jack Frost’s icy grip gets ahold of you. Sporting a distinctive camo pattern and constructed of body-warming poly-fleece, this blanket exudes soft comfort as you brave the cold. Useful for both everyday as well as emergency situations, this blanket is a must-have for every wintry outing.

Specifications 

  • Durable material holds up year after year
  • 100% polyester fleece
  • Stores easily in trunk for emergency use
  • Size: 60 x 80 inches
  • Choose from four camo patterns

MSRP
$39.99

URL
Rothco.com

More Prepared Automobile Emergency Hammer

Overview

Slick, wintry roads can cause accidents so being trapped in your vehicle is a very real possibility. Increase your chances of escape with this handy emergency tool. Equipped to both shatter car windows and easily slice through seatbelts, this handy gadget should be kept within arm’s reach for on-the-spot escape.

Specifications 

  • Durable hard plastic and metal construction
  • Includes black holder
  • Protective cap prevents accidents when not in use
  • Bright, easy-to-find orange color
  • Hammer length: 7 inches

MSRP
$8.95

URL
MorePrepared.com

More Prepared 4-Person Premium Backpack Survival Kit

Overview

No time to assemble your own vehicle emergency bag? No problem. This kit does all the work for you. It sports a durable, easy-to-find red backpack filled with such essentials as long-life water packets, 2,400-calorie food bars, thermal blankets, rain ponchos, a radio/flashlight combo unit, glow sticks, first-aid, work gloves, a Swiss-style multi tool and much more. When you have little time to prep but don’t want to be left to the wrath of Mother Nature, this emergency kit could be just what you need.

Specifications 

  • Four-person pack for up to three days
  • Supplies recommended by FEMA and the American Red Cross
  • Long shelf-life food and water items
  • 107 first aid items for unexpected mishaps
  • The included backpack has room for extra items

MSRP
$89

URL
MorePrepared.com

New Millennium Energy Bars

Overview

You’ll never know when you need an energy boost, whether it’s during everyday life, or when an emergency strikes. Stash these tasty, fruit flavored bars in your pocket, glove compartment, pack or just about anywhere. From favorites such as cherry, lemon and raspberry, to more exotic versions such as coconut, apricot, tropical fruit and blueberry, there is a flavor for every member of the family.

Specifications 

  • Choose from nine flavors
  • 400 calories per bar
  • Durable outer wrapping keeps bar fresh
  • Great for kids and adults
  • 5-year shelf life

MSRP
$1.29

URL
MorePrepared.com

Cen-Tech 5-In-1 Portable Power Pack with Jump Starter

Overview

Dead battery? Low tire pressure? Working in the dark? No matter if you face one or all of these problems with your vehicle, this compact jack of all trades can help you through it. This power pack sports a heavy-duty casing, easy-to-read instrument panel and enough “juice” to get your car and your valuable electronics powered up and back in the game. With bright work lights and a compact design that will fit easily in most car trunks, leaving this behind would be a huge and possibly life-changing mistake.

Specifications 

  • Heavy duty 6 AWG booster cables with copper coated steel clamps
  • Super-bright 4-way LED work lights
  • 300 PSI air compressor with gauge
  • 200-watt power inverter with dual AC outlets
  • Heavy-duty rubberized case

MSRP
$119.99

URL
HarborFreight.com

Cen-Tech 3-In-1 Portable Power Pack with Jump Starter

Overview

Compact, yet powerful enough to jump start a weak or totally drained 12-volt car battery, this portable power source is a must-have for any winter environment. In addition, you’ll be able to charge small electronic devices easily from its 2.1 USB charging port, as well as its 12V DC outlets. Jumper cables store easily on each side of the unit when not in use, while the convenient handle makes transporting easy and secure.

Specifications 

  • Up to 20 hours of 12-volt power on a single charge
  • Maintenance-free 17Ah sealed lead-acid battery
  • Built-in 3-LED work light
  • Two 12VDC outlets
  • Durable, high-impact outer casing

MSRP
$59.99

URL
HarborFreight.com

 

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the October, 2019 print issue of American Survival Guide.