Winter Car Kit
It's that time of year again where the nights start to draw in and the temperatures heads towards zero (and continues past zero!). Every year when snow falls, motorists head out onto the roads and incidents occur. In 2018 many motorists were stuck in their cars overnight on the M80 after heavy snow hit during a red warning. In 2019 up to 100 vehicles were trapped on the A30 in Cornwall due to heavy snowfall.
Consider how you would cope if you were caught up on a motorway in traffic caused by heavy snow or a major accident. Do you consider your car to be sufficiently prepared?
As regular followers of UK Snow Updates know, every year we (as do many other organisations) regularly advise the general public to prepare for winter by making a car kit to use if you are affected by the snow. Many of the items on the list are things that are useful when it is not snowing either.
You can also find many of these items (and more) on our Amazon shopfront.
So here's a list of 10 essential items that you really should consider buying for your car kit this winter.
1. Ice Scraper
An ice scraper is absolutely essential for a winter kit. It's a legal requirement to ensure your mirrors and windows are clear of snow and ice. This RevHeads Ice Scraper has good reviews and describes itself as "almost indestructible".
If you spray de-icer on your window before scraping the snow or ice off, you'll find it much easier. This 6-pack of Car Plan de-icer should last you some time. If you don't want to buy a 6-pack then you can buy individual Car Plan de-icer sprays as well. Individual packs are usually more expensive than packs though.
A good snow brush will let you brush the snow from your windscreen after heavy snow and also let you brush snow from the roof of your car, preventing snow from falling on to your windscreen when driving. This Amazon Basics one is extendable and has an ice scraper on the opposite end. A better option would be this Rovtop Extendable Snow Brush which comes with both a sponge and ice scraper on the brush.
5. Good footwear or shoegrips
If you have to get out of your car you want to ensure you are not going to fall over. A good pair of boots will always be useful but a cheaper option may be these YakTrax shoe grips. These grips contain coils that can maintain your grip into snow and ice. A cheaper option are these Ice Cleat Spikes Crampons that contain spikes that help to maintain your balance and prevent slips.
6. High visibility vest
If you are stuck and have to abandon your vehicle, then it would be wise to make sure you can be seen in the dark. This AA Hi Vis vest will make sure you are seen if you find yourself stranded and have to either dig your way to freedom or to walk home. If you have your children in the car then this set of 4 vests from Niboline will be enough for most families.
If you decide to stay in your car overnight then you are going to need to keep warm. You should make sure you have some blankets in the car so you don't use your fuel on keeping warm. If you want to have something especially for the car then don't spend too much. This travel blanket should be warm enough for most people and it is fairly cheap.
8. Food and Drink
If you stay in your car when it is cold, then some food and a warm drink will make it much more pleasant and will keep you warm. To maintain the heat of your hot drink keep it in a container like this ThermoCafe flask from Thermos.. It comes in the sizes 0.5L or 1L and while we've linked to the stainless steel version, there are other colours that you can select as well.
This Linkax LED torch is useful if you are walking in the dark and in a rural area with no street lights. It comes with batteries included and has an adjustable focus which allows you to focus the intensity of the light.
10. Phone charger
Essential for keeping your phone charged so that you can contact the emergency services, family members, or to let us know about the conditions in your area! Power banks can be charged from the mains and taken out with you, and they usually have the capacity to charge your battery several times. You want the highest capacity you can get, but anything over 24000mAh is more than enough. We recommend this power bank from CXL as it is solar powered as well which allows you to charge it outside. You should be aware that solar charging takes a longer period of time than mains charging. You could also consider getting an in-car USB charger as well if your car doesn't allow you to charge USB devices.
Do you have everything on the list in your winter kit? Can you think of anything else that others should add to their list? If so then let us know and add #WinterCarKit to your tweet!