When it comes to winter driving, you need more in your vehicle than just a brush and ice scraper combo. If you get stuck in a snowstorm, you want to be able to help yourself or get the help you need quickly.
A Collapsible Snow Shovel
You never know when you’ll need to shovel yourself out, but you also don’t want a shovel that takes up too much space in your car. A collapsible shovel, like this one from Redcamp, will get the job done and still leave enough room for your groceries.
It extends from 21 to 32 inches and is lightweight, so you won’t have to worry about hauling around a heavy shovel.
REDCAMP Aluminum Lightweight Snow Shovel for Car Emergency, 21"-32" Durable Compact Collapsible Snowboard Shovel,Black
So you're always prepared to dig yourself out.
Grippy Tire Traction Mats
Whether you find yourself in a shallow ditch or stuck in a parking lot, a set of traction mats can help you get unstuck without having to call a tow truck. They’re easy to use and also won’t take up much space in your trunk.
This set from Orcish will stand up to your SUV, but they work for smaller cars, as well. You can also choose from a variety of colors.
ORCISH New 2PCS 42''x12.2'' Large Recovery Traction Boards with Jack Lift Base, MaxTrax Recovery Boards Mount, Traction Tire Ladder and Mat for Sand Snow Mud 4WD, Recovery Gear with 4 Mounting Pins
A Bag of Sand
Pass on the kitty litter—it tends to get slick in slushy conditions. Opt for a bag of sand instead—you might not even have to drag out the traction mats!
Dumping some sand on an icy patch behind your tires can add just enough traction to get you moving again. A heavy bag of it in your car also adds some weight that will prevent you from sliding around as much on icy roads.
Quikrete Sandbox Play Sand – Outdoor Kids Filtered Playsand for Sand Box – Screened, Washed and Dried Tan Color - 50 Pounds
Better than kitty litter!
Magnetic Emergency Flashers
If you get stuck in the middle of a snowstorm or late at night, magnetic emergency flashers really come in handy. Not only do they increase your visibility, but they also help prevent you from running down your battery if you have to leave your vehicle overnight.
This emergency light kit from Hokena includes many extras that will help protect you in the winter, and the rest of the year, as well. It includes a seatbelt cutter and emergency blankets, and it all comes stored in a convenient case.
HOKENA 9 Piece Set - LED Road Flares Emergency Lights & Car Safety Kit - Roadside Warning Flare Beacon Disc for Vehicle & Boat with Magnetic Base, Batteries Included, Seatbelt Cutter & Window Breaker
Some Extra Winter Clothing
You’re definitely going to want some warm gear if you have to dig out your car. It’ll help you stay dry so you won’t get hypothermia. A change of regular clothes can come in handy, too.
However, you should definitely keep an extra scarf, gloves, hat, and maybe even a jacket and some snow pants in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
Snow pants will keep your legs dry while you’re digging out your car. You slide them on right over your pants, and then remove them before you get back in the car. They’re the one thing you might not already be wearing when you hit the road.
Gash Hao Mens Snow Ski Waterproof Softshell Snowboard Pants Outdoor Hiking Fleece Lined Zipper Bottom Leg (180Grey, 32W x 32L)
Will keep you dry no matter how much snow you get on them.
Hand warmers help you stay warm if you get stuck in the snow and can’t leave the car running the whole time. They’ll also warm up your hands again after you dig yourself out of the snow. Toss some in your boots, pockets, and gloves before you even get out of the car and venture into the snow.
HotHands Body & Hand Super Warmers - Long Lasting Safe Natural Odorless Air Activated Warmers - Up to 18 Hours of Heat - 40 Individual Warmers
No more frozen fingers and toes!
Whether you have spare clothing and warm gear in your vehicle or not, emergency blankets are also a good thing to have. They’re sometimes available in multipacks, like this set from Swiss Safe. These also really come in handy if others are with you when you get stuck.
Along with hand warmers, these will really come in handy if you’re stuck waiting for a tow truck and can’t run your car the whole time.
Swiss Safe Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets + Bonus Gold Foil Space Blanket. Designed for NASA, Outdoors, Survival, First Aid, Silver, 4 Pack
You'll stay warm even if you can't run the car.
Roadside Emergency Kit
You should always keep an emergency kit in your car. This one from Swiss Safe includes jumper cables, work gloves, emergency lights, and more. It’s an excellent backup kit to have if you’re ever stuck out in the ice or snow.
This 348-piece kit also includes a rain poncho, tools, a safety vest, and a handy first aid kit.
Accidents happen, especially on snow- and ice-covered roads. That’s why keeping some emergency provisions in your vehicle is always a good idea. Then, if you’re ever stranded, you might be able to remedy the problem yourself—or at least keep warm while you wait for the tow truck.