This is a guest post by Tom Kyrk of Road Tested Living.
A few weeks ago, as the latest Snowmageddon approached the DC and Baltimore areas, I was talking to some of my friends from ToughTested about what truck drivers do in heavy winter storms (especially if they get caught on the road due to an accident). After talking about some of the things that I carry in my truck for emergencies, I was asked to give a few of my tips for surviving a winter emergency. These tips are great for any winter traveler, not just truck drivers!
Everyone recommends carrying a “winter survival kit” in your vehicle. But what should a good one contain? Read on to find out what I keep on hand in case of a winter emergency.
Water. Whether in gallon jugs or smaller bottles, water is probably one of the most important things to carry with you. I recommend at least 1 gallon per person. Due to the space in my truck, I carry between 5-10 gallons at any given time during winter.
Food. From full-on meals to tiny little snacks, carrying food is always a great idea. That can mean protein bars, meals that are meant to be served hot, or even items that are canned. However, if your going to take canned food, make sure you have a can opener. Also if you want hot food either get MRE’s that have the included heating pouch, or a cooking device such as a 12-volt oven. I carry the Road Pro Stove to Go and have given it as gifts to friends to keep in their cars. In a pinch it can be used to melt snow to get drinking water. (Pro tip: make sure that the snow is white, NO yellow snow…)
Boots, spare clothes and extra socks. Waterproof boots can be handy in all kinds of winter situations (think: water, snow and mud). Also, spare clothes can help keep you warmer in cold weather. If you’re like me and hate cold feet, extra socks are a must.
Shovel. One of the most overlooked items is a simple shovel! It can be a small collapsible military shovel, or a full blown snow shovel if you have the room. Over the years my shovel has gotten me out of many different kinds of snow-related jams.
Blanket or sleeping bag. It can keep keep you warm if you end up stranded or stuck for long periods of time.
An emergency battery pack for your electronics. We have all heard the stories of people breaking down, and their cell phones subsequently running out of juice. Carrying a battery pack like the Solar Dual USB 15,000mAh Battery Pack from ToughTested is a great way to charge your phone in any emergency.
Something to keep you occupied. Boredom can be one of your biggest enemies, so carry a book to read or a puzzle to work on!
Flashlight. They can be used for road signaling and many more – carrying one is a must. Check out the ToughTested Rugged, Weatherproof 8000 mAh Dual USB Battery Pack, it also has a built in flashlight!
Tool Kit. This is a great thing to carry anytime of the year. Many times the simple tightening of a clamp or a screw can allow you to travel to a better location, where you can get additional vehicle repairs. You can either make your own tool kit to carry, or purchase a pre-made toolkit from many retailers, including truck stops.
Most importantly, remember that safety comes first. Don’t go out into a storm, or plan travel if you know that bad weather is on the way. Instead, stay home and find a safe place to stay put! Very few if any trips are worth your life. If you know bad weather is coming, best thing to do is stay off the roads. However, if you happen to get caught in an emergency, these tips may help to make the time a bit more comfortable.