BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.
What are the best emergency supplies to keep in your car for the winter?
Untouched white snow, Christmas lights and beads of ice shining like diamonds make for a beautiful winter wonderland. While it looks idyllic, the slippery ice and wet snow often cause hazardous driving conditions. Even if youâ€™re a cautious driver, itâ€™s helpful to prepare for any scenario, from a flat tire to sliding off the road. Itâ€™s even more critical during the winter, with freezing temperatures that can become dangerous if youâ€™re stranded for too long. To protect yourself during road trips or driving around town, keep these 13 emergency supplies in your car for the winter.
In this article: Mallory Cool-Force 26â€ Snowbrush with Ice Scraper, Arcturus Military Wool Blanket and Amazon Basics Emergency Car Tool
Tips for driving in the winter
- Always make sure you share your travel plans with someone before leaving.
- Always ensure your tank is filled at least halfway to avoid a freezing gas line and keep you from running out of gas if stranded.
- If youâ€™re stuck in the snow, use cat litter, sand or the carâ€™s floor mats to create traction.
- Before driving, always clear all the snow from your windows and the top of your vehicle. Even if you can see, chunks of snow can fly off the car and endanger other vehicles.
- Do not use cruise control on wet, snowy or icy roads.
- Increase the following distance from the vehicle in front to allow for more stopping time.
- Always defrost windows thoroughly before driving. Also, do not pour boiling water on your windshield to speed up the process, as it could crack the windshield.
- Before leaving, check that your wiper blades are properly cleaning the windshield and arenâ€™t icy.
- Extremely cold temperatures can lower the tire pressure, so do a quick tire check before leaving.
Best winter emergency car supplies
Mallory Cool-Force 26â€ Snowbrush with Ice Scraper
Donâ€™t get caught in the winter without an ice scraper and snowbrush, even if the car is often in a garage. At 26 inches, itâ€™s long enough to reach most areas of a windshield or the top of the car and still compact enough to store. The contoured grip is also comfortable on cold hands. Sold by Amazon
Arcturus Military Wool Blanket
Keeping warm is the number one rule of getting stranded in the winter. Since itâ€™s made of 80 percent wool, this blanket is ultra-warm, durable and lightweight. Plus, itâ€™s large enough to keep several people warm for hours, and the material is naturally fire-retardant. Sold by Amazon
Amazon Basics Emergency Car Tool
Whatever the emergency is, this tool ensures no one gets stuck inside the car. One end of this 2-in-1 device is a hard tungsten metal double-head hammer to effortlessly break the car window. The other end features a sharp blade that quickly through a seat belt. Sold by Amazon
Find anything in the car or surroundings, thanks to this ultra-bright flashlight. Since itâ€™s made from military-grade aluminum, this flashlight is virtually indestructible. It also comes with a set of two flashlights that are compact enough to fit in a pocket, glove box or bag. Sold by Amazon
First Aid Only First Aid Emergency Kit
A first aid kit is essential to keep in the car year-round for wounds, burns or any injury. This emergency kit comes with 298 pieces, including bandages, antibiotic ointment, burn cream, ibuprofen, wound closures, a cold pack and more. Plus, itâ€™s organized in a soft-sided, zippered carrying case. Sold by Amazon
Rain or shine, winter or summer, itâ€™s essential to keep jumper cables in the car. However, cold temperatures wreak havoc on car batteries, and there may be an instance when the battery needs to be jump-started. These are also tangle-free, flexible and come in a carrying case. Sold by Amazon
Gerber Gear 12-in-1 Dime Multitool
Get 12 tools in one compact device that fits in a glove box, pocket or side door compartment. A few of the tools include a plain-edge blade, scissors, small and medium flat-head screwdrivers, wire cutters and spring-loaded pliers. The butterfly opening is also ideal for effortless opening and quick accessibility. Sold by Amazon
Road flares are helpful for many emergencies, from flagging down help to notifying others of a vehicle on the side of the road. This six-pack of LED flares can be seen up to one mile away at night and radiate outward 360 degrees. Each flare also features nine flashing modes for various SOS emergency signals. Theyâ€™re also waterproof, crushproof and magnetic. Sold by Amazon
Braveridge 4.8A Dual USB Power Rapid Car Charger
With phones at the epicenter of the world, keeping a charged phone when traveling is essential for communicating in an emergency. Itâ€™s compatible with most iPhones, iPads and Airpods. Plus, two devices can charge simultaneously, thanks to the dual USB power output. Use in cars with a lighter adapter or USB port. Sold by Amazon
While this entrenching tool is 18.25 inches when fully open, it folds down to 10 inches and comes in a convenient carrying bag. The tempered steel shovel head is ideal for digging out a stuck car or clearing snow, and the sawtooth edge can cut small branches to build fires. Plus, the triangular handle fits comfortably in hands and makes digging effortless. Sold by Amazon
BIC Multi-Purpose Classic and Flex Wand Lighters
This pack of four wand lighters is ideal for a variety of situations. The long metal wand keeps fingers away from the flame, and the flexible wand fits in hard-to-reach places. Each lighter also features a child-resistant mechanism to keep it away from little hands and safe when it’s in storage. Sold by Amazon
Pure Life Purified Bottled Water
Donâ€™t be caught without fresh water while driving in the winter. To keep it from freezing in cold temperatures, store the water bottles in the main part of the car where the heater runs rather than in the trunk. You can also wrap it in a blanket or keep it in an insulated cooler.
Sold by Amazon
Powermax ACDelco AA and AAA Combo Pack
All the flashlights and flares in the world are useless without charged batteries. This combo pack comes with 24 AA and 24 AAA batteries with a 10-year life in reclosable packaging. Just be sure to check all emergency supplies and keep the correct batteries stocked.
Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.