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Is Your Vehicle Stocked With These 4 Essential Cold Weather Supplies?

January 9, 2014

When living or traveling in a cold climate, a few simple preparations can really boost your confidence. It’s reassuring to know that even if a vehicle were to break down at a bad time, you’d still be able to keep yourself hydrated, fed, warm, and dry.

Emergency blanket

For less than $5, a Mylar emergency blanket can protect you from freezing rain and snow while preserving 90% of your body heat.

You can wrap one around yourself as a blanket, throw one down as a ground cover, or build one into a shelter design — or all of the above. They’re so cheap as to be almost disposable, but in a pinch they can be priceless for keeping the elements out and keeping body heat in.

Multitool

A quality multitool is ridiculously useful — with the Swiss Army Knife being the classic example of a knife-based multitool. Since they’re so compact, many people carry these on their person at all times — but it never hurts to carry an extra one in your glove box or trunk just in case.

Food

During the winter months, calories are crucial, as your body burns up reserves quickly to keep you warm. You’ll probably want something like three days’ worth of non-perishable food per person, but of course that depends on where you’re traveling and how remote your location will be. You can easily stock much more than that in the form of meals ready to eat, as they’re specifically designed to be nutritious and compact.

Military MRE
Image courtesy: www.trailsherpa.com

If you do decide to use canned foods instead, though, please be sure that you actually have a can opener in the vehicle – either on a multitool or separately.

Water

It seems like such a simple and easy step that it’s easy to procrastinate on this, but simply buying a few jugs of water to keep in your vehicle is a smart move.

Nato Can

ready.gov recommends one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and hygiene — by that measure, a single NATO Jerry Can can provide all the water one person needs for at least five days.

In freezing temperatures, water can of course freeze — so matches for starting a fire can be considered a vital part of your water supply. In a survival situation you’ll want to plan ahead and place containers near a heat source — that way they’ll actually pour when you need water.

Preparation Is Key

In cold conditions it’s crucial to stay warm, fed, dry, and ready for any contingency. Despite taking very little time to prepare, and being quite inexpensive, the items above can be invaluable when you really need them.

Stay warm, and stay safe out there

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