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Learn how to pack your winter survival kit to wait out the storm in an emergency.

What Goes in A Winter Survival Kit?


Closed Caption


- Hi there Smart Drivers, Rick from Smart Drive Test talking to you today about winter survival kits.

The bits that need to go into the kit that you should put in your car, and keep in your car for the duration of the winter.

That way, if you end up on the highway and end up in the ditch and can't get your vehicle out, you can survive for a length of time that you may end up being there.

Now, just before we get started here, be sure to click that Subscribe button which should be just about there, that way, you'll get access to all the information, for those of you working towards a license or starting a career as a truck or bus driver.

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So today we're talking about winter survival kits.

Purchased Survival Kits

You can purchase these at stores already pre-made and packaged together.

I'll put a card up here for you in the corner on some that I did last winter.

I did four survival kits that you can put in your vehicle, and I rated those, and there wasn't one of them that was actually a four-star kit.

Cell Phone Charger

Even if you do buy one of those pre-packaged kits, you still need to put some stuff in it, like you cell phone charger.

And you need to put in medication if you have medication that you need to take every day, because you might be in the car for more than a day if you end up in the ditch in a remote area.

So know that.

There are always going to be a couple of more things that you need to put in the kit.

And as well, most of these kits you can assemble one of these things fairly simple.

Most of the stuff that you need is going to be in your house or in you garage anyway, so you can put these together fairly inexpensively, and put them in your vehicle.

So, what we're going to do today, we're going to go through the bits, the reason why you need them in your vehicle, and the pieces that should be in your winter survival kit that should be in your car for the duration of the winter.

So stick around, we'll be right back with that information.

(upbeat electronic music) Hi there Smart Drivers, welcome back.

Rick from Smart Drive Test talking to you today about winter survival kits, the pieces that you need in the winter survival kit, and the reason why you need them.

So let's get started.

Simple Checks on Your Vehicle

You want to put your snow brush, and you want to make sure that you have your windshield washer fluid topped up with winter windshield washer fluid.

That way you can keep the windows clear, you can keep them scraped off, remove any ice and snow, and those types of things, because that's the first part to being safe in the winter time.

It's having your windshield clean, having all of the windows cleaned off and free from snow and ice so that you can see out.

In accommodation with that, you want your windshield washer fluid topped up because there's going to be lots of spray coming off the other vehicles on the roadway.

Because of the salt and sand that they put down on the roadway, it's going to be very dirty.

I'll put a card up here for you in the corner.

Don't get too close to the sanders and salt trucks on the roadway because they can cause chips in your windshield.

I've had to replace my windshield because of that, so know that.

So, snow brush and windshield washer fluid topped up before you leave to go out on a remote trip.

First piece that you need in your winter survival kit is a blanket.


You need some sort of blanket in your vehicle.

You can just find a blanket around your house, and those types of things.

But if you have a smaller vehicle, you can buy those emergency blankets and what-not, the ones that are nice and shiny as you see in most of the kit and what-not.

And they're really small.

Unfortunately, the thing is, in my personal experience, they're not very warm.

So I would just recommend that you get a blanket out of your house and put it in your car.

If you've got a sleeping bag that you use for camping and those types of things, that's another thing that you can do.

But make sure it's rated for less than zero degrees because if you get the ones that are just summer ones that are down to five degrees, or 40° degrees Fahrenheit, they're not going to be very good, and they're not going to be very warm.

As well, those summer sleeping bags tend to be quite bulky.

But if you have one, it's going to be better than nothing.

So make sure, the first thing that you have in your vehicle is some sort of blanket.

Maybe two if you've got children and those types of things.

So while they go out in the car, and they get into the car seats when the vehicle is cold, they can use the blankets to stay warm.

So that's the first thing that you want in your winter survival kit, is a blanket.

Candles, Pot & Lighter

The second thing that you want in your winter survival kit is some sort of candle.

You want some sort of candle that is flat, as you can see in the image here, and you can set a pot on top of it, so that way you can use the candle for not only heat in the vehicle, but also light.

And you use it to melt snow because even if you have water in your vehicle, like, bottled water and those types of things, it's going to freeze, so you're going to need some way to melt snow so that you have water.

We can survive without food, but we can't survive more than 36 hours without water.

So you're going to need some sort of water.

So if you have a pot, and a candle, and a lighter, I do not recommend that you have matches because matches get wet and they won't light.

A lighter will actually work in most conditions.

So make sure that you have a lighter, and a candle, and a pot, and those three things go together so that you can put snow in and melt.

As well, the candle inside of the car is going to produce a bit of heat and help to keep you as warm as well.

You'd be surprised how much heat comes off a small candle in a confined space.

So know that you're going to have a bit of heat as well, from that candle, and that's going to help to keep you warm and to survive.

So three things, all of the three things together there.

The candle, the pot and a lighter.

All of that is going to go into you survival kit.

Non-Perishable Food...Food that Won't Spoil

The next thing that you want in your survival kit is non-perishable food.

You want a bit of food inside of the car, and as I said, these pre-packaged survival kits that you buy do not come with non-perishable food.

So you need to put that in the package.

Whether that's hard candies, granola bars, other wrapped food, and those types of things, you don't put any perishable food in.

Put in stuff, canned items and those types of things.

I did have one truck driver a few years ago, tell me that, in his truck he kept a case of beef chunky stew.

So, if you have canned items as well, I know they're pretty bulky and heavy but for those of you driving a truck long-haul, you can put that in the sleeper and have that there, and have a can-opener, and a utensil, and something else, that way you're going to have food if you do in fact, get stranded somewhere, or you're in an avalanche area or someplace like that, or you get stuck in a ditch in a remote area, you're going to have some food.

So you've already got your water take care of because you've got your candle and your pot and those types of things.

So this one here, you want non-perishable food in your survival kit that goes into your vehicle.

Prescription Medication

The next thing you want in your survival kit is medication.

If you are on medication, and require medication for diabetes, or some other ailment that you have that you're taking regular medication every day, make sure you have that in your kit.

So that, if you get stranded somewhere, that you have your medication and you're not going to perish because you didn't have your medication.

So make sure that you put any medication that you need into your kit! The other thing that you need in the car is a cell phone charger.

Most of use have cell phones.

If you're in the mountains, or other remote areas, the cell phone may not work.

But if you're in an area where you can get cell phone reception and your cell phone's not charged, that is really going to hurt you.

So make sure you go and get an extra cell phone charger.

Carry that in the vehicle with you if you're going out to remote areas.

And as well, if you've got a 12 volt adapter, make sure that you have one that will plug into your phone and charge your phone from your vehicle.

They're inexpensive, and you can just have it in the vehicle all of the time.

That way, if you get into the ditch, or you get stranded somewhere, in an avalanche or something, you can call somebody and they can come out and give you a hand.

So make sure that you keep your cell phone charged up.

Shovel, Chains, & Sand :: Devices to Help Your Vehicle Get Traction

The other thing that you might want to consider putting in your vehicle, is a shovel.

These, you can get fold-up shovels at the army surplus store, and those types of things, and a lot of the kits that you can buy at Canadian Tire Home Depot, Rohnert, those types of places, and other places in the States.

You can also buy the survival kits at automotive parts stores, they will have fold-up shovels, little, small green military shovels that you can use, and they would go in the vehicle.

Or you can just throw a shovel into the car.

A lot of times, they're not very big, and those will help you to shovel the car out if you do get into a remote area and what-not.

In accommodation with the shovel, you might want to get some traction mats, or a bag of sand.

If you've got a pickup truck, you might want to put a couple of bags of sand over the wheels at the back, just to give it a bit more weight.

I know that a lot of people do that as well.

So, shovel, traction mats, and a bit of sand that we can use to get the vehicle unstuck if you are unfortunate enough to get it stuck.

Towing Strap - Try Not to Use a Chain

Now, if you're traveling in remote areas a lot, and there's a possibility that you're going to spin out and get stuck, or there's a lot of snow and you're going to get stuck on a regular basis, the other thing that you might consider putting in your vehicle, is a tow strap.

Try not to use the chain because chains are unforgiving.

If you get those big tow straps, they have a bit of give to them, so the other vehicle can get a little run at it to get your vehicle towed out of the ditch.

As well, make sure that you fasten the tow strap to towing points on your vehicle, don't attach it to the bumper or some other cowling on your vehicle, because you might end up (laughs) like some of the videos here (laughs) where they end up pulling the vehicle in half, or pulling parts off the vehicle.

So make sure that you hook it to the right place on the vehicle, so that you can get it towed out without incident or damage.

So that's another bit that you might want to put into your survival kit.

First-Aid Kit

And one of the last things you might consider putting into your winter survival kit, is to put in a first aid kit.

Because if you do end up in the ditch, or your run-off a road, or get stuck, or those types of things, there's always a possibility that you could get injured.

So, it's always good to have, on hand, a first aid kit.

A basic first aid kit with some Band-Aids, and other things, and what-not.

And for those of you that need medication, you can also put your medication into the first aid kit, and that will keep you safe when you're out on the roadways traveling in the winter time.

Question for my Smart Drivers:

Do you have any other items that you would put into your winter survival kit?

Leave a comment down on the comment section there.

That helps all of the new drivers working towards being crash-free over the winter time, and veteran drivers looking to improve their skills.

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More Information & Great Courses

If you're working towards and license, or starting your career as a truck, or bus driver, if you're looking for more information about where to drive, check out the winter driving playlist.

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I'm Rick from Smart Drive Test, Thanks very much for watching, good luck on your road test, and remember, pick the best answer, not necessarily the right answer.

Have a great day! Bye now.

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