12 Essential Things to Keep in Your Car This Winter

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car driving down road with snow with forest
An important addition this year is your mask. Photo: CAA Québec

Each vehicle should be equipped with a first aid kit containing the necessary items to cope with the unexpected.

Canadian winters however require the inclusion of a few items to be well prepared.

1. Snow broom & scraper

There are a wide variety of models, so take the time to choose the one that best suits your needs. Make sure that one end of the broom has a scraper on it and that the bristles do not damage the vehicle’s paint.

2. Shovel

This instrument will be very useful if you get stuck in the snow. Opting for a compact shovel will not clutter up the trunk of the car. Retractable models are ideal.

3. Flashlight

It should have a wide beam with different lighting intensities. Be sure to change the batteries regularly or purchase a model with rechargeable batteries. Some lamps even have a handy USB port.

4.  Blanket and warm clothing

The blanket must be waterproof, windproof and have an aluminized surface designed to reflect body heat. In the event of a breakdown, it will keep you warm while waiting for roadside assistance to arrive. Otherwise, a fleece blanket may also do the job, but will provide less protection from the wind. You should also have gloves, a hat and a spare scarf on hand.

5. Ice-melter bag and traction aides

Non-clumping litter and sand are very effective in overcoming ice patches and snow that can hinder the car’s movement. However, do not put a bag of salt in the trunk; it could cause rust. Even better, traction aides will help to free the vehicle stuck in the snow or immobilized on a patch of ice.

6. Rag or a roll of paper towels

It will be greatly appreciated to mop up any liquid leaks or to keep your hands clean during an unexpected tire change.

7. Booster Cables and Grip Plates

In very cold weather, jumper cables can be very useful if the car battery is dead.

8. Winter carpets

Featuring deep grooves specially designed to collect water, snow and salt, the winter models are made of a cold-resistant material that does not crack when the temperature drops.

9. Windshield washer fluid

To face winter weather conditions, do not leave without a reserve of windshield washer fluid enriched with an antifreeze product that can withstand temperatures as low as -40° Celsius.

10. Dry snacks

In the event of a breakdown, it may be necessary to wait for long hours before help arrives. It is therefore best to keep non-perishable food in the car. Granola bars are an excellent choice.

11. Water

Opt for reusable silicone bottles that are more environmentally friendly and will not burst under the effect of the cold and fill them with fresh water before departure.

12. Emergency kit

There are roadside kits on the market that contain everything you need to get out of trouble. To make life easier, choose a model that also contains a first aid kit.


Source: CAA-Québec

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