Design & DIY

Winter driving survival kit

While we’ve only seen a few flakes of snow in the city, barely enough to dust the asphalt, Ontario cottage country has already been walloped with snow. It can make for magnificent white landscapes and tons of exhilarating outdoor activities, but also some pretty rough road conditions. Some municipalities take great care of their roads, but you never know what you’re going to run into in cottage country. Now is the time to get those winter driving essentials together. In fact, the OPP has already closed roads in Huntsville due to poor weather and road conditions.

Here’s a list of what to stock your vehicle with, so you can enjoy all of the rewarding things this season has to offer, without all of the worry.

  • A cell phone and charger, which can be plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter adapter.
  • Rope, chain (approx. 10 metres), or a tow strap.
  • A compact shovel
  • Waterproof matches, a candle, and a tin can. Not only will this combination of items provide you with light, but it’s also capable of giving off a fair amount of heat.
  • A few non-perishable food items, such as high-energy snack bars and juice boxes.
  • An ice scraper and brush
  • A small bag of salt, sand, or kitty litter, which will help give your tires some extra traction.
  • Small containers of extra gas line antifreeze and windshield washer fluid.
  • Jumper cables
  • A flashlight and batteries
  • A first-aid kit
  • Blankets
  • A plastic drop sheet or tarp
  • An extra set of warm clothes, including a toque, gloves, and boots. Some of what you already own may be appropriate for braving the cold. Click here to find out what type of clothing will keep you warm in an emergency.

While it may sound like a lot to carry around with you, all of these items should fit nicely in a medium-sized duffle bag that you can store in your trunk. And, should you ever need them, it will be well worth the extra weight. For advice on how to survive winter once you’ve made it to the cottage, read “How to survive winter at the cottage.”