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Essential Items for Your Winter Safety Kit

Winter driving comes with all sorts of hazards. Even if you plan to stay close to civilization during the long winter months in Montana, it pays to be prepared in case of sudden weather changes or unexpected vehicle problems. The best advice The Advocates can give is to always carry these items with you in a winter safety kit. Trust us. Your kit could save you in case of a winter emergency.

Winter Safety Kit Items:

Snow Scraper

This is the most basic of winter driving tools. Always carry one with you even if it is not snowing when you leave the house. The weather can change at any time, and you may be able to predict every storm with that nifty app on your phone.


I started carrying a small snow shovel in the back of my minivan, after I found myself stuck in a snowbank after a meeting. The clients had to come outside and help me extricate my vehicle from the snow. It was embarrassing. I have not gotten stuck since.

Charged Cell Phone

If you get stuck in the snow or slide off the road, you may need to call the authorities to help you. Law enforcement officers often help motorists stuck in inclement weather.
It is also important that you tell someone where you are going, and when you plan to be back. If you get hurt or run into trouble, someone can only come looking for you if they know you are missing.


It gets dark early during the winter months. It helps to be prepared with your own light source and spare batteries

First-aid kit

You should carry one of these year-round, but a first-aid kit is a vital component of any winter safety kit because even simple injuries can become life threatening if left untreated in cold weather.

Warm clothing

It is a mistake to rely on your vehicle to keep you warm during a blizzard. If everything is going smoothly, use your heater to keep your toes toasty, but be prepared for trouble. Make sure that you are carrying enough supplies to protect yourself from the weather if your car breaks down, you run out of gas, or you have to walk to find help. Carrying a blanket does not hurt as well.

Basic Tools

Cold weather can impact your vehicle’s battery. Have the things you need to repair any potential car troubles in your winter safety kit. Be prepared with your own set of jumper cables, wrenches, and a spare tire. Do not forget a tire iron and jack.


Sometimes winter storms can stop traffic for hours. Be prepared with food and water in case you are stuck on the freeway for a long time. It is easy to get dehydrated in cold weather too.

Emergency Flares

In the dark, other motorists may no be able to see you if you are stopped on the side of the road. Always pull your vehicle to the safest place you can manage. If you can’t get out of the roadway, always use flares or reflectors to light up your vehicle so that you do not get hit by another driver.

Hand Cleaner

This is a personal preference based on experience. I always carry hand sanitizer and baby wipes in my winter safety kit because I do not like dirty hands. It just bothers me to have grease, dirt, and ice on my hands after I change a tire, check the oil, or push my vehicle out of a snowbank.