When Montana winters come knocking, it becomes even more important to make sure that you have all your car essentials at the ready. It’s best to be prepared for worst-case scenarios, as unlikely as they may be. And even if you don’t wind up needing your emergency essentials yourself, putting together a car safety kit places you in the great position of helping out other drivers in need. So make sure to keep these must-haves handy when you hit the road.
Cold weather can be murder on your battery, or you never know when you’ll have a brain fart and leave your headlights on when you’re running late for work. Having jumper cables handy means you’re less likely to get into a bind. If you want to get fancy, you can even carry a portable battery that holds enough juice to jump start your car, no roadside assistance required.
Mini Air Compressor
In case of a flat tire, a small air compressor can help get you back on the road. Or even when you change over from all-seasons to winter tires, you can get your tire pressure up to snuff without having to make a stop at the gas station and dig for quarters to air up. Get one that runs on 12-volt so you can plug it straight into your car’s cigarette lighter. Plus, it makes things easy when summer comes back around, and you need to inflate float tubes and camping pads.
When it comes to road flares, you never know when you’ll need them, and you don’t want to be left without if a situation arises. Visibility means safety if you get stranded, and they let other motorists know you need help.
Tarp and Blanket
A tarp and a blanket can become a makeshift tent, an improvised picnic setup, or a waterproof spot on the wet ground to kneel on while you put chains on your tires. If you don’t want to cart around a whole tarp, you can always cut one down or get a large-capacity garbage bag instead.
Flashlight and Extra Batteries
Don’t be left in the dark if you need to make a stop at night! Make sure you have a light source with extra batteries. A headlamp makes a great choice since it’s always more versatile to have your hands free.
With rags or paper towels on hand, you can mop up any spills and messes, or just wipe off the dipstick when you check your oil levels. You never know when you’ll get dirty working on the car (or snacking on road trip snacks), so it’s best to be prepared.
First Aid Kit
Be sure to stock a first aid kit with the basics—bandages, gauze, disinfectant, ace bandage, that kind of thing. You don’t need to carry around a doctor’s office in the trunk of your car, but keep a couple items just in case.
It’s never a bad thing to have extra drinking water to stay hydrated, especially if you spend a lot of time in the car. If you’re leaving a bottle in your car during winter, just be sure not to overfill it so it won’t explode when it freezes.
Hey, it’s winter in Montana. There are only two types of people in the state—those who have gotten stuck in snow drifts, and those who will. Even if it’s just to shovel your car out once the plow goes past, you’ll be glad you have it.
This winter, don't let the Montana weather get the best of you. Stay warm and be prepared for anything that might be thrown at you with a well stocked safety kit in your car. Even if you don't end up needing your safety kit, you'll have confidence knowing that you are prepared for anything that might come your way.
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