11 items you should have in your car during the winter

Woman in blanket (left), snow brush (center), air compressor (right)

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Winter driving poses numerous risks. From cold temperatures to rapidly changing weather conditions like snow, sleet and freezing rain, drivers can’t always predict what they’ll face behind the wheel. But they can be prepared.

By taking a little time and investing a little money to winterize a car, we can have what we need in case of a travel emergency.

Portable Car Battery Charger


$79 (was $99) at Walmart

Cold temperatures can wear down a car battery quickly. Nothing is worse than turning the key and hearing that click when the car won’t start. For less than $100, a portable car battery charger will give you peace of mind to get you moving again without waiting for

Portable USB Charger


$35 (was $40) at Amazon

When something comes up and you need to call someone for assistance, you don’t want to see your smartphone battery in the red zone. Tuck a portable USB charger in your bag that you simply connect to your smartphone, tablet and/or headphones to keep your line of communication open and ready to go.

Ice Scraper with Snow Brush


$19 at Walmart

A car window ice scraper may seem like a no-brainer item to add to your car’s winter kit, but many people forget to throw theirs in the car or to replace it after it breaks. Invest in a durable combination scraper/brush that can stand up to deep snow or thicker ice. Worried about it taking up room in your trunk, scraper brushes like this can easily be taken apart and re-assembled to save space.

Portable Tire Inflator


$66 (was $90) at Amazon

The dreaded tire warning light comes while you’re heading home or you notice one of your tires is low when you get to the parking lot. Forget about having to scramble to find a place to get air or need to pay for it. Keeping this little compressor charged will save you that headache and can fill your tire in about 4 minutes.

Winter Weather Windshield Wipers

windshield wipers pointed up in snow

$24 at Walmart

Keeping your car windshield clear of snow, sleet and debris is essential for safe driving during the colder months. Not all windshield wipers are built for the tough winter precipitation. Find a pair of winter weather wipers that have the strength to move heavy snowfall while traveling and can hold up to frigid temperatures without cracking.

Emergency Blankets

$13 (was $17) on Amazon

If your car breaks down and you can’t get to help right away, you want to conserve gas by shutting off your car periodically. This means no heat. Keep warm with this 2-pack of emergency blankets which are made of heat-reflective material to keep you warmer for longer. These store in a compact bag and only weight 3 oz. each. They are also full-body size and have a whistle if you need to alert passersby that you need help.



$35 (was $40) at Walmart

Your smartphone light is good in a pinch. But, when you’re stranded on the side of the road on a cold winter’s night, you want something to keep you safe. A combination flashlight and weather radio will not only help you see what’s around you, but let others see you thanks it its strobe effect. This model also has a weather radio to keep you up to date on the latest conditions, a USB charger and port, an alarm to signal where you are, a compass and much more.

LED Road Flare Emergency Lights


$36 on Amazon

Road flares used to be a must-have in every car. But, many people were afraid of lighting them and their intense heat. LED emergency roadside lights warn other drivers that you’re on the side of the road. Because of their LED bulbs, most emergency lights have different flashing patterns or can stay steady. These lights are also magnetic, so they can attach to a car or truck.

First Aid Kit


$40 on Amazon

You never know when you might need a first aid kit when you’re on the roads. You can encounter something as basic as a cut from changing a tire to something more significant after an accident. A fully stocked first aid kit with bandages, scissors, burn gel, antibiotic ointment and much more can make a big difference until a victim receives professional medical attention.

Extra hats and gloves


$35 on Amazon

Even if you have a hat and gloves on while driving, it’s helpful to have a spare (or a few) tucked in the glove compartment, back seat or the trunk. If your hat and gloves get wet while you’re out trying to get the snow off the car, those wet garments will reduce your body heat, which will lower your body temperature. A dry set in the car will keep you and your passengers warm in case of an emergency. A multi-pack of hats and gloves is a great deal to stock up the family’s cars with extra warmth during the winter.

Water and Snacks


$37 on Amazon

Having a drink or snacks on hand during a winter road trip will not only cure the hangries during those long hours. If the car gets stuck somewhere, it’s good to know you and your family have something to eat and drink while waiting for help. Keep a food and drink storage kit stocked regularly. It can sit either in the front or back seat. Or, if you’re afraid hungry passengers will empty it, put in the trunk fully stocked with non-perishable food and water ready to go and out of the way of little hands.

About the Author
Marie Rossiter

Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. You can find her writing about her personal health journey at marierossiter.substack.com and connect with her at marierossiter@gmail.com More.