An ice scraper and snow brush are basic staples for traveling in the Great White North but having some “extras” on hand can complete your emergency kit and help you to be more prepared. Anything from a flat tire (and a bad spare) to an accident or mechanical breakdown can leave you stranded. These emergency kit items can be helpful in a pinch.
Food and water
Not having food and water won’t prove fatal in the short term but it can affect your energy level or cause you to feel ill or even make poor survival decisions. Consider keeping some bottled water and some nonperishable food, like energy bars, in your car.
A car battery can die without warning, or your alternator can fail, leaving you stranded. Having a set of jumper cables on hand can save the day and help you get back home or to someplace where you can have your car serviced.
Flashlight (and batteries)
Car emergencies don’t always happen on bright sunny days. Having a flashlight on hand will make you more prepared. Consider a rechargeable flashlight or a shake light or crank light that doesn’t require charging. The latter options tend to be less bright but are better than a high-performance flashlight that has dead batteries.
Blanket and extra clothing
A blanket can keep you warm and extra clothing can be a lifesaver if your clothing becomes wet from snow or water. Think “winter” and stash some extra-warm clothing in your car.
Storms in the Great White North can knock out cell towers or sometimes coverage can be sparse in remote areas. A good old-fashioned roadmap like your dad or granddad used to use can save the day if you lose your way and lose your cell phone signal at the same time.
Salt, sand, or kitty litter
If you’ve ever been stuck in the snow, you know how magical a bit of salt, sand, or kitty litter can be in terms of gaining the traction you need to get going again. Choose a spill proof container that prevents your “traction magic” from sliding around inside the car.
When mother nature drops several inches of snow around your car, you might be wishing you had a shovel. A small or foldable shovel might be all you need to get back on your way.
Glass breaker and seatbelt cutter
Water pressure against the doors can make opening the door an impossible task in flood conditions or if your car becomes submerged. A glass breaker can break the window, allowing you to escape. Similarly, seatbelts can prove just how sturdy they are. A seat belt cutter can slice through a sturdy seatbelt, allowing you to escape when it’s time to abandon ship.
Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid
If you’ve ever driven a car that was low on antifreeze, you already know how unhappy your car can become. Keeping some spare antifreeze in the trunk can prevent overheating or freezing. Many times, by the time your car indicates that the windshield washer fluid is low, it’s nearly gone. Keeping some extra windshield washer fluid on hand as well can keep your windshield clear for safer driving.