The 4 Essential Items for a Winter Emergency Roadside Kit

Your Car's Winter Emergency Roadside Kit

During a snowy winter, emergencies happen, and when they do, it is always best to be as prepared as possible. For those who are driving in the winter, it is always good to be readily prepared with a fully stocked winter roadside emergency kit.

No matter what happens, having the right emergency kit can be the difference between life and death during an emergency in the winter. A winter emergency car kit should contain more items than the 4 items listed below, but these are some of the essentials that can easily be found online.

car driving on icy road

Driving can be dangerous especially in icy conditions. Having your ​a ready made emergency kit in the car will help keep you and your family safe.

​1. A Collapsible Shovel

A good shovel is essential for a winter roadside emergency kit. It is possible to find a sturdy, collapsible snow shovel at an affordable price.

The shovel could come in handy in the case of digging tires out of snow. However, a full-sized snow shovel can be bulky and maybe won’t fit into a car. 


Women using a show shovel

Source: EasyGoShovel@Amazon

A small, collapsible snow shovel is perfect for an emergency kit to keep in the car. One with a removable handle and a wide mouth is perfect for shoveling a car out in case of an emergency. A great small snow shovel can be easily found on Amazon.​

​2. Jumper Cables

​A good set of jumper cables is great investment, and a great thing to keep in the car, regardless of whether or not it’s an emergency situation.

It’s smart to invest in a nice ​quality set, because jumper cables are always needed in an emergency, and it’s never good to be let down in an emergency by bad or faulty ​pair.

jumper cables hooked up to your car's engine

A set of jumper cables should be in every car, regardless of the season.

Cables with multiple-strand, 4-gauge copper wires are the best types to buy. The cable should be at least 12 feet long as well. If the right jumper cables are purchased, then they can last for a long time without any issues, which is helpful in an emergency. You should also read up on the basics on how to use your jumper cables.

​3. A Flashlight

This seems really obvious, but it’s a smart idea to have a flashlight in the car at all times, not just during the winter.

An incandescent or LED flashlight is a great option for a winter emergency car kit. An LED flashlight will last longer and will run evenly, even as the batteries begin to run low, but an incandescent bulb will burn brighter than an LED.

flashlight car key chain

This clip on flashlight is a great idea, especially when driving at night.

It really comes down to personal preference. This is important for changing the tire or inspecting a part on the car in an emergency situation. Remember to always have extra batteries for the flashlight in the emergency kit as well.

​4. A Basic Tool Kit

A basic tool kit is a crucial addition to a winter roadside emergency kit. At the very least, the tool kit should include those that are required to change the battery of the vehicle.

Wrenches, sockets, and pliers are the most basic tools that a kit should include. However, if the kit includes screwdrivers, electric tape, and a pressure gauge, that is ideal as well. A tool kit will be useful in an emergency situation for fixing the vehicle.

An assortment of tools - wrench, vise, measuring tape, pliers, chizel, etc.
car trunk organizer sitting in an SUV holding tools and auto supplies

​If you don't find a ready made kit, you can store the individual items in your car trunk organizer.

​The Bottom Line

In the winter, one can never be too cautious when out on the road. In addition to having a well-stocked roadside emergency kit, it is ​especially important to ensure that the vehicle is prepared for winter.​

For example, it’s important to keep the gas tank at least half full at all times in case the vehicle is stranded on the side of the road for an elongated period of time. As always, remember to drive safely and smartly, especially in the winter when the roads can be slick and dangerous.