I’m constantly amazed at how many people around this area just jump into their
automobiles, whether it be a car, truck, SUV, van, mini-van, 4X4 or 2wd, family
in tow in –45o weather, totally unprepared for a breakdown. Some of
these folks have lived ‘round here all their lives, KNOW it can get cold and
miserable here in the winter, but don’t think anything can happen to them, or
if it does, they’ll just call for help on their cell phones. That’s fine if
help can get there right away, you have cellular service at that particular time
and place and the battery in your cell phone is OK.
Where I live in Alberta (kinda north central), the day can start out above the
freezing mark and nosedive to well below that in a matter of a couple of hours.
Highway conditions can go from bare and dry to icy in just a few minutes. An ice
fog can roll in reducing visibility to nil. There are any number of things that
can happen causing an accident or a mechanical breakdown.
This is a list of what is carried in both our vehicles in the winter in the
event of a breakdown or some other mishap. This kit is carried in the summer
also, minus the winter clothes and boots. Jackets, hats and sturdy boots/shoes
will suffice in the summer.
– emergency space blankets (the heavy duty type with the grommets) that my
wife sewed liners onto opposite the reflective side. She used those cheap
emergency blankets that you can get that are made of that synthetic mystery
wool for the liners.
– emergency candles (the ones with three wicks that come in a can).
- Coleman Survivalcat 800 btu propane heater with 2 16.4 oz. cylinders.
(They come with a carrying case, stand, waterproof matches and 2 mylar space
anywhere matches in a waterproof box.
– Bic lighters.
gallon insulated jug of water (comes into the house at night in
stove and trioxane tabs.
– hand and body heat packs (chemically activated type).
steel pot for heating water.
soup mix, instant coffee, tea and kool-aid, power bars and beef jerky,
stored in a Tupperware container.
plastic mugs (5).
fork/knife/spoon sets (5).
cell Maglite (6 D in truck, 5 D in van).
110 folding knife.
transmission fluid & brake fluid in 1 liter bottles, 1 of each.
– roll of duct tape.
– tube of Plumber’s Goop.
ft. tow strap
litter in a plastic box.
all fits in a 45 liter Rubbermaid container with a snap-on lid in the van
(except the cat litter and shovel). In the truck most of it is carried in a
mortar box that fits under the rear seat (extended cab GMC). What doesn’t fit
in the box fits behind the back seat. The first aid kit for the truck slides
into a bracket that I devised for it that is mounted between the rails of the
driver’s seat. The shovel is mounted to the inside of the pickup box and the
cat litter is in a box in the back.
We also carry a cell phone on trips.
brings a heavy winter coat, lined snow pants, wool toque, mitts and winter felt
lined pack boots.
also take our get home bags, plus our everyday carry.
In the truck, because, when not in the office I’m usually working far out in
the bush, (most of the time on my own) I also keep an old single-shot, 22 rifle
This may seem like a lot of stuff, but I’d sooner have it and not need it than
the other way ‘round!