Subaru's Snow Driving Advice: What's In Your Emergency Kit?

January 18, 2011

Writing this right now, we're looking out at what the weathercasters call "wintry mix." Less perky humans call it freezing sleet and proto-slush.

But we spent much of the weekend in snow country. And that made Subaru's tips for being prepared for driving in snowy climates particularly apropos. We lifted the image below from their monthly owner e-mail.

Yes, we know, the photo above is not a Subaru. It's a 2010 Volvo XC60. Mostly because we didn't have any photos of Subarus in snow.

tips from Subaru on being prepared for driving in a snowy climate

tips from Subaru on being prepared for driving in a snowy climate

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The advice is pretty simple: Carry a fully stocked emergency kit, so that if you get stuck, or go off-road, or encounter others who did, you're properly equipped. There's lots of advice online about how to stay safe in your car if you're trapped by a blizzard, by the way.

The contents of Subaru's ideal winter emergency kit (with a few comments from us) include:

  • Booster cables (buy the good ones, not the $9.95 cheapies at the discount store!)
  • Folding shovel, tow ropes, bungee cords (for getting yourself or someone else out of the ditch)
  • Sand or kitty litter (for better traction on ice)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries (we like the LED ones, which last longest because they use very little power)
  • First Aid kit
  • Emergency flares
  • Non-perishable food (snack bars, bottled water)
  • Blanket or sleeping bag (very important to maintain warmth if you're stuck overnight)
  • Multipurpose tool with screwdrivers, knife blades, pliers, etc. (many people just call them by the Leatherman brand)
  • Mobile phone and car charger for it
  • Duct tape (well, D'OH!)

You probably don't have every one of these items in your car; we certainly don't. But it's a good reminder that in snowy weather, it's best to be prepared for emergencies.

After all, you wouldn't want to spend 12 hours trapped in your car during a blizzard without the proper supplies, right?

We might also suggest a couple of paperback books. Or maybe a copy of War and Peace--which, admit it, you always intended to read, right?

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