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

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2010 Volvo XC60, Catskill Mountains, NY

2010 Volvo XC60, Catskill Mountains, NY

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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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Comments (11)
  1. Great advice. One thing I don't understand. How do I use the bungee cords to get out of the snow? Are they for attaching the tow rope to the car?
     
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  2. I thought the same thing. Maybe the bungee cords are to hold up dislodged muffer, unruly child, etc.
     
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  3. I use bungee cords to secure the sides of my chains
     
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  4. Well, for a rear-wheel drive car, you can bungee the kids to the back bumper to get some weight on the driven wheels. That should help.
     
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  5. And also what's wrong with cheap booster cables as long as they conduct electricity...
     
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  6. You don't have any photos of Subarus in snow?! Huh? Come again?
     
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  7. @JKD: Cheap cables often take longer to deliver enough charge from the good battery to the dead one. I got stuck with a thin, cheap pair once and it took half an hour of idling the running car with the cables attached to deliver enough charge where the dead battery would crank.
     
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  8. http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2492/4054136553_d6e689e38d_b.jpg
    The photo you should have used - found in 30 seconds with Google Image Search. Search: "2010 Subaru Outback Snow"
     
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  9. "Duct tape (well, D'OH!)"
    Thanks for the article - don't mean to be so critical - but - 'Duh' and D'oh are not interchangeable. 'D'oh!' really doesn't make sense in this context.
     
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  10. @Pulse: Thanks very much for the Flickr link. Must admit I didn't check Flickr for photos with the correct rights. If you can give me the Flickr user name (which wasn't evident from the URL), I can check that image to see whether (a) it's posted under Creative Commons rights; and (b) it's also approved for commercial usage.
    As for "D'oh!" vs "duh!" ... hmmmmm. My inner copy editor will chew that one over for awhile.
     
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  11. hmm - for booster - as I understand it the running car (its alternator) provides the electricity to start the dead car's motor. Once started, the alternator's on the car with the dead battery takes over and charges up the dead battery. Once the dead car starts then the booster cables can be put away.
    Shouldn't take 30 minutes nor should the dead battery need to be charged up before starting...? If so something's gone wrong.
     
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