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If the Farmer’s almanac is to be believed, this winter will be colder and snowier than usual in the lower 48. With fall retreating fast, now is the time to prepare for worse weather ahead by getting your vehicle “winter survival ready.”

The first thing to consider is warmth and shelter. All of the metal in a vehicle can suck the heat right out of the occupants, but this is still preferred to sitting outside the shelter of the car or truck. Consider carrying sleeping bags or blankets (one for each seat in the vehicle) to provide your first line of warmth. A second line of protection could come in the form of additional warm clothing. Parkas, snow pants, pac boots, and other serious winter outerwear could be worn inside the vehicle, should you find yourself sheltering there.

As for additional winter survival equipment, consider the following: Food that is edible when frozen (soft stuff, but high in calories); a cell phone charger; a couple gallons of drinking water; purification equipment to disinfect more water; first aid supplies (as well as sanitation and hygiene supplies like toilet paper, hand sanitizer); lighting sources like flashlights and headlamps; easy-to-use fire starting tools; wet-weather gear; basic tools like a knife, wrenches, screwdrivers, duct tape, rope, etc.; emergency car repair items like jumper cables, flares, a reflective sign, a tow strap, an ice scraper, fix-a-flat spray, and starter fluid; snow chains; and sand, cat litter, nut shells, etc. for emergency snow traction.

Fill up a bin or a duffle bag with these valuable supplies. And don’t skimp on quality! This kind of gear would make a world of difference in any roadside winter emergency. If you don’t already ride around with this kind of gear, stock up now, just in case this winter really is a rough one.

Let us know what emergency gear you plan to carry this winter by leaving a comment.