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Friday, January 15, 2021

20 Ways for Parents to Winterize Their Car

I'll never forget the time that I drove home in a snow storm while I was pregnant and had two small children in the car. When I started out my two and a half hour drive, it was only snowing lightly and I thought I'd make it home ok. About a half hour later, the snow made visibility low and very difficult to drive. A normally 2 and a half hour drive turned into 5 hours.

I'm definitely not an expert in safety, but my grandpa always tells me that there are things that I should do for my vehicle in the winter for, "Just in case". Now that I'm a parent, I've worried more about these things, especially after that snow storm. 

I was scared about swerving into the ditch, like the many vehicles I saw on the side of the road. I was worried about having to pull over and staying the night with my two small kids with only the cars heater to warm us up. I was worried about being stranded with no gas or not being able to make it home without getting into a wreck first.

So Now I Prepare My Car For Winter

Living in the Midwest, the weather is always unpredictable. If the weatherman predicts 12 inches of snow, we could actually only get 1-2 or no inches at all. Weather apps don't always work, so it's better to be safer than sorry. 

After the snow adventure that I'd rather not have experienced, there are things that I make sure that we're not without when we travel.

Things to Put in Your Car

First Aid Kit- This is good to have in your car, even if it isn't winter because things happen. You'll want to make sure that it's stocked up with big bandages, small bandages, gauze, ice packs, antibacterial ointments like Neosporin, Aloe for burns/sunburns, splints for broken fingers, alcohol wipes, and whatever else you'd think would be good to have in a medical situation.

A Car Emergency Kit-  Many of these come with a reflective cone or something similar to put outside your car so other cars can see you, jumper cables, towing ropes, flares, flashlights and more.

Portable Air Compressor-  In case your car emergency kit doesn't have an air compressor, this is always good to have in case you need to change your tire or you realize that your tire is flat, but there isn't a gas station close by. 

A Window Breaker with Seat Belt Cutter- Hopefully, you'll never be put in a situation where you'll need this, however with icy roads and bridges, it's better to be safe than sorry. I've bought one of these for each of my cars and two for the one we use most often with our kids. These are designed to break your window in case you're in a situation where you can't open your door and cut your seatbelts if they won't unlatch.

Electrical Blanket for Car Charger- This only works if your car is still able to run, but it will give you some extra warmth in case your heater stops working or if you need to pull over for some rest. 

Emergency Thermal Blanket- These were actually recommended in a show I watched for buying houses in Alaska. They are used to retain up 90% of your body heat. They were using these when they were doing a safety exercise to see if couples knew how to get warm after falling in freezing water. 

Sleeping Bag-   My husband wish he would have had a warm bag like this when one of our old cars broke down on the highway and had to wait for a tow truck to help him. He said the worst part of waiting was how cold his feet got since there was no heat from the car. 

Extra Thermal Socks- Buy a pack or more of socks in case you get your shoes wet or the heat stops working. 

Empty Gas Can- You Probably don't want to travel with a full gas can because, you know, explosive, but it would be a good idea to have an empty one for long trips just in case you run out of gas and need to bring some back to you.

Snow Shovel- Sometimes, you just get stuck in the snow and may need to dig yourself out.

Kitty Litter- Get yourself a small bag of kitty litter. I know it may sound silly, but if digging your way out doesn't work, kitty litter can help give your tires traction to get out.

Water bottles- Bring some extra water bottles just in case you get stranded for a little bit.

Snacks- Bring some snack food or protein bars in case you need to stay the night somewhere.

Tent-  It wouldn't hurt to have a tent as long as you had the space in your trunk. If you were in an accident and the car is totaled, I can't imagine that your car would completely protect you from the elements, plus it may not be safe to stay in your car. Get one that is waterproof and says it protects your from the elements. 

Water Proof Bag-  Bridges and roads can be very slick, and if, for some reason, you end up in water, having some essentials packed in a floating, waterproof bag, will keep your things dry and you safe from hypothermia.  Pack extra clothes, snacks, and important things that can stop working if wet in this bag.

Extras that Might be a Good Idea for Kids

Potty Chair- Going to the bathroom on the side of the road doesn't give you privacy and it's not so easy for girls. It's not something I want to do around my family, however, I was miserable on my drive back, pregnant, and having to pee at hour 3. I didn't want to pull off to a gas station and leave my kids in the car by themselves and didn't want to wake them up to go in, so I just kept driving. 

Diaper Wipes- Find a brand that you like and put a travel package or two in the car. Kudos to you if you can stash them in a warm part of the car so they don't freeze or can thaw. These are specifically for the car and not the diaper bag. I can't tell you how many times I ran out of diaper wipes from the diaper bag and was glad to be able to find some in the car.

Diapers-  Again, these are separate from diaper bag stash.

Extra Warm Clothes-  pack up some extra clothes. If your car's heat stops working, it will take no time to start getting cold. This is also good in case for some reason you get wet and you need to change. 

Something for them to do!!!- If you get stranded for a while, your kid's patience is going to wear out. Pack away some books and toys that don't need to charge or have batteries. An unhappy child can make an already stressful situation more stressful. 


Some of these items listed are not a must have, such as the potty chair, but if you had a big enough trunk space, with a decent organizer, you can be prepared for almost any winter issue that you can have with your car.

There's a lot of different scenarios that can happen in the winter, so most importantly, stock up for the "in case"s and make good choices. Drive responsibly.

Is there anything you would add to this list?

Do you have a favorite item on here that you'd like to recommend?

Please comment below to let us know what you think!


  1. We provide a wide range of towing services, so if you encounter any vehicle breakdowns, just give us a call and we will be glad to help.

  2. Interesting guide that car owners can follow through it.


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Hello! My name is Brittany and I'm a writer, obviously. As a stay-at-home mom, there are many things that I have to figure out in order to run a house that appears to be more sane than insane. It's not easy to be a parent and I hope that this blog is able to encourage other moms out there to live life happily and to understand that there can be mishaps along the way, but those mishaps don't define you and anything can be overcome with perseverance and will.

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