Emergency Car Break Down Supplies For Winter Travel

by Bobski606

Do not get into your car this winter without these supplies.

There's nothing worse than getting in your car during the horrible winter weather only to discover that half way to your destination you've broken down! It's all well and good calling out your breakdown recovery team but what if they're hours away and you have no heat, food, or liquid? That's why it's so important to have an emergency box in your boot at all times and to pack fresh food and drink on long journeys. Who knows, you might even be able to fix the problem yourself with these extra tools.
Photo credit: Amazon

Make Your Own Severe Weather Travel Kit

What You'll Need

If you don't want to purchase a pre-made travel kit then you can always make one yourself with what you've got in your home or can easily pick up from the corner store. 

When thinking about surviving in severe weather there are several aspects you need to consider: food and water; extra layers for warmth and weatherproof gear; light sources, first aid kits and sundries; tools to fix the problem yourself.

 Take a look at the following aspects and see if you're already prepared to venture into the horrible weather.

Food And Water

Food and water essentials can easily be prepared and packed from your home. You should always take these supplies even if you're only going on a short journey as you never know what will happen when you step out that front door.

An easy item to always have with you is chocolate because it will last for a long time if kept in the wrapper and it has enough calories to keep you going while you are waiting for help to arrive. Other items you will want to consider are:

  • Bottled water
  • Flask of your hot beverage of choice
  • Some sandwiches for long journeys
  • Snacks of your choice to keep you going

I always have a bottle of water in my boot and a chocolate bar stashed away all year round for such an eventuality. I have to say it has come in handy from time to time especially when I have been stuck in really bad traffic due to an accident or something like that.

Food And Drink Supplies On Amazon

Kit Kat Candy Bar, Crisp Wafers in Milk Chocolate, 1.5-Ounce Bars (Pack of 36)

Crisp Wafers in Chocolate. Made in U.S.A. You can easily keep a box in the car for emergencies.

View on Amazon

FIJI Natural Artesian Water, 16.9-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 24)

Case includes 24 bottles of 500mL FIJI Water. Bottled at the source in Fiji, an artesian aquifer protects FIJI Water from pollution and other contaminants until you open the bot...

View on Amazon

Thermos Nissan FBB1000P6 34-Ounce Stainless-Steel Vacuum Insulated Briefcase Bottle

Timeless. Natural. Enduring. These principles guide the development of every Thermos Nissan brand product. Products that help you savor every moment with a hot cup of coffee or ...

View on Amazon

Warmth And Weatherproof Gear

As long as your engine is still working then you'll likely to still have heat. However, if you have no heat or a busted engine then you'll be needing some extra layers to keep warm. When you need to venture outside of your vehicle and the weather is awful I'd recommend also getting some waterproofs to keep you dry as well.

Here are the items I recommend for your travel kit:

  • A spare blanket
  • A spare sweater
  • Gloves, hat, scarf
  • Boots for trekking through the snow
  • Waders (waterproof trousers)
  • Jacket
  • High-Viz jacket - we need to see you in the dark!

With these items you should be able to keep warm and dry enough until help arrives or the problem is fixed and you can be on your way again.

Heat And Waterproof Gear On Amazon

AAA 4014AAA All-Purpose Travel Blanket

AAA All-Purpose Travel Blanket has a rugged two-layer construction to keep you warm and dry. Trim fold-and-snap design for under-seat storage. Handy zip pocket and carry strap f...

View on Amazon

Lucky Brand Belted Hoody Cream XL

This comfortable hoody has a vintage look.

View on Amazon

Wholesale Winter Ski Knit Beanie Scarf Gloves Set holiday gifts,Steel blue

Soft & Warm! Stylish & Trendy Look! Great Winter Fashion Accessory!! Acrylic Set Contains: Beanie, Gloves and Scarf Comes with a vinyl gift bag Material: 100% Acrylic Scarf Size...

View on Amazon

Sorel Women's Cumberland NL1436 Boot,Black,8 M

If you like the comfort and style of the Sorel Moresby and Crestwynd snow boots but the notion of a zipper jam gives you a chill, the lace-up Cumberland delivers the same design...

View on Amazon

B Brand - Nylon B - Dri Waterproof Trousers Navy M

Lightweight with PVC coating to reverse,Elasticated waist,Access to side pockets with flaps,Stud ankle adjustment,Fully taped seams.

View on Amazon

Quiksilver U-ramp Insulated Jacket

Fixed 3-way adjustable hood down attachment Interior pass pocket Zipper closed hand and chest pockets

View on Amazon

Radians SJ21-3ZGS-L Hi Viz Class 3 Three-In-One Bomber Jacket, Green, Large

Radians Hi Viz Three In One Bomber Jacket, Class 3 has a zip out removable fleece jacket, waterproof PU shell and 9 pockets. This jacket meets the ANSI/ISEA requirements and com...

View on Amazon

Light Sources, First Aid Kits, And Sundries Items

Apart from food, drink, extra layers, and waterproofs you might find that you need some extra sundries such as cleaning wipes, toilet roll, flash lights and first aid kits.

Sundries are useful when traveling. I would recommend getting some travel/baby wipes to help you clean up after you've been fixing your engine and to also clean up messy fingers from lunch or snack time. Toilet roll is also good for if you're caught short on the road, blowing noses, checking oil in the car (wiping the dip-stick), and pretty much anything that needs to be absorbed.

Flashlights are really useful if you get stuck out when it's dark or if you're in a tunnel. It's all very well and good having your headlights working but it wont help you see around the back of the car, underneath or even in the engine as headlights only point ahead of you. Always make sure that you have a flashlight with you and some spare batteries as well.

First aid kits are a must and you should always have one in your car no matter where you're going. They are great for little nicks but also as your first point of reference if you get into a serious accident as the larger first aid boxes will come with bandages, slings, and small splints for broken bones; some even have manuals to talk you through really serious injuries. Either way, you should have one.

Light Sources, Sundries And First Aid Kits On Amazon

First Aid Only 50 Person Bulk First Aid Kit, Ansi, 196-Piece Kit

This 196 pc. bulk first aid kit is ideal for contractors, fleet vehicles, worksites or small companies with up to 50 employees. Designed for the workplace, this kit is compliant...

View on Amazon

Dorcy 41-4750 180 Lumen High Flux LED Cyber Light Flashlight with Batteries

View on Amazon

Charmin To Go Travel Toilet Tissue (Pack of 24)

Charmin To Go Toilet Tissue convenient pull-out dispensing keeps products clean & fresh and fit in purse or pocket. Now enjoy Charmin quality bath tissue while away from home. S...

View on Amazon

Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes Travel Pack, 15-Count (Pack of 12)(colors may vary)

The first line of defense against the spread of germs is washing hands often. Wet Ones® Antibacterial Hand Wipes are an effective solution to keeping hands clean when soap and w...

View on Amazon


Having a small selection of tools available to you can really help you out in a tight spot. One of the simplest tools is a shovel; if you get snowed in you can dig yourself out and clear a path onto the main road to make it easier to drive. 

Other tools I would recommend are:

  • Spanner
  • Wrench
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Protective Gloves (for the messy work)
  • A Jack (for those spare tires)
  • Air Pump (for flat tires)
  • A Small Saw or Axe
  • A general multi-tool will also get the job done
  • Windscreen scraper to clear off ice and snow
  • Jerry can to carry extra fuel

When traveling you should always check your engine fluid levels before you go and if necessary top them up. I would recommend that you also take some spare oil, coolant, clean water, and WD40 just in case - you never know.

I know it seems like there is a lot to take with you even just for small journeys during the winter. If you were to get stuck though you would soon appreciate every single item that is here, or if you didn't pack them you would very quickly regret that decision.


1988-1993 Dodge Dynasty Scissor Jack & Lug Wrench ~ OEM

Jack and Tools used to raise and lower your vehicle to change a spare tire.

View on Amazon

Ampro T45835 Go-Thru Hex Geared Socket and Tool Set, 120-Piece

View on Amazon

Leatherman Mut Eod Multi-Tool

829875.145454546 Features: -Multi-tool.-Stainless-steel body and handles.-All locking blades and tools.-Outside-accessible blades for one-handed opening.-Needlenose pliers cap c...

View on Amazon

Great Neck 21000 Essentials 8-Ounce Mini Hammer with Magnet Slot

The Mini Hammer with Magnetic nail starter is from the "Essentials" tool line, made by Great Neck. "Essentials" are a full line of ergonomically designed tools made just for wom...

View on Amazon

Youngstown Glove 05-3080-70-L General Utility Lined with KEVLAR Glove Large, Gray

The world's first cut-resistant high-performance work glove! This is an all-purpose, abrasion-resistant and cut-resistant performance work glove. Lined with 100% Kevlar fiber. D...

View on Amazon

Custom Accessories 57770 '100 PSI' Deluxe Foot Pump

Boxed. No. 57770: Heavy duty, 100 P.S.I. gauge, plastic thumblock, heavy gauge steel with blue baked enamel finish, 4 3 4" barrel, 11 1 2" overall length, includes needle and ad...

View on Amazon

CJ Industries F101 Fantastic Ice Scraper with Brass Blade

Fantastic scaper!

View on Amazon

Briggs & Stratton 85043 5 Gallon Spill Proof Metal Gas Can

This steel fuel can holds up to 5 gallons of fuel and has a leak proof closer with an internally treated lining to prevent rust formation. Comes with the green and black safety ...

View on Amazon

Do you always pack extra supplies?

Ready Made Travel Kits

If you don't want to go to the hassle of making up your own kit then you can purchase some very good pre-made ones. There are lots on the internet but I have selected three good ones in my opinion that will do the job for you when called upon.

Bear in mind though that you will still need to pack fresh food and water and also still be responsible for the engine fluid levels in the car.

Happy Travels

Now that you are prepared for the winter months you can be safe in the knowledge that should you break down you will be able to keep warm, have nourishment, stay hydrated, dig yourself out of trouble, and potential fix any minor problems yourself.

Once you've got your basic kit sorted out you can pretty much chop and change items to suit the current season. For example, instead of the snow boots and hat/glove/scarf combination in the summer months you can easily swap that out for sunscreen, a sun hat and sun glasses. Just use your common sense with the weather and all will be fine and you'll enjoy your journeys each and every time. 

Happy travels!

Updated: 02/23/2013, Bobski606
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
Paul on 02/04/2013

A great list - I'd add a window-breaking hammer to it (one with a steel tip) purely because they're great if they happened to fall in a lake.

katiem2 on 02/02/2013

What a great list of must haves for survival in the winter while out and about on the road in a vechile. We've had some serious ice, snow and below freezing temperatures here that make for dangerous driving conditions with the strong possibilities of sitcky situations. Thanks for the great review of car survival gear and kits. :)K

dustytoes on 02/02/2013

I was just talking with my grown daughter about stocking up her car for the cold. She drives a lot and has an old car. I should also stock up on some of these things even though I don't drive much. This is a very comprehensive page.

BrendaReeves on 02/02/2013

This is such a good idea. I'm from sunny Southern California where everyday is beach day--almost. I'm now living in KY and I'm looking out at all the snow as I write this. Although I've been here six years, I don't even think about things like that. Thanks for giving me the warning. I definitely need to do this.

Bobski606 on 02/01/2013

Sheilamarie, that's a brilliant addition! I'll get those added, thanks :-)

sheilamarie on 02/01/2013

Being prepared is so important, especially for winter travel. One item you forgot to mention which we all carry in North America -- at least the northern states and Canada -- is a windshield brush and scraper. It's hard to get the snow and ice off car windows without one. It's also a good idea to carry along some jumper cables for when you have battery problems and even an extra gerry can in case you run out of gas (Me? Run out of gas? I'd never let that happen!) I guess it all depends on where you drive and how far between gas stations.

You might also like

Emergency Winter Driving Kit

What do you need to keep in your car when driving in the winter? Here is a li...

Yellow Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel

This is the ideal shovel to carry in your automobile at all times. It is made...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...