About ten years ago I got stuck in my car during that one big storm that dumped a foot of snow on us in an hour (like that doesn't happen every couple years right?) ...anyways I was just reminiscing about it and deciding I wanted to write a freeloader's guide to basic survival in your car during winter time.

         By now you'd think we'd know what to put in our car for winter time but every spring we take all of it out, store it somewhere, and forget about it.  Well with the first hints of winter hitting the region let's stock back up.

  • Blanket - truly an essential if you get stuck in the snow and all the gas runs out, it becomes vitally crucial to keep warm. A blanket goes a long way when you're sitting still waiting for someone to dig you out.
  • Water-  you'd be surprised how thirsty you get in the middle of winter when you're stuck in a car.  Believe me the last thing you want to have to do is eat snow in an emergency.  Remember to keep a couple of three-quarter filled bottles around.  If they freeze that way they won't break open.
  • Food - Just some snacks to nibble on.  Whether it's Fig Newtons you crave or you are hard core with your MRE's.  The stress of being stuck in your car is going to amp up those pangs of hunger, so quell them with preservative rich snacks.
  • Flashlight - I have a battery operated LED flashlight and one of those battery-less ones that you shake to build up electricity.  Never know when you need a flashlight, this is just an all around good thing to keep in your car.  The LED kind uses less battery juice, but I have the other one in case the batteries are dead.
  • Pen, Crossword Puzzles, Paper -  I figured I'd group this all together for space sake.  In the age of I-Pad's, Android phones, and Kindle, it's always good to remember that a pen and paper could be a valuable resource.  Think about if you leave the car, you might want to write a note to whoever finds your car.... writing that note in blood could cause some concern.
  • Compact Snow Shovel - Even when a massive snow storm doesn't dump a foot of snow on the highways of WNY it's still good to have a snow shovel in your car.  I don't know how many times while at work the parking lot plow has piled the snow over my bumper.  Now I easily dig out my car.
  • Ice Scraper/Snow Brush-  This should be a no-brainer but I was at home depot watching this person pick out an ice-scraper, and I asked "do you have a snow brush?".  They said "no" at which point they gave me a dirty look and picked out the most expensive bad-ass ice scraper/snow brush I had ever seen. I think it had an electric hand warmer. 
  • Extra Clothes -  If your clothes get wet from trying to dig out of the snow and you're stuck for hours in your car, a nice change of socks and pants will do the trick. Could save you from catching a nasty cold, or even worse...frostbite.
  • First Aid Kit - Really I have to tell you this, it should be in your car at all times!! Along with flares, a spare tire, and a pair of sunglasses. Hey the glare from the flares suck.

       I'm sure there something I forgot. Guess, I'll remember the  next time I get stuck in a car on the 190 for 24 hours.  Then I'll say...oh yeah I should of put this in the car.  At least with these essentials you won't die too quickly.  Stock up your car and be safe driving this winter. Feel free to add your own must have items in the comment section.