Most of us have cell phones to call for help if we get stranded in cold weather, but what if you have no signal, or no one can get to you just yet?
Anywhere in the northern hemisphere you are bound to find cold, snowy, dangerous winters. When the weather gets bad, driving becomes a challenge, and even the best drivers could end up stranded. Driving along less-traveled roads, going out in the midst of a storm, or going somewhere off-limits can get you stranded if you happen to wreck, or if your car breaks down! Now, most of us have cell phones, but the fact is, you may not always have signal or basically no one can get to you.
Depending on the conditions of the weather, if you were to get stranded, you may be fine with nothing, but you will most likely have to deal with extremely cold and windy conditions outside. When it's a long hike to civilization, its best to stay in your car since it provides a little shelter, letting it run until someone finds you would be the best option. However, if your car has broken down, you won't have that luxury, so always carry spare blankets (at least two) and a change of warm clothes in your trunk. If you don't normally wear hats, gloves, or a scarf, its best to keep these in your vehicle as well because your extremities are the most prone to frostbite and most of your heat is lost through your head!
Now, if you are in a position that you can get out of, but your tires aren't getting traction, you need something to put under those spinning tires. Kitty Litter is a perfect material to pour directly behind/under/in front of your tires when they are spinning. You can find a cheap small bag and keep that in your trunk as well. Using a bag of sand or a small bag of workshop crystals will work just as well, and the sand may even give you some added weight for those rear-wheel drive vehicles out there!!
But what happens if you are stuck there overnight?! Or even for a day or two? Keep some non-perishable food with your blankets and clothing so that you can sustain yourself (or possibly someone else too!) for at least two days. Keep in mind you want foods that will sustain your physical health, no junk food, and you don't need to keep a pantry back there! Your body can probably live off a lot less than what you would normally eat. Keep things like crackers, beef jerky, canned food with the pull-tab tops, etc. Putting new food in before the weather gets bad will last you until spring, replace this food every winter or every six months. You will also need water, probably at least 40 fl oz. Try to keep this water unfrozen, leaving it in your trunk will leave it susceptible to freezing, and that won't do you good, make a habit of carrying a bottle of water with you when you travel.
All in all, if you were to get stranded and help couldn't reach you, you still need to survive! Being prepared in case of being stranded can keep you from being harmed and possibly prevent death! Keep the basics of survival handy somewhere in your vehicle: non-perishable food, water, blankets, one change of warm clothing, and kitty litter or something similar.