Thursday, January 07, 2010

Winter Survival Gear for Your Car

RePost from 2006

This is obviously going to vary depending on the part of the country you live in. NOTE: I own a truck w/topper and I'm a military brat so I am programmed, by my dad who was insistant on teaching us winter survival skills, to be prepared for every possible situation.  I also live in Iowa and my most likely winter survival situation involves being stuck in a ditch someplace, Lord willing my vehicle is not in water, upside down, and/or not on fire!

It can get dangerously cold here (Windchills of -30F to -60F are possible which can freeze you to death in minutes) in the winter. If your vehicle is trapped in snow STAY with your vehicle it makes for a much bigger target when searching in the snow! And buy a car color other than white for Pete's sake!  So that being said here's my list:

TOOLS (The big Stuff for your vehicle):
Shovels - two differnt species: large scoop shovel and a flat blade shovel (Make sure the handle length is appropriate for YOU and this will make shoveling easier and faster producing the least amount of sweat).
Ice Scrapers and Snow scrapers
Tow Chain/Strap - A TOW CHAIN because someone like me might come along and can pull you out of the ditch!
Chains for your tires
Kitty Litter/Sand for those slick icy situations that don't require a tow chain/truck
Spare Tire, and tire changing tools - you know this should probably go without saying but you should ALWAYS have a spare tire in your vehicle - I carry two, for my truck, in the winter and 6 when I'm pulling
my tandem trailor!

Hammer, Screw Drivers, Ratchet Set, Wrenches, Channel locks, Vise grips (all in a small tool bag) -whats that you don't know how to work on your vehicle - well someone may come along and can fix it for your if you have tools!
Jumper cables - Make sure you have a new battery for your vehicle every few years.
Flashlights with fresh batteries
Flares/Emergency placards you put on the ground
Oil - 6 quarts and this one comes from personal experience
Antifreeze and if I'm really going to be in the middle of nowhere I take extra hoses and clamps

Gas - If I'm going on a really long trip and I'm not sure about the area, better safe than frozen to death!
NOTE: Most folks end up stranded because they have run out of gas - so fuel up before you head out.

CLOTHING:
Thin wool Hat and Gloves
Insulated wool Mittens that fit over thin wool gloves
Sheepskin bomber style hat that fits over wool hat
Down Parka with hood
Thin wool sweater
Down vest
Thin winter coat that fits over sweater and under the vest and under the parka
Carhart overalls - the insulated variety
wool long johns
wool scarf
Wool Socks a thin pair and a thick pair to go over the thin ones
Boots rated to -40F
Cleats (boot cleats) for walking on ice - you'll have to go to the bathroom eventually

Wool removes moisture from your body and doesn't allow it to freeze on your skin. Cotton and other fibers promote hypothermia!!! Wet and cold equals a quick death if one is not careful. In extreme colds a lot of the fashion fibers will actually break and they can catch on fire easily - nylon being one of those fibers that burns easily. Wool doesn't burn so easily.

FOOD:
Peanut butter crackers - well if you are allergic to peanunts then substitute accordingly - can be bought in bulk at Wal Mart for very little money
Snickers Bars
Beef Jerkey or those sausage rolls
Gatorade
Extreme cold means you burn a LOT of calories protien is the way to go!
If I'm traveling with my dog I put a bit of kibble in the truck for her as well.
TP (Ok not food but I'm including it here anyway)
Handwipes - well you know, do I really have to explain???
Charger for cell phone - might be wishful thinking here but it can't hurt.

TOOLS: The necssary stuff!!!
Gerber multi tool (tis what I have)
Big knife (not sure what the brand name is)
Trowel/small hand shovel - for bathroom breaks (see TP above)
water proof and wind proof matches
instant light mini logs - if you need to make a fire
Those pocket/glove/boot heaters in the sporting goods section
Down Sleeping Bag rated to a minimum of 0F -40F would be better and is attainable with a down insert (Mine is Mountain Hardware)
4 Season Tent designed to withstand high winds (Mine is a Mountain Hardware)
the tent is in case you have to leave the vehicle!
2 wool blankets

Other TOOLS/SURVIVAL GEAR:
MSR Stove and Fuel Bottle
Water purifier (I think mine is a MSR) & tablets - btw ditch water isn't all that yummy
small pot for melting or boiling water
Head Lamp (Flashlight on a strap that you can put on your head) these are great when you need to change that flat tire in the middle of the night.
Fishing pole and small tackle box, small hand net
Edible plant book (small pocket variety)
Walking Stick with pointy end - gives you extra balance on the ice

FIRST AID KIT
plenty of band aids & butterfly bandages.
Kotex (heavy duty pads) - can be used to absorb blood from major wounds (lets say your hunting and get hurt and then end up stranded due to an injury) each heavy pad holds approximately a half pint of blood and this lets emergency personnel know how badly you are bleeding!
Styptic pen (men use those for shaving) stops bleeding on small wounds.
Scissors
Tweezers
Small mirror

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Blog Update

I updated the look of my blog, now the twenty million dollar question is how does one get rid of those annoying wrenches all over the blog - the ones that denote editing.