Winter Survival Guide - Essential Equipment

The best defence against the elements is forward planning and those drivers that carry the right equipment with them in their cars are more likely to remain safe and mobile.

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A mild start to autumn can lull drivers into a false sense of security and lead to a lack of preparedness. The reality is that most of the UK has been colder than Stockholm for at least three weeks for four out of the past five winters and weather forecasters are warning that blizzards, extreme cold and record-breaking snowfall could lie ahead.

The best defence against the elements is forward planning and those drivers that carry the right equipment with them in their cars are more likely to remain safe and mobile during the winter months.

There are some things that can be found in the home that should be considered essential:

  • Food - non-perishable, high-energy food and snacks such as chocolate or nuts are best. Plus bottled water and a hot drink in a flask to keep you hydrated.
  • Warm clothes - including a waterproof jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
  • Practical footwear - sturdy walking boots or wellingtons should be carried in case you need to continue on foot.
  • Mobile phone - keep your mobile charged and ensure you have any emergency numbers (e.g. breakdown service provider) with you.
  • Vehicle handbook - full of useful information so keep it in the car with you.
    We have also compiled a list of 'sub-zero heroes' available from Halfords stores, to help you avoid being left out in the cold this winter.
  • AA Emergency Winter Car Kit - contains useful emergency items including a foldable snow shovel, adult high visibility vest, ice grips for shoes, foil blanket, LED torch, snow and Ice grips, booster cables and waterproof ponchos.
  • Halfords Screenwash - rated to -5 -10 -20 and -30 for all weather conditions.
  • Holts Tyreweld, 400ml - this emergency puncture repair solution seals and inflates punctured tyres - instantly eliminating the need for a roadside wheel change.
  • Plastic Fuel Can 5 litre - winter journeys can take longer so make sure you have the means to carry/ collect more fuel if needed.
  • Tyre Snow Grip Aerosol - a temporary spray-on snow chain that improves traction on ice, snow and wet surfaces a temporary spray-on snow chain that improves traction on ice, snow and wet surfaces.
  • Universal Multigrip Snow Socks - a lightweight but durable alternative to snow chains that can be fitted in 2 minutes to provide you with the grip in deeper snow and on icy roads.
  • Halfords Essentials Compact First Aid Kit - contains the usual dressings and plasters as well as sterile wipes and triangular bandage.
  • Halfords Heavy Duty Tow Rope - suitable for cars up to 3.5 tonnes complete with 2 convenient heavy duty snap hooks, warning flag and 'on tow' sign.
  • Ring 12 volt heater - a compact car heater designed to aid defrosting and provide heat if you become stranded.
  • Halfords USB Car Charger - provides up to 1 amp of power from your car's cigarette lighter to ensure your mobile phone is ready in case of emergency.

Survival Tip

Your mobile phone is a survival tool, so make sure it has plenty of battery. I heard of a man who got stuck up Mount Everest and couldn't contact his base camp but managed to ring his wife in Hong Kong who initiated a rescue. (Lofty)

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