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Winter Survival Kit: Tools To Keep Inside Your Vehicle Now

Most people have a first aid kit for their home, but what about in their car? During winter, you need to plan for the worst. The best way to do this is by creating a winter survival kit! This prevents your vehicle from falling prey to sleet and snow, getting you back on the road in no time at all! It can be particularly helpful for those who have early morning commutes or live in rural areas, where being caught in a blizzard is detrimental.

Don’t let winter take a heavy toll on your vehicle! With just a few items, you can easily assemble a winter survival kit so you’ll be ready for any emergency in the frost. At Doug Yates, we’ve compiled a list of common and uncommon items you can use as ideas to fuel your winter vehicle survival.

winter survival kit

Simple Tools for Winter Survival

Ice Scraper & Brush

Scraping and digging away at winter sleet is much easier with the proper tools. Whether it’s thick ice covering your windshield or snow covering your tires, a handy tool is just what you need! An ice scraper or a thick ice brush is the perfect tool for stubborn snow. They protect your fingers from digging at ice until they turn red and are durable enough to move sleet out from under your vehicle. We recommend using the brush on your windshield to prevent scrapes, scratches or even cracks.

Running late? Don’t be tempted with a fast-fix for frozen windows. Warm water should never be poured onto a frozen windshield! The rapid difference in temperature can cause the glass to fracture or even burst, breaking your windows altogether. The best option for an early morning freeze is to plan ahead. Give yourself enough time to scrape, brush and heat your car with the defroster. Besides, giving your car enough time to heat up is easier on the engine and overall battery life.

Jumper Cables & Power Packs

Every driver should have a separate set of jumper cables on hand in case of emergencies. Cables allow you to jump-start your battery if it dies or even help another motorist in trouble. They can be relatively inexpensive and easy to acquire from almost any store!

For newer cars it’s better on the battery to use a jumper pack or a power pack. Jumper packs (or booster packs) are compact battery devices that allow you to jump-start a dead battery without needing another vehicle present to jump from. The battery within the device provides a better jump at a safe and controlled voltage. When it’s used correctly it’s the safest way to protect a vehicles computer and other electronics.

Power packs are designed with different batteries that produce lower power over a longer period of time. They can be used to jump-start a slightly discharged vehicle battery, but the power boost may not be enough for some vehicles. Emergency power packs are usually utilized for charging devices in a power failure, inflating tires, and providing light. Each of these devices can be helpful in an unfortunate situation, but it’s up to you to decide which one would best fit your vehicle!

Here are some ways that winter can affect your vehicle’s battery:

  • Cold weather can cause batteries to die more quickly than normal. This is because cold weather causes batteries to discharge faster than they normally do. If you aren’t using your car during the cold months, consider disconnecting or removing the battery from your vehicle until spring arrives.
  • Winter temperatures can also cause corrosion on cables and terminals, which could lead to an electrical short in some cases. This is especially true if you live where salt is used on roadways during winter or snow storms. Salt corrodes metal, so if there is any leftover salt on cables or terminals, it could cause issues with your vehicle’s electrical system, which could lead to an electrical short if left unchecked for too long.
winter survival kit

“Fix-a-Flat” Tire Repair

Look out for debris on the road! Debris is the number one cause of flat tires and blowouts. In the unfortunate situation where you need a quick fix for your tires, grab a can of “fix-a-flat” or any other kind of instant tire sealant. This isn’t intended as a tire replacement but it can be helpful when you need to patch a hole instead of changing your tire in a winter freeze. Remember, instant tire sealants must be warm in order to dispense. You can warm it over the defroster before you use it or stow it in a warmer cabin inside your vehicle.

You may have to change your spare tire if the puncture is bigger than you thought. This process should take no more than 30 minutes! Also, keep a spare tire on hand at all times! A quick search on the internet should instruct you one how to change a tire. At Doug Yates, we would be happy to replace it for you if you do not know how.


You can never go wrong with having an extra flashlight. Compared to the summertime, winter days are shorter and darker. Flashlights help with tire changes, checking under the hood, or simply looking around in the darkness. Also, in some cases, flashlights can be used as signals to oncoming cars. Many flashlights created today come with backup batteries or have other methods to stay on longer. Don’t pass up a quick grab-and-go flashlight next time you’re in the store. When something happens after the sun goes down, you’ll want to be ready!

Blankets & Warm Clothing

If your car loses power in the dead of winter, you’ll want some extra clothes to keep you warm. Gloves are super helpful for those frozen morning steering wheels, clearing snow from your windows, or even providing a little extra warmth to your outside car maintenance. Blankets have a number of uses. If you need something to sit on while changing a tire in the cold, a barrier for getting under your car, or even just something to keep you warm while you wait for a tow truck to arrive. Choosing an older quilt or a handy towel is always a good option. Staying warm is the most important tactic to survival when your stranded in winter. So next time you leave the house, gather a few extra clothing items that would come in handy for yourself or an under-dressed passenger.

winter survival kit

DIY Toolkit

In addition to the winter survival kit, you will want to create your own personal ‘hand-made’ toolkit for specific situations. We recommend packing a few different-sized screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers. Grab some old rags for on-the-go oil changes and checks. Think of what maintenance you do on your car the most! Maybe you need a funnel? Duct tape? Extra bags? Whatever it is that you think you might need for those harsh winter days or a roadside emergency, pack it away with peace of mind!

On top of this, take some time out to refresh your actual first aid kit. Remember to keep the essentials in your car: medication, bandages, and antibiotic ointment.

Portable Air Compressor

These compact machines are a fast, easily accessible tool for when your tire pressure dips. Portable air compressors gain power by the 12v outlet in your car, fitting snugly in your trunk! They fill low tires, flats and spares. Tire pressure issues are usually very common during the cold, so don’t worry too much if your gauge consistently lowers as the temperature drops. This happens a lot with older vehicles. Check your tire pressure at least once a month during harsh winters. If your tire pressure light comes on while driving, be sure to find a safe place to investigate. Hopefully, you may just need a quick air refill. If it seems like something else is wrong, go ahead and change your spare tire or call a towing service for further assistance.

Need Winter TOWING? Here’s How:

When faced with a roadside emergency in winter, time is of the essence. Delayed assistance can result in increased discomfort, danger, and potential damage to your vehicle. Doug Yates Towing’s commitment to prompt and efficient service ensures that help is just a phone call away, providing you with peace of mind on those winter roads. If you find yourself in need of towing or roadside assistance, follow these steps:

  • Visit The Website: Search to learn more about our services and gather important contact information.
  • Call The Emergency Hotline: In case of an emergency, call Doug Yates’s 24/7 hotline at 423-482-9138. A trained and professional dispatch operator will guide you through the process and dispatch assistance to your location.
  • Provide Details: When you call, be prepared to provide details about your location, the nature of the issue, and any other relevant information. This ensures that the response team is adequately equipped to assist you.
  • Stay Safe: While waiting for assistance, prioritize your safety. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location away from traffic and turn on your hazard lights.
winter survival kit

Need Reliable Winter Towing Services? Call Us Today!

Although we hope it never happens to you, accidents do happen and vehicles find themselves in all kinds of dangerous situations and need our assistance. Winter survival kits can’t fix everything, and recovery towing requires special expertise and equipment. A vehicle may require recovery towing services if it has found itself in a ditch or ravine, stuck in the mud, underwater or upside down from a rollover accident, among many other instances. Using heavy-duty equipment, such as a crane and mechanical winch, the recovery towing professionals at Doug Yates Towing & Recovery can extract any vehicle and place it safely back on the road, towing it away for repairs as needed.

Doug Yates Towing & Recovery is located within the city limits of Chattanooga, Tennessee, one of the area’s most vibrant business communities. Since 1946, it has been the company’s mission to conduct business with integrity and professionalism in all phases of day-to-day services provides state-of-the-art convenience, innovative technology and reliable services. Our experienced technicians ensure complete satisfaction throughout the entire towing or recovery process. We offer 24/7 towing and recovery services for all motorists and vehicle types, our team of tow truck technicians will help get you and your vehicle to your desired destination quickly, safely and securely!

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