SLIDESHOW: What to Put in a Car Emergency Kit
- Booster Cables
If you don't have booster cables in your trunk, you should have, especially for winter driving. Even newer engines can mysteriously conk out when you least expect it. Canadian tire has a wide assortment of booster cables, ranging in price from $10.49 for 8-ft cables to $139.99 for 20-ft cables. I'd probably choose something in the middling price range of $31.99 for 16-ft cables in a compact carry case.
- Emergency Tow Rope
- Food and Water
You should always have some energy or granola bars and bottled water on hand in the event you're ever stranded in your car. Dollarama now sells full-sized boxes of Quaker granola bars for $2 and they also sell bottled water for $1 for four 600ml bottles.
- Extra Socks
It's recommended that you pack extra clothing, boots and socks in your trunk so you can stay warm until help arrives. I found women's thermal socks for $2 a pair and men's brand name sport socks for $2 for two pair at Dollarama. If they're just going to sit in your trunk most of the time, why pay more?
- Compact Shovel
Canadian Tire has a couple of different folding shovels. One is bright yellow and can also be used as a roadside cone. It costs $11.99. The other is listed as an ice fishing shovel and comes in its own carry case for $19.99.
I also found a folding shovel on Amazon for $16.59 that retails for $23 on Mountain Equipment Co-op where you can see more details about the shovel.
- Light and Heat
A package of 16 tea light candles and some matches cost next to nothing at a dollar store. You can also buy a full-sized flashlight for $3 at Dollarama, along with brand name batteries for $2 a package. Remember to change the batteries every few weeks during the winter.
A hand-cranked flashlight is a handy tool to have in the car if you get stuck on a winter's night. Canadian Tire has one that costs $18.29. Amazon sells a compact model for $14.99 that also lets you charge your cell phone.
- Work Gloves
You might end up having to use the aforementioned shovel to dig yourself out of a snowbank. Sliding a pair of work gloves over your regular gloves will add extra warmth and protect your everyday gloves. Stanley work gloves cost $2 a pair at Dollarama. Canadian Tire has gloves like these costing $3.99.
- Pre-Assembled Emergency Kits
These are only a few of the things your emergency car kit should have. You may want to buy one of the car kits you can find on the market and then add to it, according to what you feel you might need in a winter emergency.