Winter vehicle survival depends on more than a good set of tires. Planning ahead for the worst that can happen will almost certainly reduce the burden if something goes wrong.

First, Have the Right Vehicle

First of all, having a car that can handle extreme weather and terrain is essential. Taking your city hatchback offroad simply won’t do and will cause damage eventually. Additionally, a front-wheel drive saloon with no real power can’t handle snow and ice. If you need a great terrain vehicle fast, consider purchasing a quality used car from a reputable seller like Edmunds. 4WD trucks and SUVs are designed to last and can handle varying terrain and conditions.

Pack an Emergency Bag

An emergency bag should be your next priority. At any time, anything can go wrong when you are out in the wild. Weather can change at the drop of a hat. And you can get lost. Additionally, it’s not unreasonable to assume you will run out of gas. An emergency bag should have first aid kits, blankets, water, easily opened food, a spare phone, lights, and winter clothing. You will need these should you become stormed in, veer off the road, or need to leave your car.

Pack a Stove for Winter Vehicle Survival

Being stranded in winter is a nightmare. And without immediate access to emergency services, it is extremely dangerous. Depending on where you are and what has happened, you might be alone for over 24 hours. Therefore, you will need some way to stay warm. A small camping stove is an excellent life-saving tool. With it, you can cook hot food to raise your core temperature or boil snow for clean water. This can be the difference between life and death.

Don’t Forget a Shovel

Winter brings a lot of snow to certain places. In the United States alone, almost 1,000 people per year are killed in snow-related car accidents. Collisions are clearly dangerous. But an overlooked hazard is being snowed in. You can be internally snowed in and might need to dig your way out of your car. Or your car can be stuck in the snow, and you need to dig out the wheels to release it. Either way, without something as simple as a shovel, this is impossible.

Always Know Where You Are

Finally, always know where you are heading and where you are for increased safety. One of the biggest dangers is getting lost in extreme weather, which can cause you to run out of gas or veer off the road. But if you always know where you are, you know the nearest places for help. Fortunately, this is easier than ever these days. Maps are great. But newer cars have GPS built-in, and you can access free GPS services like Google Maps on your smartphone.


It’s always a good idea to plan ahead for winter vehicle survival. Some of the things you can do include using a suitable car, taking emergency supplies, and using GPS to know where you are.