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As they used to say on some old TV show: winter is coming. That means it’s time to prepare your vehicle for the onslaught of cold air and frozen water that’s fast approaching. That could mean buying some high-end snow tires (indeed, it should mean that if you don’t have them already). But you should also pick up these portable, reasonably-priced pieces of gear and keep them in your car ahead of winter’s arrival, just in case. These items will let you be prepared for most cold-weather eventualities — without commandeering too much trunk space.
Grand Trunk’s throw travel blanket is lightweight and portable, and comes with an attached carrier bag. It features a particularly cozy foot pocket. It’s machine washable. And it may not match whatever motif your significant other has going on in the bedroom or living room, so your car is an excellent place for it.
You can go cheap with your ice scraper and brush. You can go expensive and complicated, too. Birdrock Home offers the simple, compact, lightweight Goldilocks option: an ice scraper and brush with a foam grip and non-scratch jaws, for a little less than $20.
It’s dark a lot of the time during winter. Make yourself — and what you’re working on — more visible with the Streamlight ProTac 2L-X. It’s waterproof, made from durable anodized machined aircraft aluminum and has three different operating modes, including a strobe light for signaling for help.
This bit of gear makes it easy to forget you’re lugging a shovel around — until that day you need it. This aluminum shovel from Lifeline weighs just 1.6 pounds. It separates into three pieces for easy storage. You can also adjust the length for better leverage.
Your smartphone is your connection to the outside world in an emergency, and how you’ll keep your children entertained during better times. The pocket-sized Jackery Bolt 6000 can charge up to three devices at once, and charge an iPhone to full multiple times over. It also has a helpful built-in flashlight.
There are better gloves for sports and specified tasks, and there are fancy deerskin gloves for a night on the town. Carhatt’s W.B. glove is a reasonably-priced all-arounder that’s insulated and waterproof. You won’t mind keeping them in your car.
A flare gun may be overkill: you probably won’t need to signal the Coast Guard from your car. These LED road flares from SlimK are an excellent alternative. They have nine different flashing modes, up to 36 hours of battery of life, and can be viewed from up to a mile away at night.
You need to keep your extremities warm during an emergency — or pretty much any winter event. So pick up a value pack of HotHands hand warmers and keep them in your glove box. They air activate in 15-30 minutes.
Michiganders are Mustang people. Ohioans are Corvette people. Find out your state’s dream car. Read the Story
Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol's Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He's based outside Detroit.
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