Essential items you should always have in your winter driving kit

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It wouldn’t be winter in Canada without snow — but while it can bring fun, it can also wreak havoc on your home and vehicle. From shoveling tips to driving checklists, Canadian Tire and Yahoo are bringing you everything you need to conquer the snowy season.

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

Many Canadians has a story to tell about a scary winter driving experience. Once you have an incident like that, you learn that it’s absolutely necessary to have a winter driving kit in your car.

If you don’t have a winter driving kit on hand, you will definitely want to make this a priority as conditions continue to get more dicey over the next couple of months. If you do have one, you’re already ahead of the game, but it’s good practice to make sure everything’s in good working order and you’re stocked up on single use items.

To help, we’ve come up with a handy checklist of all the must-have items to stock in your winter driving kit.

A snow brush

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

A snow brush is a no-brainer and one of the first things you should include in your winter driving kit. There’s no question you’ll be using this tool on a daily basis if you live in a particularly snowy region.

A snow brush doesn’t have to be expensive or particularly large. We recommend a simple and compact snow brush scraper. Having the right one will allow you to effectively brush snow off your windows as well as get rid of any stubborn ice build-up. We’re partial to the Garant Telescopic Scratch Free Snow Brush, 52-in — it’s a sturdy, scratch-free scraper made of polycarbonate, which means it’s is perfect for getting through thick ice without damaging surfaces. Plus, its innovative blade design makes cleaning side mirrors and wiper wells ultra-easy as well.

Flashlight and flares

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

You’ll be thankful you packed a flashlight if you’re ever in the unfortunate position of changing a flat tire at night. Canadian winters means it gets dark quicker and a flashlight and extra batteries could be useful for a number of winter driving scenarios.

If you do breakdown or need to stop in a dark or rural area, road flares are a must-have. Flares like these CIL Orion Emergency Flares don’t require batteries or any other energy source to work. They’re great for alerting other drivers if you’re stopped or for flagging down help.

Blankets and hot shots

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

If you’re forced to sleep in your car to wait out a snowstorm or if help is a ways away, an extra blanket will feel like a godsend in cold temperatures. A heated blanket is a great option because it’s lightweight, soft and self-heating.

You’ll also be incredibly grateful you packed some Grabber Hand Warmers if you find yourself without power and heat. These little packets are air activated and can stay warm for up to seven hours.

Booster packs

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

All it takes is forgetting to turn off the lights in your car and you could be met with a dead battery a few hours later. For that reason, you should always keep a booster pack in your car, which can jumpstart your battery— no cables required. You may also be able to help fellow motorists jumpstart their cars if you spot them waiting by the side of the road.

Windshield washer fluid

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

Never compromise having a clear view while driving in the winter. It’s good practice to keep an extra jug of windshield washer fluid that’s able to defrost ice and snow as you drive. Rain-X ClearView All Season Windshield Washer Fluid is formulated for all seasons but is especially adept at de-icing windshields up to -45 C.

First-aid kit

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

You never know what injury you’ll need to treat when you’re on the road. A first-aid kit is a must to treat cuts and bruises or something more serious. You can rest easy with the Adventure 1.0 First Aid Kit in your vehicle. The comprehensive kit treats cuts and scrapes, sprains, insect bites, headaches, muscle aches and allergic reactions.

Canadian Tire and Yahoo Canada are helping Canadians make the most of winter, with snow removal advice, winter driving checklists and ideas on how to keep the whole family entertained and having fun all season long. Click here for more!