Surviving winter if you are stranded in you car

Surviving winter if you are stranded in you car

car in winter

What would you do if you found yourself stranded.? 

Being stranded in your car in nice weather is bad enough, but getting stranded in ice and snow and surviving winter weather is something you must be prepared for.

As preppers we all prepare for natural disasters of one sort or the other.

The UK Winter is something that we also need to prepare for as well.

The basic risks still exist - and during the winter months the added risk of Hypothermia is higher than at any other time.​

Worse case scenario for any motorist

In order to survive the winter weather, it is essential to be fully prepared and have the correct equipment with you,if you were to get yourself stranded in your car.
Breaking down in the snow and ice or just sliding of the road and getting stuck can be quite dangerous at the least and potentially fatal in the worse can scenario.

Being fully prepared with the correct winter survival kit
is essential to keep yourself alive until help arrives.

The Basic 5 Rules Of Survival still apply to surviving winter in your car.

But remember, always adapt the amount of survival preparation to suit your own families needs and consider a worse case scenario of a car full of adults.

You must have enough survival equipment and supplies for this.

    Below is a comprehensive list of  Winter Vehicle Survival Equipment 


    This is your No:1 concern and most important survival decision.

    • Your car will provide all the shelter you need and protect you from the elements, so DO NOT leave your vehicle.
    • The only real time you would consider leaving is when you are fully equipped to do so, your life was in danger,  or you knew exactly where you were heading for.
    • Tip:  write "HELP & SOS" on the outside of the windscreen and back window
    car in winter


    being able to keep warm and offset hypothermia is essential to survival

    • Your car will provide all the shelter you need and protect you from the elements, so DO NOT leave your vehicle.
    • The only real time you would consider leaving is when you are fully equipped to do so, your life was in danger,  or you knew exactly where you were heading for.

    • Tip:  run your car engine for short periods of time [10-15mins] to stop any freezing, and run the heater [set on feet only], as any heat will rise and add to the warmth inside.
      Ensure that nothing is blocking that will allow fumes into the cabin area. [e.g. the exhaust system] and keep all windows and doors closed to prevent any fumes entering.


    You will need a to ensure you have a supply of water for at least 48 hours. As well as an energy drink to keep you alert. 
    Do not eat the snow or ice around you, no matter how fresh it is.
    Snow will cool your body temperature down too much and the last thing you want is for your core temperature to drop.
    Snow and ice can also contain dirt, bacteria and other unsavoury things.!

    [easyazon_image align=”none” height=”160″ identifier=”B015H06LNC” locale=”UK” src=”” tag=”blogextremeweather-21″ width=”59″]

    [easyazon_link identifier=”B015H06LNC” locale=”UK” tag=”blogextremeweather-21″]Fiji Water 500 ml[/easyazon_link]

    [easyazon_image align=”none” height=”160″ identifier=”B00COJWZHQ” locale=”UK” src=”” tag=”blogextremeweather-21″ width=”68″]

    [easyazon_link identifier=”B00COJWZHQ” locale=”UK” tag=”blogextremeweather-21″]60ml Intense Energy Shot[/easyazon_link]


    [easyazon_image align=”none” height=”160″ identifier=”B00EZSCRRC” locale=”UK” src=”” tag=”blogextremeweather-21″ width=”160″]

    [easyazon_link identifier=”B00EZSCRRC” locale=”UK” tag=”blogsolarradio-21″]Go Hydro Tablets[/easyazon_link]

    A few bottles of water (warm if possible) is all you need, but for some flavour an energy drink or adding an energy tablet will keep you refreshed and hydrated, which will help your decision maker better.

    Additionally you could carry a water filer bottle, enabling you to melt the snow and then filter it through the bottle.


    It is very easy to carry survival food with you in your car survival pack.

    Not only cold food but hot food as well..!

    This is easily done using a 'self heating' ration pack that will give you piping hot food ready to eat anywhere. 

    I think this is a must have for so many survival situations and its so easy to put a few into your car survival kit.

    In a ration pack like the one shown here below: You get all the food and drink essentials to help you survive for 24 hours - hence the name 24 hr ration pack..!
    You even get a spork to eat it with.

    [easyazon_image align=”none” height=”351″ identifier=”B007W1A0NC” locale=”UK” src=”” tag=”blogextremeweather-21″ width=”500″]

    [easyazon_link identifier=”B007W1A0NC” locale=”UK” tag=”blogextremeweather-21″]Self Heating Field Ration Pack Ready To Eat Meal Menu A[/easyazon_link]

    This pack, for example, contains 1500Kcal of energy per pack - more than enough to keep you alive whilst sitting in your car.

    There's also a dessert as well as snacks, tea, coffee and creamer, sugar, spoon, wet wipe and heat pack.

    Pretty comprehensive eh.

    The manufacturers make several different meals from the all day breakfast to chilli con carni and vegetable curry with rice. All self heating and ready in 10 minutes, 

    All in all, a ration pack like this is an absolute must for a lot of survival situations. In your bug out bag, in the car or even in an EDC. They are so versatile.
    Even if you were only stuck for six hours - that's still enough time to get cold and hungry.!

    Hunker down and be prepared.

    To some extent the only extra you'll need are the food and water supplies, shown above.

    Because, when you think of it, you have your shelter (the car). You have you heating (running the car engine). You have lighting (interior light).

    But I would suggest a few more things to be on the safe side because a car can get mighty cold, very fast, once you have switched the engine off.

    [easyazon_image align=”none” height=”500″ identifier=”B00OUO77Z8″ locale=”UK” src=”” tag=”blogextremeweather-21″ width=”500″]

    [easyazon_link identifier=”B00OUO77Z8″ locale=”UK” tag=”blogextremeweather-21″]Wind Tour Thermal Warm Adult Sleeping Bag [/easyazon_link]

    A good quality, winter grade sleeping bag will certainly help you to maintain body heat if your stranded in your car for any amount of time.

    Definitely go for a sleeping bag with a hood section - you lose so much body heat through your head, you have to keep it covered.

    Keep your clothes on - but only if they are dry and if you do get too hot, strip off a little at a time. Although that's unlikely as your not doing much to generate natural body heat.

    The consideration here is, "do I need two sleeping bags"?

    There's always a chance someone else may be stranded with you.

    The final, essential item to keep packed in your cars survival box is hand warmers.

    These babies are worth their weight in gold.

    You can even get foot warmers as well as the standard hand types.

    It's all about keeping yourself hydrated, fed, warm and comfortable - do that part and you'll survive a night in the freezing cold conditions of your stranded car.

    These heat packs are capable of generating heat for hours and hours.

    In fact the manufacturers claim they will work for 10 hours - I've never tried mine for that amount of time!

    But the work very well and combined with a good sleeping bag to keep the heat in, your good to go.

    [easyazon_image align=”none” height=”160″ identifier=”B000YF3DUA” locale=”UK” src=”” tag=”blogextremeweather-21″ width=”120″]

    [easyazon_link identifier=”B000YF3DUA” locale=”UK” tag=”blogsolarradio-21″]Hot Hands Instant Hand Warmers. 6 Pairs[/easyazon_link]

    [easyazon_image align=”none” height=”160″ identifier=”B000YEZLD8″ locale=”UK” src=”” tag=”blogextremeweather-21″ width=”129″]

    [easyazon_link identifier=”B000YEZLD8″ locale=”UK” tag=”blogextremeweather-21″]Hot Hands Foot Warmers 6 pairs[/easyazon_link]

    Other items can be added. It's personal choice really.

    • Torch / lantern / glow stick (handy to hang outside for rescue)
    • Hand cleaning gel / wet wipe / tissues
    • A book to read
    • Snow shovel / ice scraper / de-icing spray 
    • First aid kit
    • Extra thermal socks / thermal gloves / thermal hat
    • But remember - We are only talking one, maybe two night at maximum. 
      This is not full on survival..!
    cars stranded in winter snow

    But, you also have to be realistic. Chances are you will have a mobile phone with you to let others know you predicament, and tell them you safe and comfortable just waiting to be rescued.

    This amount  of winter survival gear in your boot will not take up too much room. I use a large ish, sealed box for my gear.

    Of course, the very best way to avoid getting stranded in your car is "Don't Go Out In Your Car In The First Place".

    But, sometimes winter time journeys are necessary and you will always risk skidding off the road or just getting caught up in a motorway snarl-up where no one can move.

    Being prepared and surviving the winter weather if you ever did find yourself stranded in your car is easy if you have an emergency kit and plan.

    But, as usual, it all comes down to 'getting your act together' and doing it now, before you find yourself in that emergency situation,

    In fact, I think it's essential to carry an emergency survival kit with you at all times in your car.

    Happy Prepping Folks.


    Steve Hart UK Preppers Guide
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