Winter car kit

Elizabeth Tibbe, Co-editor in chief

A Michigan winter is no walk in the park or drive down the California coastline. You’ve probably gotten the lecture from your parents about driving in the winter but in case of emergency, there are some things you should always have in your car. So load up a plastic tub and throw it in your trunk just to make sure you’re covered if you end up one of the many poor unfortunate souls alone in a ditch.

Information gathered from

Snow brush

We’ve all seen the high schooler stranded in the parking lot because they can’t see through the snow and ice that has taken over every window of their car. Don’t be that person stuck breathing on the ice and wiping off the snow with anything on hand. Make sure you have a brush and ice scraper so you can clear off quickly. Dont neglect the top of the car either because then you will be the person who has a personal blizzard off the roof, making a white out for the car behind you.


Along with snow storms comes complete darkness before dinner. If you get into an accident after dark a flashlight is handy in more ways than one. Can’t find your keys? Want to be seen but don’t have anything bright enough? Want to make shadow puppets on the door to pass time? Then you better make sure you throw in a flashlight (and batteries).


Ice can get more extreme than just a layer on the windshield. If that’s the case, a bag of road salt can come in handy. A sprinkle and some time will get the ice off the car or road so you can open your door or stop your tires from spinning. The weight also adds to tire traction.

Water, food

It may come in handy when you have a late night at school or when you’re stuck waiting for someone to pull you out of a ditch. Either way it is always good to have a granola bar or two thrown in along with a full bottle of water.

Hat, socks, mittens, warm clothes

There is no telling how long you’ll be waiting for help or how cold it will be. This is Michigan, one minute you’re fine in your jeans and t-shirt, the next it’s sub zero and you end up with icicles on your eyelashes. If warm clothes means your fuzzy zebra print onesie then so be it. Mittens also come in handy while brushing off your car so that your hands don’t freeze in the process.

First aid kit and pocket knife

A first-aid kit should be a year round staple or at least just some bandages and neosporin. A pocket knife is never a bad idea either, the best option is a mulit-tool that can suffice if you’re in a pinch.


Opt for the emergency blanket if you have one considering it is meant for an emergency. If one is not at your disposal, a nice thick one will do especially if it is just to curl up in for a little bit (on top of the warm clothes you had with you).

Tow chain

A tow truck is the best choice if you find yourself in a ditch but if you decide to pass that option by and go with calling a friend or parent to come to your rescue, make sure you do your part. The weight of the chains will depend on the size of your car, a Fiesta won’t need heavy duty chains like a Jeep would and those that would pluck a Prius from a snowbank won’t budge a Suburban.

Jumper cables

Whether you end up needing a little juice to bring your car to life or you’re the savior to some other desperate driver, jumper cables are something simple you probably have lying around the garage. Before you head out you should know how to use them, otherwise what use are they?

Portable phone charger

Worst case scenario, you go off the road with nobody in sight and your phone is dead. Portable chargers run as low at 10 dollars for a decent one, make sure it’s charged up and throw it in your console. It can help you in an emergency or if your battery is running low at school. Just make sure you recharge it after each use so that it is actually helpful when you need it.

Just in case, here are the numbers for local towing services.

Dick’s towing
(616) 842- 4880

Tri-city towing service LLC
(616) 842- 9610