An alternative guide to what to store in your car this winter

As colder months and bleaker skies loom over us, it’s not just Christmas that we need to prepare for. Your car breaking down in the snow isn’t fun, but groundwork is all you need to ensure that it’s no worse an experience than it needs to be.

There’s a tonne of sensible, practical advice for drivers on what to pack in preparation for a snow-induced breakdown. Warm clothes, high calorie food, water, blankets, batteries and a torch are just some of the items recommended to motorists to stock up on.

Of course, having food and tools is always a good idea. But unless you live somewhere with a population density equivalent to that of the Australian Outback, you shouldn’t be alone and stranded for too long.

If any attempts to shovel your way home fail, awaiting breakdown rescue service or for one of your poor relatives to come and find you is the next step. So once you’ve filled your car with shovels and torches, here’s a realistic guide to what else to bear in mind:

Breakdown cover
First and foremost – the best piece of advice is to ensure that your car insurance policy includes breakdown cover. Otherwise, you could end up walking miles in the snow to get home.

Extra phone battery
Anyone of the 21st century knows that as soon as we have to wait for something – be it a bus, a blind date or a film at the cinemas, we know nothing other than using our phones as a means to pass time. Once you’ve rang for breakdown rescue and all of your friends to update them of your misfortune, you’ll need an extra battery for the all-important web browsing you’ll find yourself doing.

A to-do list
All of those mundane tasks you need to do but constantly put off? Breaking down is the perfect time to make those boring but necessary phone calls to your bank/council/vet utilising your time productively will make breaking down a lot less frustrating.

A book
When the second phone battery runs out, you’ll need another back up plan. This is where the torch will come in handy. When you’re surrounded by nothing more than a blanket of white snow and people abandoning their sliding cars, escapism may be the best idea. Escapism that preferably transports you to a hot country, in an attempt to warm you up from the imagination outwards.

Hand warmers
Stocking up on some hand warmers, where you can simply snap and enjoy the warmth, will come in handy (get it?) once you’ve turned off your engine. Stock up on a few pairs, or invest in some re-usable ones for ongoing warmth.

A large, empty water bottle
When you have to go, you have to go. And a yellow snow situation would just be embarrassing.