Just because it's winter, it doesn't mean that you should hibernate inside. In fact, even though spring is still a few weeks (or months) away, depending on where you live, there is so much outdoor fun that can be had right now. One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors in the winter is to go on a long trip in your car.
A winter road trip is the perfect opportunity to see natural sites throughout the country when they are covered with snow or lacking foliage. Going outside in winter gives you a whole different prospect on what nature looks like. And, often, it's more beautiful than you ever imagined! Plan a road trip to a destination and back, and find places you can stop and sleep along the way. If you're feeling really adventurous, consider making the trip a progressive camping adventure, where you stay at campgrounds along your route. Camping or hiking in winter is actually very good for your body and can give you the Vitamin D boost you need!
One important thing to keep in mind, however, is that when you go on a road trip in the winter, it's critical to have emergency supplies in the car. This is especially true if you are going through rural or mountainous areas where you will not regularly be around other humans or stores. If you encounter some unexpected crisis, you might not have any resources to ask for help.
Here are some things you should put in your car as a winter emergency kit before you hit the road for a cold-season road trip. Each of these things can keep you safe and healthy if you get stranded, and each can help rescue you in an emergency if it takes a while for help to get to you.
Always Have a Winter Preparedness Kit
One of the smartest things you do is create a winter preparedness "kit" that you always keep in the car, even when it's not winter and even when you're not going on a road trip. A kit, kept in a small box or container, can always come in handy if you happen to encounter any car trouble that strands you. In the kit, include the following:
- Flares (to put on the ground in case you need to change a tire or your car is stopped but not visible)
- A blanket
- Hand warmers
- A flashlight
- Some non-perishable food items to eat in case you can't get help for while
- Bottles or jugs of water
- An external, charged cell phone battery (or battery pack)
Having a kit you can easily locate means you know that you have the stuff to keep you safe and nourished, and it allows you to quickly find things you need when you need them since you know they'll be in one specific condensed spot.
Carry Gas With You
Get a can or jug for gas and fill it up at the case station. Keep the gas supply in your car. When you are driving on a long road trip, it can be especially easy to run out of gas, especially if you misjudge the amount of time or distance between two populated places with gas stations. If you keep gas in your car, you can always refill your tank should you happen to run out somewhere where you can't call for help and can find a gas station nearby.
Bring Paper Maps
Today, people are so dependent on their Waze apps or in-car GPS systems to tell them where to go. However, when you're driving somewhere unfamiliar, and you're in the wilderness, there's always a chance your electronic navigator might go out or stop working. If this happens and you don't have any way of knowing how to get around, you may be in big trouble and totally lost. So, when you're going on a road trip, make sure you buy paper road maps of your routes and destinations so you can still find your way around without a computer telling you where to go. You can actually still find maps of places online and in bookstores! But you may have to ask someone from a different generation just how you're supposed to read that map.
Learn How to Change a Tire
One thing that a lot of people used to learn in high school or in Driver's Ed is how to change a tire. Not so much anymore. People rarely know how to change their own tires and often call emergency rescue services like AAA to come to do it for them. However, if you get a flat and need to put a spare on until you can take your car into the shop, you need to be able to change the tire yourself. That's because if you're driving through a remote area, there's a great chance that you're not going to have cell phone service and you won't be able to call an emergency roadside assistant to help you change your tire.
Ask a mechanic you know to let you watch him change a tire, or do some watching of YouTube videos and practicing at home. You have all the tools in your car to do it yourself. All it takes is some skill-building and a little elbow grease. This will keep you safe and allow you to keep moving should you ever encounter trouble while you're out on the road.
Find the Things You Need Affordably at Pike Trail
So, you're all ready for a road trip of a lifetime. If you prepare all of the above for your car, you can drive to wherever you're planning to camp or hike without worrying about any mishaps along the way. If you want to make sure you outfit yourself without breaking the bank, a great resource for many of the things you need is Pike Trail. Pike Trail is an online store dedicated to only selling research-tested, trusted, quality-approved outdoor goods. When you shop at Pike Trail, you know that you're buying something high-caliber and dependable.
The other perk of shopping at Pike Trail? The prices. The company makes sure to price all goods in the shop fairly and affordably, so you can ensure you have everything you need to enjoy the world around you without needing to empty your wallet to do it. Pike Trail believes the world is at your fingertips and meant to be enjoyed—you don't need to pay a hefty price of admission (or for supply stocking) to do it!