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The Essential Gear You Should Keep in Your Car All Winter Long

Want to stay safe and warm while navigating the cold, hard world? Here's what you need.

man setting up ignik heated blanket in car
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On many a day this winter, I woke up, made a mug of coffee — and drove into a snowstorm.

Heading up Teton Pass that connects Wyoming and Idaho, I watched rear tires spin fecklessly, ABS systems bring cars to a lurching halt, and drivers erratically turn off Highway 22 at full speed, unaware that friction and inertia were not on their side.

And as always, I thought to myself, “We have some learning to do here.”

No one is born knowing how to drive in the snow. Even I — a student of physics, with a childhood split between Alaska and Minnesota — didn’t have innate skills for driving in the snow when I acquired my license. I had to pay my dues, including getting stuck in a ditch more times than I've ever admitted to my mother. Eventually, I came to realize that winter driving is comparable to the race between turtle and hare; you win by going slower.

But let's face it, you’re not going to listen to the advice from some random guy on the internet. So, instead of offering tips for safer and more respectful driving, I’ll write about the opposite side of the coin: the stuff you’ll want when you’re stuck in the snow, embarrassed as hell and waiting for AAA to save your cold butt.

These probably aren’t gifts you’re likely to get at Christmas, or currently fawning over in a curated online shopping cart. No, these are tools — tools to help you become a better driver, help you wait for help more comfortably should the need arise, and — for the real go-getters — help you get unstuck without the aid of a tow truck.

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HotHands Hand Warmers
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The Best Winter and Snow Tires You Can Buy
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Subzero Hopkins 52" Super Extender Snowbroom
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NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp 12-Volt UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter Box, Car Battery Booster Pack, Portable Power Bank Charger, and Jumper Cables For Up To 6-Liter Gasoline and 3-Liter Diesel Engines
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The 12 Best Down Jackets of 2021
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These top picks for lightweight, innovative down jackets will keep you warm from when the leaves fly until the snow melts in the spring.

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