Survival kit must-haves

Staff reports
Farm Forum

A snowstorm can sneak up on us at any time. In fact, it is not unusual to have several inches dumped on us as early as last month.

So now is the perfect time to pack a winter survival kit in your car. Grab a duffel bag and have your kids help accumulate the ‘ingredients.’ As a family activity, it can be like a fun scavenger hunt:

1. Blankets. Pack several if you usually do not travel alone.

2. Flashlight. The crank kind is nice if you do not want to rely on batteries.

3. Candles. They can produce an amazing amount of heat. And, of course, matches, packed in a ziplock bag. Some people put the candle in the bottom of a metal coffee can. The can might get pretty hot so factor this in. The best choice is a multiple-wick candle – they usually come in a large glass jar.

4. Bottles of water. They should be unopened to ensure that they are not contaminated, but this can be tricky. In South Dakota they can easily turn to a solid block of ice.

5. Food. High sugar and high protein is best but it should be items that are easy to keep such as peanuts, dried fruit, chocolate bars, jerky, hard candy, raisins, nuts, or protein bars.

6. Glow sticks – either to keep you company or to help rescuers locate you.

7. Flares – for the obvious reason.

8. A first aid kit.

9. Car cellphone charger.

10. Ice scraper, snow shovel.

11. A good book. You might be there awhile. And games for the kids.

12. Pocket knife.

13. Large black plastic trash bags to use as a poncho or to tuck around your legs.

14. Extra clothing such as a parka, boots, long underwear, stocking cap, heavy socks, mittens, and scarves.

15. Toilet tissue.

16. Red or orange fabric to tie onto the antennae to help alert searchers – or the Saint Bernard carrying the barrel of brandy around his neck.

17. Nylon rope. If you must leave the vehicle, (to light a flare, clear snow from the tailpipe, or use the toilet paper) tie it around your waist so that you can find your way back.