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Why A Coffee Can Survival Kit Should Be Included In Your Car Winter Survival Kit

You may have a bug-out bag and have prepped your house for an earthquake, tornado, fire, flood, etc. that may come your way. But, are you prepared if disaster strikes while you’re on the road? Are you prepared for any unforeseen emergency situation coming up? Unfortunately, many are not. And you owe it to yourself and your family to be prepared for unpredictable harsh winter weather.

The Coffee Can Survival Kit

Hills Bros Original Blend Ground Coffee, Medium Roast, 30.5 Oz. Can – Full-Bodied Classic Rich Coffee Taste, Balanced for Optimum Caffeine

Many assume that tire chains, jumper cables, etc. are all that is needed for winter driving. However, this is far from the truth as assembling a portable, coffee can kit can be just as important.

Please note, this portable coffee can kit is important. It is though just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to emergency preparedness. Therefore, I will first go over general winter driving recommendations, recommended bulky or traditional automobile snow survival gear, and in the appendix, I will go over what to do if your car does break down in a storm.

General Winter Driving Recommendations

Staying out of trouble is the key to safe winter, driving. This means your number one goal is to prevent car trouble from even happening. The following is a list of what should be done before driving in cold weather conditions.

Before You Drive

  • Tires-Check your tire pressure, and overall tire condition before you take off and add air if needed.
  • Chains-Make sure any tire chains are in working order.
  • Practice-Make sure you can put tire chains on your car. This means practice putting your chains on in harsh winter weather conditions in a safe environment.
  • Winter Car Check-Up-Get your car checked out for the winter, and make sure your car’s belts, radiator, windshield wiper, hoses, etc., are in proper working order.
  • Filler Up– This may seem unnecessary if you are only traveling 20 miles or less. However, depending on how bad the weather conditions are you never know if an emergency may occur that could require you to take a detour or go somewhere, which can result in you running out of gas.
  • Radio Weather Channel-Program or memorize the weather radio channels for your state.
  • Emergency Gear– Have your auto winter emergency kit, which is described directly below, along with your portable or coffee can kit, with you during the winter months.

Automobile Emergency Survival Kit Contents

  • Wool Blanket or Sleeping Bag

JMR Grey 62x80 Military Wool Blanket for Emergency ,Camping & Everyday Use (Grey)

  • Flashlight With Extra Batteries
  • Emergency Flares

3 Packs Of High Visibility Eco-Friendly 15-Minute Safety Flares (Pack of 3)

  • Extra Set(s) of Winter Clothes.
  • Jumper Cables

Energizer Jumper Cables for Car Battery, Heavy Duty Automotive Booster Cables for Jump Starting Dead or Weak Batteries with Carrying Bag Included (16-Feet (6-Gauge)

  • Traction Mats

Maxsa Innovations 20333 Escaper Buddy Traction Mats for Off-Road Mud, Sand, & Snow Vehicle Extraction (Set of 2), Orange, standard


  • Ice and Snow-Windshield Scraper
  • Coffee Can Survival Kit-This will be thoroughly explained below.
  • Bottled Water
  • Funlove Foldable Warning Triangles Road Safety Triangle Kit, 3 Pack of Reflective Triangle Sign with Storage Case, DOT Approved Emergency, DOT, Approve Road Signs

The Coffee Can Survival Kit

French Market Coffee, Coffee and Chicory, Medium-Dark Roast Ground Coffee, 12 Ounce Metal Can

The Coffee Can survival kit as it contains vital, small, and easily lost items, in one place is essential.

Recommended Coffee Can Survival Kit Contents

  • Container– Any durable container, the approximate size of a large metal coffee container, will work. Coffee cans are used here simply for naming purposes.
  • A Small Pan-This is used for melting snow for drinking water.
  • Candle-One, 2”, candle, which is used to melt snow.
  • Cutting Tool-One durable, sharp, pocketknife, or a sheathed smaller survival knife.
  • Signaling Cloth-Three pieces of bright cloth, approximately 2 feet wide and 3 feet long that can be tied to your car as a signaling device.
  • Dehydrated Food Packets-Multiple packets of dehydrated food packets, like soup, hot cocoa, bouillon cubes, tea, cup of noodles, etc.
  • Emergency Food Bars– Consider purchasing emergency food protein bars, like the SOS, 3600 Calorie Bar. Also, include food items, like a cliff bar and trail mix.
  • Fire Starter-It is best to at least include a reliable BIC type lighter or the equivalent, and a couple of books of matches for backup. To avoid an accidental fire, stay away from “strike anywhere” matches.
  • Flashlight and Batteries-A Headlamp, LED, type flashlight is best. Also, keep your batteries close by; but separated from the flashlight.
  • First Aid Kit-It is highly recommended that you purchase a Red Cross Certified kit.

M2 BASICS 350 Piece Emergency First Aid Kit | Dual Layer, Wall Mountable, Medical Supplies for Business, School, Car or Home

  • Laminated, Foldable/Miniature State Map-You may be required to take a detour because of closed-off roads, and other emergencies. As a result, it would be very helpful to know any possible detours that you could take.

Space Blanket-The space or thermal blanket has many purposes, and as they take up little space, they should be included in your emergency survival kit.

ASA Techmed Emergency Mylar Thermal Blanket, Foil Rescue Space Blanket - Silver - Designed for NASA, Outdoors, Survival, Hiking, Natural Disasters, First Aid, Marathons (1)

  • Toilet Paper-Technically, toilet paper is not life-saving. It sure though is handy to have around when you have to go!

Dress Appropriately- In my early 20s, when I was young, dumb, and full of $#%, I once drove from Las Vegas to Salem, Oregon in December. It was snowing, and I think snow chains were required. (Of course, I did not have any snow chains)  The lack of snow chains was dumb. But what was even dumber was when I didn’t even bring with me a heavy coat or any winter, appropriate, clothes with me. It turned out fine and I only deservedly so, got bitched out by my mom. The moral of this story is, as you never can guarantee what will happen, So, always dress appropriately, during the cold winter months, no matter how far you are driving.

Final Thoughts

You never know when a disaster will occur. So, no matter what season, you should always have survival gear in your car. With cold winter weather though, because of hypothermia, and other dangers, having the proper emergency gear with you is essential. So, if you have to travel during harsh, weather; first make sure your car is filled up with gas, it is mechanically sound, and that you have your survival gear with you.


What Do You Do If Your Car Breaks Down?

No matter how well you prepare your car may still somehow get stranded under harsh, winter weather conditions. If this happens you need to first do the following if possible- Get your car to a safe place, call for help, and remain in your car until they show up.

If the above is not possible, you then need to hunker down and do the following:

Stay Where You Are-A car is a perfect, emergency, winter survival shelter.

Exhaust Pipes-To prevent Co2 poisoning, get out and make sure that your tailpipes are cleared of snow, and each time you turn your car on, check again for a clogged-up tailpipe.

On and Off-Turn your heater on intermediately to preserve gas. Just turn it on to get a bit of heat and then turn your car off.

Stay Hydrated-You should have extra bottles of water with you in your winter auto emergency supply kit. If you don’t though you will need to melt snow for drinking water.

Keep Hazard Lights On-Keep your car hazard lights on and place emergency road signs, like the one shown below, and flares near your automobile.

Keep Your Seat Belt On– To reduce the chance of serious injury, keep your seat belts on if you are near or on the road.