From time to time, Frank and I have encouraged you to always keep a survival kit in your vehicle.
You just never know when you’re going to get stranded. You might have to spend a number of hours or even a night in your car before someone rescues you.
Among the items you should place in your car are those that will keep you warm and nourished. Including non-perishable food, drinking water, a coat, hat and gloves.
It’s also a good idea to have a flashlight and extra batteries on hand, as well as a blanket and pillow.
Keep these OUT of your cold car
But there are also things that you should NOT keep in your parked vehicle when it is cold outside. Here are some of them.
- Cellphones. The lithium-ion battery can stop working in frigid temperatures.
- Soda or beer. Because water expands when it gets very cold, these cans can explode. Coke can freeze at 30 degrees. Most beers will freeze at 27 degrees.
- Canned goods. The cold can break the seals of cans, rendering the contents unusable.
- Medications. Some meds such as insulin can lose their effectiveness after they’ve become frozen.
- Musical instruments. Wooden instruments can crack when exposed to cold weather. Damage can be difficult if not impossible to repair.
- If an egg cracks from freezing, throw it out. Un-cracked eggs can be moved to a refrigerator and can be hard cooked.
Phone quit working? That’s cold!
Because a cellphone could be your lifeline in a crisis, it’s especially important to not let it get too cold.
iPhones are designed to operate in temps of 32 or higher, so it wouldn’t take much of a cold spell to cause problems.
The lithium-ion battery could stop discharging electricity in cold temperatures. This would cause the phone to shut off, have a shortened battery life or experience display issues. The glass could even shatter.
If you find yourself stranded in a cold car, put your phone close to your body. Ideally between two items of clothing. It might even benefit from your body heat.
Just in case…
If you spend considerable time outdoors in the winter, you might want to purchase a phone case designed to keep phones warm.
Among the companies and brands to look for are Salt Cases, Burton Antifreeze and ClimateCase. They each use insulation to keep phones warm and functioning.
Now, if you are in a very cold environment and don’t believe you’ll need your phone for a while, turn it off. The safe temperature range for phones increases when they are turned off.
Also, it’s best not to charge phones in extreme cold. While most phone issues are temporary, this can cause permanent damage.
Watch those tanks & tires
It’s also important to remember to keep your fuel tank at least half-full and hopefully more in the winter. This will prevent fuel lines from freezing in most cases.
Also, keep an eye on your tire pressure during the winter. Tire pressure can drop 10 percent when the temperature falls 10 degrees.
Following all the tips above could help you get through this winter without some of the mishaps others may experience.
If you have other suggestions for handling the cold, please free to mention them in the Comments section.