Gearhead: Be prepared for everything with the Winter Auto Survival Kit from American Red Cross

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If you’ll be driving in extreme weather conditions this year, consider putting together or buying an auto survival kit made specifically for winter conditions.

Creating your own kit can be fun, and allows you to tailor contents to your unique needs. Prefer to save time by purchasing a kit? A wide variety of winter driving kits are available, ranging from basic (suitable for short trips near your home base) to heavy-duty (multi-day journeys that might include remote, high mountain passes).

Here are two popular kits that exemplify that range:

The Winter Auto Survival Kit from American Red Cross is a basic kit for emergency winter situations. Cold-weather survival supplies include food bars, gloves, hand warmers, an emergency blanket, a Mylar sleeping bag, 12-hour light stick, rain poncho, and water.

Also included: a first aid kit with an assortment of bandages, antiseptic wipes, and antibiotic ointment. It’s all housed in a nylon drawstring backpack that has plenty of room to include additional items of your choice. $41.99.

The aptly-titled Winter Cross Country Kit has four components. The eight auto tools include a collapsible shovel, booster cable, tow rope, and window mount triangle. In the signal/light category are a flashlight, signaling cone, and batteries.

Among the 11-item personal accessories are a fabric blanket, gloves, rain poncho, reflective vest, utility knife and a 19-piece first aid kit.

The 24-hour roadside assistance program is good for up to 3 service calls (for towing, jump start, tire changes, fluid delivery and lockout assistance). Comes in a durable 840 Denier nylon bag with multiple compartments and a reflective strip. $71.95.

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