I’m not gonna lie, I was born in a country where tsunamis & hurricanes are more probable than a snowfall. I also lived in California before I ever stepped foot in Idaho, so it took me quite a while before I ever saw a cold snowy winter. But I can confidently say after living in Idaho for multiple years & going through plenty of winters I have a great understanding of important car accessories that every driver should have!
item(s) #1: windshield de-icer spray & ice scraper
Nothing is worse than going outside to your car & seeing every window frozen over & having to use your perfectly polished nails to scratch some of that ice & snow off while your car warms up. Luckily there are windshield de-icer spray products that I can tell you off experience work magically. The best part is that even some come with a built-in ice scraper on the lid & if it doesn’t get yourself a cheap ice scraper. It will help speed up your daily routine by a large margin.
item #2: snow shovel
Every once in a while you’ll be out & about when a snowfall hits & it covers your car & the streets. A snow shovel will be your best friend in that situation. You’ll be able to shovel your way out & create a path for your car if you’re ever stuck on the road or in a parking lot that yet has to be snow plowed. This accessory is especially needed if you’re like me & drive a rear wheel drive car. It is also very helpful to get snow off of your car when it’s piled up because in some instances it is illegal to drive a car that is covered in snow & I personally know people here in Idaho that have been ticketed for that.
item #3: Blankets
This step I learned from my beautiful mother whenever she would take me to school in the early mornings of winter. She’d always be in her pajamas & would leave a blanket or two in the car so that she can cover her legs while she’s driving. Blankets will never do you wrong during those cold winter mornings & nights when you’re sitting in your car waiting for it to warm up.
item #4: sandbags
To some, this might sound like a crazy accessory but trust me this item has multiple uses to it. The first use is to give your car traction if you’re ever stuck in snow & your wheels are constantly spinning but not moving. Pouring a bit of sand under your tires will help your wheels get enough traction to be able to move out of wherever you’re stuck. If you’re a cat owner you can even throw some cat litter to get you out. The second use is for all my people who also drive a rear wheel drive car. Putting the sandbags in the back of your car will give it that extra weight to improve traction while driving. Below is a chart I got from Les Schwab that has the recommended amount of weight to add to the trunk of your car.
|Type of Vehicle||Suggested Added Weight|
|½-ton pickup||240-300 lbs.|
|¾- to 1-ton pickup||300-400 lbs.|
item #5: cell phone car charger
A couple of years ago around February & March, I went to a bonfire somewhere out by Kuna in an open spot where people go out to shoot guns. I had to use GPS to get there because I’m not familiar with that side of town & part of the drive was going through some dirt roads. A couple of hours later it was about 10 or 11 pm & I decided to go home & at this point my cell phone was dead. I ended up driving endlessly for an hour & a half trying to get to Meridian because the roads were dark & the houses were few. Keep in mind I was also running out of gas. After a long while, I was able to find a random gas station & I had to awkwardly ask the cashier where exactly I was & how to get back to town. All I needed was a car charger to prevent this. A $2-$5 car charger you can buy from any gas station. I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if I were to run out of gas at a time like that.
If you made it this far after that fact that I brought up that I came from California I thank you, & if not I don’t blame you. Hopefully, these 5 items help change your winter driving experience for the better! Stay safe Idaho.