Springtime in the Mile High City generally means people trade their skis for hiking boots and snow tires for year-round tires. The weather gets warmer, people dust off their grills, and the geese fly back to their northern homestead. Not so fast! As proven by the quick summer-to-winter temperature transition we experienced last weekend, weather in Denver is extremely unpredictable. A seemingly pleasant family picnic in the mountains can turn in to an emergency situation with flash floods, unexpected snow storms or mudslides. If you find yourself sliding off the road and unable to get your car unstuck, are you prepared? Packing an emergency survival kit to keep in your car will ensure your safety during unforeseen circumstances due to quickly changing weather conditions.
Space blanket: Although most blankets will serve to keep you warm, a space (or mylar) blanket is also generally wind- and waterproof. They are also lightweight and able to be compacted in to a small space. A space blanket can also be used as a tarp or fashioned into a makeshift shelter in extreme cases.
Cable ties/twine/rope/bungee cords: These items are helpful to hold anything together, strap items to your car, and can also be useful if you need to pack out of somewhere.
Jumper cables: This item may seem like a no brainer, but jumper cables can save you hours of being stranded on the road. You can also purchase a compact battery jumper, which does not require another car or cables to be present to start your vehicle. Just make sure the jumper is charged before taking it on the road.
Flare alerts: Flare alerts can be used to notify passing vehicles that you are stranded. They are visible from three to five miles away and work in all weather conditions.
Power inverter: This can save the day by easily plugging into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. It will easily charge a dead cell phone battery so you are able to call for help.
Hand warmers: Although hand warmers do not produce significant heat, they will warm you up if you put them in your coat or pockets.
High fat/high calorie food: Foods high in fat and calories take more energy to burn. Things like nuts and dried fruit will keep you full and give you energy longer.
Drinking water: You should always pack water regardless of the length of trip.
First aid kit: Band-aids, antiseptic spray, and bandages are always a good idea to have handy.
Coloradoans live by the saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” Although the weather in Denver may be ideal, it can change drastically up the mountains. This list may sound extensive, but it may truly be the difference between being safe and being stuck. For more items to include in your emergency survival kit, visit the Monday Morning Mechanic.