Well, it felt like Fall hit overnight, and now it seems Winter is doing the same thing. Though it's still technically Autumn, we've already had our first snow and temperatures in the teens.

With conditions only set to get worse, it's best to be prepared. There are plenty of prepared winter kits you can probably buy, but I find it's easier to know exactly what you need, rather than buy a kit and hope it has everything. These are a few items I always have in my car, just to be on the safe side. Do you?

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    It's a worst-case scenario, but it is a possibility: getting stranded somewhere. With colder temps, it's best to make sure you have a full tank, or as close to full as possible at all times.

    But, on the chance that you don't, it's smart to have a blanket on hand. That way, if you get stuck on the road somewhere, you can have an extra layer while you wait for help.

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    Kitty Litter

    As weird as it sounds, having a tub of kitty litter in my car has actually saved me from being seriously late in the past.

    If your car isn't necessarily built for winter conditions, it might struggle to get out of a snowy parking spot. If you put down just a bit of litter behind and around each tire, they'll have more to grip and you should get enough traction to back out.

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    LED Flashlight

    Yes I know, we're living in 2018 and most phones have flashlights built in. But if you end up stranded on the side of the road at night, you're probably going to want to use your phone to call someone, not drain the battery using the flashlight.

    I would recommend an LED flashlight with multiple settings. It's extra bright, and you can keep it steady to see under the hood, or have it strobe to flag down help!

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    Extra Fluids

    Over the weekend, my friends and I were exploring Waterloo, IA. As we were walking, we noticed a parked car with a blue icicle hanging off it. As it gets colder, your cars fluids might leak and freeze, and some of those are essential. Be sure to keep extra fluids in the trunk, particularly antifreeze.

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    Tire Gauge

    As soon as the temps dropped in the QCA, an alert popped up on my car telling me to check the pressure in my spare tire.

    It's one of the easiest things to overlook, but one that can really bite you in the long run. Electronic readings might not always work though, so it's good to have an actual gauge on hand to make sure you don't blow a tire.

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