While some parts of Canada may still be waiting for snow to fall, others are already contending with it. Dealing with the elements during winter isn't fun, but a few tools can help to get out of a messy situation, which is where these three items come in.
Auto Safety Kit
Available at: Canadian Tire
Having an emergency kit should be a bare necessity in a country like this, simply because driving in snow is a regular fact of life. Regardless of whether you would need this for yourself, or to help someone else in need, this kit covers an array of handy items.
The jumper cables and collapsible shovel are the most noticeable, but other staples like a flashlight, hand warmers, poncho, whistle, ice scraper, cone, gloves and blanket are nicely designed and compact enough to use in any situation. Even the duffle bag they all come in is nice and durable.
Everything fits snugly in the bag, which you can nestle into a corner in your trunk and pay no mind unless you actually need to use anything in it. Canadian Tire offers a one-year exchange warranty on this, just in case.
Available at: Canadian Tire
The SnoFlex is a three-in-one contraption that acts as a snow shovel, ice scraper and road cone. Unfortunately, it doesn't glow in the dark but it's bright enough to be reflective to oncoming headlights.
Still, the SnoFlex proves to be more adept than it might seem by the way it's constructed. It's 10 inches wide and 16 inches long when folded, measuring out to 30 inches when folded out into its shovel form. The clip on the side unlocks and locks it into place, but you can also make it sturdier by tightening the wing nut on the other side.
The key to shovelling snow is the dual handle that gives you better leverage to throw the snow out of the way. It takes some getting used to when scraping ice off windows, but manages to do the job well.
6 in 1 Jump Starter
Available at: Walmart
Depending on the condition of your car and how it handles the bitter cold, jump-starting your car may have to happen at least once. While this gizmo can do that, it also acts as an air compressor, inflator, work light and has a 400-watt inverter with two AC outlets for powering anything using a household plug.
It also has a 12-volt power adapter and a USB port, both of which can be used to power devices or appliances. But in a winter scenario, the Jump Starter's internal battery can make a huge difference in staying on the road.
The user manual provides a chart estimating the wattage and usage time of appliances ranging from cellphones to electrical tools and car vacuums. The built-in air compressor is easily the biggest battery drain, but no matter the level of usage, it's best to recharge the Jump Starter afterward.
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