Great tips Daniel! Here's a couple things I do just in case I end up stuck in a blizzard or snow-filled ditch on the side of the road while driving.
(My response is to this one.)
Now for the one thing that I don't have an answer to. Water supply. How do you keep the water from freezing and becoming undrinkable? The heat wrap idea sounds good to me in theory but I haven't tested it out. Anybody else have an answer to this?
If you need water, there's the possibly it can be urgent as many things go wrong at once compounding the problems into a survival situation, so it's better have water ready instead of relying upon more things that can go wrong or fail or cause delays by needing to melt ice or snow.
But, fortunately, for those with a preparedness mindset, it's easy.
For trouble free handy water that isn't freezing in harsh cold conditions, do what I do when I'm ice fishing and the whole winter, too. I carry my favorite stainless steel Thermos bottles. They are the 61 ounce and the wide mouth (great for foods and soups and great in the summer for those who need to keep medications cold) 48 ounce Thermos bottles and that water can start out hot.
But, there is an expedient and low cost alternative that I also do which can take the place of the more expensive Thermos bottles for those just starting out in preparedness and not having the budget for expensive new equipment and you likely already have what's needed for summer use that you should also use for winter.
I use my 40 quart ice chest synergistically with my five gallon rectangular five gallon water jug as both fresh water and thermal mass. It also protects it from getting punctured. It fits perfect with some space for a small box which I put with it to prevent it from shifting and making mashed bananas. That space is freeze protected, so that's where you might put additional thermal mass like canned foods, fruits and vegetables and even the worms you are inviting fishing and want to keep from freezing. Depending upon expectations, you can even start out with warm water in the jug and keep the worms elsewhere.
I put the jug in the ice box valve down, so as ice forms on top, the liquid water remains available at the valve to refill Thermos bottles without trouble.
When packing that ice chest into your vehicle and especially if it's just a backup to other water and food that you will pack with you to carry, pack it with extra clothing and blankets under, around and on top of it to add even more insulation. Then take your old or extra sleeping bags even if you don't plan on using them to spread out over the top. This is also a fine use for your older lower quality sleeping bags or ones with damaged zippers and it might be needed for you or others (falling through the ice or trauma, etcetera).
Even in the summer time, consider leaving this full time even in a hot trunk of a car. The large thermal mass of the water will maintain close to an average daily temperature, so the peak high temperature inside a car in the hot afternoon sun won't reach canned and other foods you keep for emergencies. The water is a backup for drinking or the radiator should something go wrong and your trip becomes longer or you otherwise don't have enough with just the water you will keep more readily available to carry with you.
For those of us with trucks, you might change the shape of the same concept. Build a box with a shape to fit behind the seat instead of using an ice chest. It can be as simple as cardboard cut to size and taped and glued. Then use many well rinsed two litre soda bottles filled with water as both emergency water and thermal mass. Put emergency food storage with them to keep them from getting excessive afternoon heat by packing extra clothing all around them.
This is also a good use for some old clothes which I carry just in case I will get dirty doing an expediant automotive repair.
Prevention is best. Of course, it's best that isn't necessary to do expedient repairs, so consider replacing your still good belts and hoses with new ones long before they fail. These relatively low cost items cause a high share of mechanical failures that can become high cost in delays and troubles. Still, even new, they can fail, so I take the still good, tested and proven, used ones and bag them and wrap in tape and label and zip tie them under the vehicle. It hardly adds any weight and it's a free solution to having to get one and particularly if it is uncommon it will be trouble on some Sunday holiday on your way back from a fun adventure and needing to be at work Monday morning.
Let's go Ice Fishing! I prefer to fish with others. I'm well equipped with plenty to share. Thinking of tournament ice fishing? Let's team up!
be prepared, be very prepared
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