Key items for students to keep in their car for winter

Winter is no joke in Minnesota, and with the snowy weather approaching quickly it’s important to know what winter safety looks like on campus for Minnesota State University, Mankato students. 

Some of these students list a few popular items to keep in their cars during the winter such as an extra blanket, a first aid kit, and small shovel.

Adam Kruger, Campus Security Supervisor, has some helpful tips on how to keep both students and their car safe during the cold season. 

“Some things I would recommend keeping in your car during the winter are an extra hat, gloves, hand and foot warmers as well as some thick wool socks and a blanket. It’s a big life saver if you get stuck in the ditch and need to wait awhile,” Kruger stated. 

He then added on, “You should also keep a small collapsible shovel, and an ice scraper in your trunk. Some more things you should keep in your car all year round are a tow rope or chain, jumper cables, an extra phone charger, and non-perishable snacks like nuts, granola bars, or dried fruit.” 

Kruger continued to discuss a few of the winter problems he and other campus security officers have come across.

“Most of the time we end up doing a lot of jump starts because the students’ vehicle has sat for too long without being started. I would recommend going out to your vehicle once a day to start it and let it run for 15 minutes,” Kruger explained. 

Mackenzie Bosch, a freshman, explains how she prepares for the snowy season. 

“Especially being away from home, my dad helped me prepare for the snow. I put a shovel, an ice scraper, extra hats and gloves and a big pair of winter boots in my car in case I get stranded and need to walk a little bit,” Bosch stated.  

Branna Reuter, a freshman at MNSU commented, “In the back of my trunk I have a blanket, gloves, and a hat. I also have a shovel incase I get snowed in.”

Reuter has had to use a shovel before, and ensures it never leaves her car during the winter months.

“I had to use one because I was stuck in the school’s parking lot. I was almost late to work and I wouldn’t have been able to get out for hours if I hadn’t had a shovel with me.” 

Kruger wanted to emphasize the importance of not only keeping essential items in a car, but also maintaining that car properly. 

“First off you want to make sure you have good tires with good tread or you will have more difficulties driving when the roads are covered in snow, ice, and slush.” 

He then added on, “It’s a good idea to keep your fuel tank at least half full during the winter. If you get stuck in the snow and need to wait for a tow you will want to keep your car running to stay warm. You may also encounter poor driving conditions on the way to a destination which may end up taking much longer than you anticipated.”

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