Stormageddon is Coming - Prepare Thy Car's Emergency Kit

According to Environment Canada, a winter storm is on the way. Normally we get westerly winds blowing in Arctic cold, and if it mixes with existing low-pressure fronts, we'll get a ton of snow. But apparently we're going to get some easterly winds pouring into Toronto, causing winter squalls full of snow. This sort of thing doesn't have all that often.

Some dramatic meteorologist at Environment Canada used a sound bite - "Stormageddon" - and now it is all over the wires. I would like to add to this sound bite. I believe that the Mother of All Stromageddons is on the way. Actually, I bet we get about 10 cm of snow and that it melts by Sunday. We'll see. I'm not a meteorologist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

My Christmas holidays don't start until next week, so I'll be driving to work tomorrow and Friday. I drive about 15 minutes to work on the busiest highway in North America (or so I have heard), so I don't need to worry about getting lost somewhere in a storm. But in case I need to drive somewhere north (and this did happen 1 year ago in the middle of the worst storm of the year), I need to be prepared in my car with equipment to last me a night or two. About 15 years ago I went camping in Algonquin Park in the middle of February. It was good and cold and full of snow. On my way back my timing belt broke while I was in a fairly remote stretch of road off of a highway. Luckily I got picked up by a young couple who drove me 45 minutes out into the country and gave me a bed for the night.

One time about 20 years ago I was in a car accident in the mountains in Quebec, and the car my friend and I was in launched off of a mountain highway, and dropped about 30 feet into a snow-filled culvert. We did a full spin and landed right-side-up. Folks saw us, a towing crew got us out and everything worked out okay.

But consider what could have happened if it had been late at night in a far more remote area.

A thorough risk-assessement would dictate that you be prepared for the worst. I guess there is a part of me hoping for an exciting survival experience. But hey, I live in Toronto.

Bottom line, here's what I carry in the trunk of my car:
  • MSR Dragonfly Stove with a full cannister of Naptha white-gas fuel
  • Alcohol-gel heating tins
  • Candles
  • Cooking pot and mugs
  • Cutlery
  • Kettle
  • 2 Nalgene Bottles
  • 5 litres of water in expandable plastic containers (in case of freezing)
  • Stainless Steel hobo stove which can use wood as a fuel
  • Gransfors-Bruks Small Forest Axe
  • Bucking saw
  • Mora knives (x3)
  • 4 wool blankets
  • Down sleeping bag
  • 2 MRE meal packs
  • Beef jerky
  • Pepperoni - large
  • 2 Freeze Dried Entrees
  • 4 tins Spam
  • Instant Rice
  • Instant soup mixes
  • Hot chocolate packages
  • Powdered milk
  • Heavy Tarpaulin
  • Light Guide Tarp
  • 2 man tent
  • Thermo-Lite II Bivy Sack
  • Sleeping pad
  • Firestarting kit - matches in a matchcase, ferrocerium rods (2), fatwood slivers, cotton wool with vaseline
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Toiletries kit
  • Knapsack
  • Wool pants
  • Wool sweater
  • Wool socks
  • Winter jacket
  • Winter gloves
  • Wool hat
  • Book
  • Radio with extra batteries
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Flares
  • Bag of salt
  • Rope
  • Foldable shovel
  • And a partridge in a pear tree.
Dear Stormaggedon, BRING IT ON.



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