Winter Emergency Survival Kit : Semi Truck Driver Edition

Semi Truck Driver Winter Weather Survival

What To Pack For Emergency Winter Driving Survival Kit?

With winter not being far away, we need to become aware now before its to late to have our Semi Truck Driver Emergency Kit readily available and ready to go.  If you’re new to Trucking, how are you to know what to bring with you?

A quick summed up version is this, supplies to keep you warm in case of a roadside break down, or a road closure, along with enough supplies to keep you healthy, fed and hydrated. 

Continue reading below to be provided the complete list that is only found here on . Missing one of these items in your Trucking Survival Kit could be the difference between life and death, especially during a major winter disaster.

When Do Truck Drivers Begin Taking Their Trucking Survival Kits?

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A great question, though to be honest this entirely depends on you.  What I mean is if you are away from home for 5 days at a time, well then you may want to wait till mid Sept, depending on where you travel.  If you travel mostly south of Interstate 40. This could be your case.

Though if you’re gone away from the home for an entire week, maybe a month or more. The time to start bringing your Trucking Survival Kit for the winter, is now, the beginning of October. To be honest, there has been times I started bringing this emergency winter kit with me at the start of September.  Again this all depends on where you foresee yourself traveling as a truck driver.

Earlier is always better than later.  If you wait till later, you may not have the proper supplies and equipment, you may of waited to late, and before you know it. Your outside in shorts and a shirt in 30 degree weather during a snowfall.  All this because you waited or forgot to bring your Winter Emergency Trucking Kit.

The Winter Emergency Trucking Kit listed below is good for all areas of trucking, local, regional, over the road, etc. I will make a note next to each if need extra for different areas of trucking is needed.

Psychological Factors

The first thing you need to realize before obtaining supplies and items is that you may need to adjust your mindset.  Anytime there is a weather disaster, road closure, anything of this nature. You first must remain calm.  By being able to remain calm allows you to maintain control of yourself and the vehicle your operating.

Now I’m not saying you can’t be scared. Let’s be honest, sometimes things can be really scary, though you still need to be calm.  This allows you not only to maintain control of yourself and the vehicle your operating.  It also allows you to make rational decisions to allow you to survive longer while using less supplies.

The longer your supplies last, the longer you can survive.

Knowing how to be rational will allow you to make smart decisions that could have a prolonged affect on your situation. For example, if you have an APU mounted on your Semi Truck. Using it over idling the diesel engine would be the best choice.  Simply because the APU uses far less fuel.  The APU will help you to stay warm. So you would have a prolonged amount of time over idling the engine.  However, if your in a panic mode, your stomping the gas pedal, your stuck, making yourself more stuck. Your wasting fuel, your panicking, take a breath and calm down for a second to get a better overview of your situation.

What To Pack In Your Winter Survival Kit For Trucking?

Minimum Winter Emergency Survival Kit Requirements:

1. 2 gallons of water or more, if your a team you will want to bring a minimum of at least 4 gallons of water.  The more the better. You never know how long you may be stranded for till you are stranded for an extended period of time. This is most likely the most important item everyone will always need, but always forgets to bring. This is used to keep yourself hydrated and for cooking with in case you brought dry food that needs water to cook with.

 2. Cell phone and charger.  You will need to contact someone to help yourself find help. Being hydrated is more important. Finding help, is your next goal. Contacting emergency officials, office personal, YOUR FAMILY is next on this list.  People worry about you, keep them informed in a manner that doesn’t cause you a lot of stress. Stress is the last thing you need in this type of situation, to help yourself from going into a panic.

3. Lighter or Matches. You will need this for some of the additional items within this list. Without these items, you may not be able to use the additional items.

4. Candle Powered Heater. This can help you with becoming warmer if your heating source fails. It can also be used to warm up food or defrost water that may become frozen.

5. Blankets, at least 2 or more per person.  When we use layers to help keep ourselves warm. The layers insulate us in a way to help contain our own body temperature as a self heating pad in a way.  This is very similar to the same theory used when seeing a person sleeping on a bench covered in multiple layers of newspaper to stay warm.  By the way, if you ever see a person sleeping on a bench, offer them some help.

6. Bring clothing to meet the next season. Meaning winter, bring gloves, coats, boots, all of these types of winter clothing plus others like scarfs, snowmobile suit, and etc per each person.

7. 7 days worth of Food. Any kind of food that you can easily warm up with a limited heat source. Dry food like protein bars, canned veggies, canned fruits, soups, and etc. These will reduce the extra amount of water you use to cook with since most include some water within the can. If you buy the pop top types of cans you may not need a can opener. If you don’t buy these types of cans, DO NOT FORGET TO BRING A CAN OPENER! Since not everyone knows how to open a can with a penny, or a butter knife or the few other tricks of doing so. When you have 7 days worth of food, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can ration it out over a longer period of time.

8. CB Radio If by chance your cell phone fails on you. You need an ability to communicate with someone to help you. Maybe this should be higher on the list.  Though since most run off a power source hard wired to some degree is why it is where it is on this list.  This can enable you the ability to communicate with other Truckers, Emergency Personnel and etc to enable you to find the help you need.

9. Personal Hygiene. This should be part of your regular packing list, you can find a detailed Over The Road Packing List here to help you that I wrote an article about. In addition to this you will want to bring extra Toilet Paper, soap, etc to help you maintain a healthy environment and self.

10. Utensils and Dinner Ware. This is what your going to eat with and eat out of. I use a medium sized Tupperware bowl with a lid. I also bring a couple forks, spoons, knives, and a plastic cup. If your a team, you may wish to double this unless you prefer to share.

11. Outdoor sleeping bag and a pillowAnother item you will want extras of if in case you’re team driving.  Though being together under the same sleeping bag can be a plus to help each other share body heat. Which would keep both team drivers warmer than if in a sleeping bag by yourself.  Just watch out for those dutch ovens.

12. Flashlight, in the night your going to want to be able to see. To enable you to inspect an damages if in case your situation occurs at night. DON’T FORGET TO BRING EXTRA BATTERIES!

13.Solar Powered Battery Bank, check Amazon for current pricing You can find these in various sizes and abilities. They are great to help charge cell phone and other devices when you are without power.

14. First Aid Kit.  These come in a wide range of sizes with an assorted number of items within. Make sure you have bandages, ointment to stop infections, and a way to clean a wound as a minimum.


Extra’s Items To Help Make A Winter Emergency Easier

1.Tools. Vice-grips, wrenches, hammer, duct-tape, screw drivers, anything that you could include to help make any moment easier.

2. Extra fuses for items that may take extra fuses, like your cell phone charger, a cb radio, your semi truck, etc.

3. Extra batteries for items like flashlight, shaver, toothbrush, etc.

4. Heavy Duty Jumper Box.

5. Kitty Litter or Some type of Absorbent material that could help you become unstuck by supplying traction.

6. First Aid Kit. The more you can have within it, could mean the better prepared you are for an unforeseen emergency issue.

7. Knife, something that would allow you to cut with. You may need to cut off your seat belt, you may need it to prepare your food. Something universal could be of great use in a situation like this.

8. Dry Foods that you just need to add water to, like noodles, box of mashed potato flakes, and things of this nature that are easy to prepare.

9. Extra set of glasses or contacts. Plus anything additional that you may need to go with them.  So that if your current glasses become broken or you lose a contact. Your able to quickly reassert the situation by obtaining your extra set.

10. More clothing, more blankets.  It will get cold, with some of these extra’s you could wear them. Or your could also use them to help insulate your bunk area. Let’s be honest, the sleeper on most trucks isn’t of the best insulated properties.

11. 5 gallon Bucket and extra plastic bags. Well, when ya gotta go, you gotta go. You could go outside, but what if you’re trapped within your vehicle and are unable to get out? Put a plastic bag in the bucket like you would a garbage can in your house. Do your dooky, double maybe triple bag it. Keep a sanitary area. Which will lesson your stress and help you remain calm.

12. Bring maybe a slow cooker, or an additional form of equipment that allows you to cook with it, like a microwave, or a small propane grill. These could help make life way easier. Plus a grill or slow cooker could provide some warmth. Be warned, propane is a gas, it could fill your cab and catch fire.

As a extra bonus tip for many of you. Remember your allowed to and should carry chains for your tires between October 15th Through April 15th. 

Driving in any type of hectic weather is never something anyone wishes to do.  It’s always better to be over prepared then to be under prepared.  Keep this in mind.

Would you like to see some of this explained through a video? Check out TruckerB’s YouTube Channel and his video titled Top 5 Things To Bring For Winter. gave permission to TruckerB to use content within this article to make the video that is hyper-linked in the above. 


About Michael : Semi Truck Driver

I have been a semi truck driver for approximately 20 years. Throughout this time I have been taught a lot of different things from a lot of different people through the years. I've also learned a lot of things from my own mistakes. With all of this in mind, allow me to share with you what I have been lucky enough to learn.

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