When a Nevada man went missing in the Seven Troughs mountain range with his girlfriend and two children an all-scale search was conducted. They were discovered after surviving two days in below freezing temperatures because James Glanton stayed calm, kept his group together and knew a little bit about survival. Glanton was able to start a fire, and eventually used the spare tire as fuel to keep the family from freezing. While I don’t want to take anything away from this very capable man, I can’t believe that he went into a wilderness area in winter without some sort of survival pack.
Both of my vehicles are loaded with food, matches, lighters, tinder, road flares, a first-aid kit, water, blankets and medications. While the main kits are carried year round, I customize certain items depending on the time of year, i.e. don’t need blankets in July. I mostly created my own, but there are pre-made kits available from companies like ASAP Survival.
Food items, which are replaced periodically, include Snickers, M&Ms, crackers and peanut butter. I also like to include dehydrated meals and MREs. If the family and I are traveling or heading into the hills on a daytrip, I always stash my MSR WhisperLite International stove and a canister of fuel. I’ve even been meaning to throw in some instant coco and coffee, along with some instant soup mixes.
Other items that I like to carry are a folding shovel, ratchet straps, bungee cords, multiple knives and a couple of extra coats, but some people say I take being prepared a little bit overboard. These same people say I'm paranoid, but voices say they're wrong.
You can store gear in a backpack, which allows easy transport if needed, and many vehicles, especially SUVs, have neat little hidden areas that can be used to keep items out of eyesight. Also, spare tire wells are usually oversized, providing room for long-term items.
Problems can occur at any time, and the best way to survive and prevail is to be prepared. The Glanton family survived, but almost every year, there is at least one story about someone becoming stranded and dying in Old Man Winter’s fury.