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Winter Emergency Kit: What to Pack in a Tote Bag for Your Car

April Cole |


Our bags, which are indispensable for our wardrobes, deliver our tools to us when we need them most. With pockets and sections of various sizes, we can carry our favorite items, wallets, food, books and clothes to almost any environment. With these features, tote bags are our mini-luggage that we carry with us. We said that we do not separate tote bags from our wardrobes; but what about our cars, another vehicle that we use very often in daily life? A tote bag that we will prepare for our cars can be our life savior in moments we cannot guess. For this reason, we wanted to focus on how we should prepare a bag, especially for cars in this article. 

From which type of bag will be suitable for which environment, to how to prepare our tote bag for the car, we will examine every step together in this article.  

Let's start with the first step and choose our bag! 

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Why Should You Keep a Tote Bag in Your Car?

First of all, let's answer the question why we should keep durable tote bags ready in our car. Cars are the first mobile vehicles we turn to, especially in emergencies or disasters. Therefore, having a first aid kit in our car for these situations, as well as a bag containing basic supplies that will keep us alive for a few days, can save our lives in the face of an unexpected disaster. Therefore, the first purpose of a totebag for the car is mostly to serve as a first aid and care kit for emergencies. 

However, we should not only think of tote bags with these functions. When choosing the type of bag to put in your car, it is also very important how often you use your car and in which environments. For example, if you are a person who likes to have picnics, you can set your table anywhere and anytime thanks to a mini picnic basket in your car. Or if you are someone who prefers to spend time shopping, a large volume shopping bag becomes a must-have. 

In this respect, before preparing your tote bags for your car, determine for what purpose and in which environments you use your car the most. However, our recommendation is to always keep an empty tote bag in reserve. Such a bag will serve a versatile function and will help you both in your shopping and when you need to carry an item. 

Now let's look at how to choose the most suitable totebag for different environments during winter season. 

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Shopping tote bag: A "wildcard" among other bags, shopping tote bags serve a versatile purpose thanks to their large volume and large pockets. An ideal shopping tote bag should include an additional paper bag for your fruit and vegetable purchases. This will serve as a spare bag in case the one you are using is damaged while shopping. In addition, having a mesh bag will provide you with an additional carrying space when shopping for fruits and vegetables and make room for your other products. When choosing your shopping bag, make sure it has a small section. Put some cash in this pocket to be used in case of need. 

You don't need to use expensive bags for this. Cheap tote bags or wholesale tote bags will fulfill this function very effectively. 

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First aid tote bag: Another tote bag that should never leave your car is a mini-kit for first aid. In the event of a disaster, you can reach this bag by running to your car, and it will also help you to survive in case of an accident while driving your car and to treat your possible wounds. Therefore, a first aid tote bag should contain the necessary materials for operations such as dressing, medical intervention, medicines, products for feeding and protecting the body. 

If we list the most necessary products you can keep in your bag for medical interventions;

  • A bandage
  • A pack of band-aids
  • Tincture of iodine
  • Scissors
  • Pain pills
  • Oxygenated water
  • Muscle relaxant cream
  • Torch
  • A bottle of drinking water
  • A packet of biscuits or sugar

In addition, a thin shawl or blanket is necessary to wrap the shocked body in case of an accident. Make sure you have a blanket, especially in winter, because you may need to stay in your car for a long time when you least expect it. If your car is broken down or damaged in an accident, the heater may be disabled. In such a situation you will need to keep warm with a blanket. 

On the other hand, neck trauma is one of the most common injuries in accidents. For these injuries, which can even be fatal if the necessary intervention is not made, you can keep a neck pillow if there is extra space in your bag. You can also use this pillow in case of an emergency when you have to spend the night in your car. 

The tote bag to use as a first aid kit should contain multiple compartments. During an emergency, for example, if you had to attend to a wound, you should have easy access to medical aid products. For this reason, a large single-compartment bag cannot be an effective first aid kit as it will keep things in a mess. Therefore, bags with small compartments where you can store each product separately are ideal for first aid. When preparing your bag, make sure that the compartment where you put food and water is away from the medicine compartment. You should keep these two types of products separately to avoid contamination of medications, food or water in the event of an accident.

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Tote bags for daily use: Except for emergencies or shopping, you may sometimes want to keep a spare daily bag in your vehicle. This bag is a cover for any essential tool you might forget. So, if you forget your credit card, ID, money or house key when leaving home, you can know that everything you need is in the bag in your car, thanks to this bag. Therefore, there should definitely be a spare house key and cash in their daily use bags.

In addition, skin care products that we always carry with us during the winter months are a fixture in our daily use bag. You can keep a moisturizer for your skin, which dries frequently in winter and becomes sensitive in the cold. Since you are likely to be in cold environments in winter, you should definitely keep a blanket in your daily use bag.

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Another product that we may forget in winter, but is very important, is gloves and hats. Sometimes, when we need to stay in the vehicle or outside for a long time, we can be protected from the cold in a practical way thanks to the gloves and hats we keep in our car bag. If you have extra space in your bag, we also recommend carrying a pair of socks, as one of the most common problems in winter is wet shoes. 

Since it may rain unexpectedly, socks will be necessary to keep your feet warm during these periods. For the same reason, an umbrella is a must-have product. Since you are more likely to be caught in rain or snow during the winter months, you should always have your umbrella on hand.

Although not specific to the winter season, increasing epidemics and diseases have taught us to have supplies such as masks, napkins and hand antiseptics in the last few years. However, considering the increase in diseases such as cold and flu during the winter season, these products should also be included in a special winter car bag.

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The feature that distinguishes daily-use tote bags from others is that they can be chosen from bags that have a more stylish appearance, unlike cheap tote bags or wholesale tote bags. Because if you forget your main bag when leaving home or need to be in a stylish environment, you may also need to adapt these bags to your daily fashion. Therefore, the tote bag for daily use should be a bag that can match many colors and clothing styles, and has separate compartments where you can store hygiene items and personal items such as money and keys. 

Last Words

As we examined in our article, our cars are places where we can keep our spare bags. And these bags can be lifesavers in difficult situations. For this reason, we should prepare separate and special tote bags for the car, whether for shopping, daily use or in emergencies. Let's be sure to keep a napkin, mask, blanket and food in our bags for the upcoming winter months. Now we can leave the house with peace of mind!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it necessary to have a first-aid kit in my car tote bag?

A: Yes, a first-aid kit is a vital component. It can help you address minor injuries and medical issues while waiting for professional help or reaching a medical facility. Make sure to periodically check and replenish the supplies to keep it up-to-date.

Q: Should I pack spare clothing in my car tote bag?

A: It's advisable to include spare clothing in your tote bag, especially if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions or frequently travel long distances. Include items like extra socks, gloves, and a jacket to stay comfortable in unexpected situations.

Q: What tools should I include in my car tote bag?

A: In addition to a multi-tool, consider packing:

Duct Tape: It's incredibly versatile and can temporarily fix many car-related issues.

Jumper Cables: These are essential for jump-starting a dead battery.

Tire Pressure Gauge: Maintaining proper tire pressure is crucial for safety and fuel efficiency, so having a gauge on hand is wise.

Q: Can I include entertainment items in my car tote bag?

A: Yes, including entertainment items like books, puzzles, or a portable charger for electronic devices can help pass the time during long waits or traffic jams. Staying mentally engaged can reduce stress in such situations.