What do you do when trapped in snow

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murps

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Hello All,

Like the title says, if you are driving and get bogged down in snow. What do you do? Assume you are on a actual road, not off road, cell service is spotty at best.

Items you should bring? Dos and Don'ts ?
 

TreXTerra

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First of all, anyone traveling in the snow belt in the winter should have some basics in their car:

  • Blankets
  • Warm clothing
  • No less than 1/2 a tank of fuel at any time and always fill up if you know a storm if coming. I will top up my tank before a storm hits even if I've only driven 30 miles or so.
  • Cell phone charger
  • Emergency food and either water or a water bottle to melt snow
Things I have added beyond this:
  • CB Radio
  • Ham radio (x2)
  • Road flares
  • Emergency flare launcher (available at any boating store)
  • Fire starter
  • Tarp
  • Recovery gear
If you are stuck without cell coverage stay in your car. A car is much easier to find than a person, it offers shelter and heat. Your engine will run a very long time at idle on half a tank of fuel, just be sure to crack a window a little to get some fresh air and make sure you aren't getting any exhaust into the cabin.

Keep trying with any communication gear you have, your phone might not have service right now, but keep trying. Get out of the car as often as you need to keep it clear. Turn on all your lights, brush the car off, set road flares, whatever you need to do so you don't look like a snowbank - when plows do come through you don't want to get hit by one.

I usually prepare my recovery gear. I get my tow strap hooked up and ready to go, maybe tuck it into the trunk so it doesn't get buried in snow and ice. This way if someone who isn't a tow truck comes along I can get rescued using my own gear. If you have traction mats or other specialized gear, you might as well include it in your vehicle if you know you will be out in the storm.

Most importantly, tell someone where you are, where you are going, the route you are taking, and your ETA. Have them call Highway Patrol if you miss your scheduled check-in and can't be reached.
 

Overland-Indiana

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^Agree with both of them... However, in Indiana there isn't many places that you could trapped for more than an hour at most... Hell, you could walk because there is hardly anywhere that would be beyond walking distance near me.
 
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murps

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Awesome advice guys. Gonna be going up to Lake Tahoe in Feb and i will be going through mammoth area. Both Mammoth and Tahoe have been dumped on with snow this season. All good info. Not sure my gf would trust me with flares though @TreXTerra lol
 
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toxicity_27

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A bag of Kitty litter, a shovel and possibly a set of chains or cables will get you out of most situations.
I would second the kitty litter. Can dump that under the tires after you've shoveled them out. Works pretty well from what I've heard.
 

Iubootgater

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If I'm not mistaken a stranded in snow situation is what started Overland Bound.

On a personal experience note, once used my carhartt coat under tire to get my '84 xj and myself out of a ditch in snow when I slid off the road in middle of night snow storm on way home from college. Can't for the life of me remember why I thought leaving in middle of night in a snow storm to head home was a good idea but I still wear that coat with tire tread marks up the back with pride.
 

jkxranger

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I know it's not a big thing but a ribbon for your antenna, If you are on a road and drifts are high it may be the only thing the plow see's as it goes bye you.
 

murps

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A bag of Kitty litter, a shovel and possibly a set of chains or cables will get you out of most situations.
Noted on the Kitty Litter. I am hoping the chains will be all I need but I want to be prepared for the worst. I've never driven in snow like this before so it will be an experience.

@jkxranger good call, i'll do that.
 

murps

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If I'm not mistaken a stranded in snow situation is what started Overland Bound.

On a personal experience note, once used my carhartt coat under tire to get my '84 xj and myself out of a ditch in snow when I slid off the road in middle of night snow storm on way home from college. Can't for the life of me remember why I thought leaving in middle of night in a snow storm to head home was a good idea but I still wear that coat with tire tread marks up the back with pride.
Yes, i do believe you are right. @administrator was driving a bmw, thankfully i'll have my Patriot, should hopefully be a little more snow worthy:tongueout:
 
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Winterpeg

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Good points already posted.... one thing I would add... ensure your exhaust pipe is free of obstructions (snow). If you slide into a large snowbank or into the ditch it may get plugged up.

Those slow burning, relatively smokeless emergency candles can be a lifesaver too. I would also crack the window on the side that the wind is not blowing into for fresh air.

One person mentioned a ribbon... it's not a bad idea to keep a whole roll of flagging tape in your glove box for emergencies. This is handy in the bush too if you get lost - run a bunch of strands in a tree for a possible rescue plane to see you.
 

Daniel Etter

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I always keep waterproof gloves in my truck during the winter. Clearing snow always leds to wet/soaked gloves which can cause frostbite. The windshield defogger works decently for drying thin gloves, snow gloves not so much. Pay attention to your footing when outside the vehicle. Snow drifts can be deceiving and hiding objects such as rocks, fire hydrants, etc. it's no fun to step on a snow bank and wind up stuck, injured or both.
 
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20DYNAMITE07

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A bag of Kitty litter, a shovel and possibly a set of chains or cables will get you out of most situations.
If you can... get a bag of sand instead. When it gets wet, kitty litter turns to clay, clogs your tread, and doesn't do much for you other than leave your rig with a lovely fresh scent :smilecat:. Sand on the other hand will give you some traction, and wont gum up the works.

Just my $.02
 

Winterpeg

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If you can... get a bag of sand instead. When it gets wet, kitty litter turns to clay, clogs your tread, and doesn't do much for you other than leave your rig with a lovely fresh scent :smilecat:. Sand on the other hand will give you some traction, and wont gum up the works.

Just my $.02
Does that go for the non-clumping style of kitty litter too? (not a cat person so I have no clue)
 
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expeditionnorth

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I almost got stuck here

extra straps, snatch block etc are handy to have though you may complain about carrying them all the time
better to have & not need, than to need & not have
 
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