Essentials for Winter Road Trips

Headed south for the winter? Or to Thompson Pass for some skiing? No matter how long the trip is, there are extra precautions you should take when the thermometer drops low.

Highway Variable Message Board showing text "Shift Into Winter"

First, you’re going to want to prepare your car. Do you have studded tires? How is your tire pressure? It’s also a good idea to check your antifreeze, windshield fluid, and oil levels before hitting the road.

When driving in the winter, it’s recommended that you drive on the top half of your gas tank. If you’re driving the ALCAN highway, you can’t count on gas stations being open year-round. It’s a good idea to fill up whenever you see an open gas station!

Next, know your route. Things look different in the winter! If you’re going off the grid, download a map of the area. Check the forecast for the day(s) you’ll be travelling, too. Be prepared for the worst, things can change in an instant.

This clear highway:View out car front windshield of highway lined with yellow trees

Can turn into this snowy highway very quickly!

View out car front windshield of snowy highway
You’ll want to have:
Extra food and water.
Warm layers. Check out our post here to learn how to layer.
Light Source: Flashlight/Lantern/Headlamp.
First aid kit.
Small shovel.
Ice scraper.
Portable charger.

Don’t be overconfident. Slow down. Keep an eye out for wildlife, especially around dawn and dusk when they're most active.

caribou running along side of highway


Most importantly, expect the unexpected! Winter road trips have their own special charm, so don’t let these extra precautions scare you. It is definitely worth getting out there.

View out car front windshield of snow backroad lined with evergreen trees
Swing by the Hoarding Marmot for maps, backpacking meals, warm layers, and more!

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