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Traveling Wyoming in winter, what survival gear do you need?

Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
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6,145 posts
4 reviews
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Traveling Wyoming in winter, what survival gear do you need?

There have been recent winter visitors to Wyoming who have almost come to grief after being stranded in their cars for some period of days before they were rescued. So, what survival gear should you have in your car if you're driving Wyoming rural roads during the winter?

Well, think about this scenario: You and your spouse (and kids?) are traveling a Wyoming road toward the end of the day. Your car skids off the road and runs into deep snow. There's no cell service (like most of rural Wyoming). This road is lightly traveled, so you may be stuck for a day or two before help arrives. (If you have a satellite phone, you can stop reading.)

For whatever it's worth, here's the gear that we keep in each of our vehicles. You may not want to adopt the entire list, but it's here for your consideration.

sleeping bags rated to -20F.

ski caps, ski masks, turtles, gloves, wool socks, sunglasses, winter mittens

snow shoes, pair of high top snow boots rated to -100F

snow suit

snow shovel (to keep the tailpipe clear of snow), sand, hatchet

ice scraper

tow chain

tire chains or cables

battery cables

40' of high test rope

paper and pen; waterproof baggies


water (placed inside the sleeping bags)

toilet paper and travel johns; plastic garbage bags and twist ties

map, compass, matches and fire starter, small backpack, blaze (if someone leaves for help, he needs to mark his trail); head lamp and batteries

flashlights and batteries

road flares

flare gun and parachute flares

pocket knife

During the winter, we don't allow gas tanks to get below half full.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
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1. Re: Traveling Wyoming in winter, what survival gear do you need?

Great list TB! I think your advice applies to your neighboring states as well.

I also keep what we call *old blue* in the car too. It is the roll of blue paper toweling that is sold as shop toweling.

For travel just around my local area I keep an extra jacket and gloves in the back as well as a blanket. All of these I am willing to give away in case I come across someone who has had a slide off or a breakdown and I need to leave it with them while they wait for a tow.

This is such a timely topic.


Fruita, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Fruita, Grand Junction
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2. Re: Traveling Wyoming in winter, what survival gear do you need?

Good list (and, sadly, one most people probably won't even have a tenth of in their vehicle). I would add newspaper. It's great insulation (stuff it inside your clothes) and if you need to start a fire outside of the car as a signal it's dry tinder.

The one big, big thing you didn't list is Common Sense. Sometimes it's best to just not be out there driving around. Allow extra time in travel plans in case you need to hunker down until conditions improve. Your life and those who are trying to find you are too precious to waste on a tight schedule.

Atlanta, Georgia
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for Road Trips
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382 reviews
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3. Re: Traveling Wyoming in winter, what survival gear do you need?

Great info!!

4. Re: Traveling Wyoming in winter, what survival gear do you need?

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