Smart Packing for Bad Weather: What to Do During Hazardous Travel

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Cars on the road during bad weather

It's winter, and you've been looking forward to going snowboarding for months. You have a big trip planned with your friends, but as you're packing for the journey, it starts to rain outside.

The weather forecast may not be favorable, but you can still have a great trip. Smart packing for bad weather will help you pack the right clothes and gear so that you're prepared no matter what happens on your travels. 

How to Smart Pack for Bad Weather

If you plan to go for a drive in bad weather, you should consider preparing things that will be useful for your trip. If you haven't done it before and you are unsure how to do it effectively, here are some tips you can follow.

1. Check the Weather at All Your Destinations

If the weather looks poor or is likely to be bad before you leave, try to change your location or be prepared and take measures. Listen to the weather forecast and look up advice on the internet, so you're ready for cold weather travel or any other adverse weather.

2. Make a List of Items You Need to Bring

Make a list of items you will need for the car ride and your destination. This can help you ensure that you have everything you may need while on your trip. We have provided the list of things you should consider bringing, just if you are unsure what those are.

  • A Poncho or Raincoat - A poncho or raincoat is one of the essential things to pack for bad weather. A good poncho can keep you dry during the most torrential downpour and provide shelter from the wind as well, so your body heat doesn't get sapped away by strong gusts.
  • All-Weather Shoes and Boots - You never know when you will need them. If it is wet, cold, or muddy outside, these shoes will keep your feet warm and dry. Meanwhile, boots are essential for any weather, especially rainy and winter. They protect your feet not only from the rain but other elements, including muds and floods.
  • Food and Water - If you are traveling during bad weather, pack some food and water. This is crucial if there is a chance of a power outage. 
  • First Aid Kit - A first-aid kit should also be included in your packing. Even if the weather does not appear to be terrible enough to necessitate one, it is crucial to do so since accidents can happen at any time.
  • Multi-Purpose Tool - Another thing to consider packing is a multi-purpose tool kit. This can be handy for all sorts of big and small tasks. From tightening loose screws to cutting through tough materials, having this type of tool on hand can prevent you from being frustrated.
  • Jumper Cables - If your car battery dies, you will need them to get it started again. Make sure to pack these in your car to prepare for any situation. As we all know, many things may happen while we are on the road, and it's always better to be safe than sorry.
  • Emergency Blanket - A blanket can provide significant warmth in an emergency. This could be crucial if you find yourself stranded in bad weather without shelter. Ensure to bring a thick blanket so you can feel warmer in the middle of the cold bad weather. 
  • Shovel and Ice Scraper - If you're going somewhere with a dusting of snow, you'll want to bring a shovel and an ice scraper. This might be useful if heavy snowfall stops you from moving your car or getting into it. You'll be able to shovel any excess snow out of the path with this equipment, allowing you to leave.
  • Flashlight with Extra Batteries - When packing your emergency supplies, don't forget a reliable flashlight with backup batteries so that your flashlight will be ready to use if needed.
  • Mobile Phone and Emergency Numbers - If you are ever stranded, your mobile phone can be a lifesaver. It's essential to have the emergency numbers needed for where you live stored in your cell phone contacts so that if something happens and you need help, it's easy to access. So make sure that you have these numbers saved before leaving for travel!
  • Bring Extra Clothes - It's always smart to pack extra clothes. Ensure that these are clean and dry, so you have something fresh to wear if the weather suddenly changes for the worse.
  • Bring Extra Money - In case of emergencies, it's always smart to have some extra money on hand. This way, if something unexpected happens, like your car needs repair, you'll have the funds to take care of it. It is a hassle if you have to find an ATM in the middle of the bad weather, so always make sure you have cash on hand!

3. Choose a Good Luggage

Make sure your luggage is weather-resistant. This will help keep your belongings dry and protected in case of rain or snow. An example of a good luggage option would be a duffel bag with a waterproof coating. However, if you prefer suitcases, make sure your luggage is made of a material that will repel water.

4. Use Packing Organizers

It's always a good idea to use packing organizers when you're packing for any trip. This will help keep your belongings organized and easy to find once you arrive at your destination. Packing organizers such as packing cubes and toiletry bags are great for keeping your belongings organized. 

5. Organize and Prepare Your Items

After preparing all of your items, it is time to organize them in your suitcase. This will help you be more efficient when packing and make it easier to find what you need when traveling.

  • Pack clothes you can wear multiple times at the beginning of your trip - To save space in your suitcase, pack clothes you can wear numerous times on the same trip. For example, bring a pair of pants and a matching shirt instead of getting each item separately. You can also choose clothes made from wool or fleece. These materials will keep you warm without adding extra weight.
  • Pack your toiletries in a plastic bag - This is an essential tip for any travel, but it is crucial when traveling in bad weather. By packing your toiletries in a plastic bag, you will keep them dry even if everything else in your suitcase gets wet.
  • Pack your electronics in Ziplock - This is another excellent way to protect your belongings from the elements. If you are traveling with electronic devices, pack them in a ziplock bag and then put that bag in your suitcase. This will help keep your cellphone and charger dry and safe from getting wet when it rains while you're on the road.
  • Pack like items together - If you are packing for multiple days, always think about where each item will go once you have your clothes packed into one suitcase or bag. Place items that belong together in the same luggage area, so they don't get separated during transit.
  • Put your food and water in a separate bag - Don't put your food and water together with your clothes. If your luggage gets wet, the food will start to rot, and your clothes will get ruined.
  • Put your shoes in a plastic bag - Don't just pack them on the bottom of the suitcase. Please put them in their own individual sturdy plastic bags to avoid getting damaged or dirty. This could also prevent your shoes from getting wet.
  • Prepare your cellphone and charger - Make sure to charge all of your electronic devices before leaving for a drive in bad weather. Keep these items separate from others because they are necessary for an emergency. 
  • Pack a small bag with your medications - If you need to take medication or have any other medical condition, be sure to pack it in the zip lock bags for easy access when needed. Make sure to separate medicines from the rest of your belongings for easy accessibility.
  • Don't overpack Underwear and Socks - Pack a sufficient supply of underwear and socks to last the length of your trip. Choose clothing made from breathable materials like cotton or wool to keep you warm even when they're wet. By packing less underwear and socks, you'll have more room in your suitcase for other items.
  • Pack clothes you can layer - Layering your clothes will keep you warm in cold weather. Pack a scarf, hat, and gloves to ensure your neck, head, and hands stay covered even if it gets more challenging than expected. 
  • Keep all of your small items in one place within your bag -This helps to ensure that everything is easy to find, instead of digging through your bag and having to remember where everything is.
  • Don't overpack shoes - To make sure you have enough room for other essentials while packing, avoid packing too many shoes. Instead, pack a few pairs that can be worn interchangeably with your outfits and ensure they match each outfit well.
  • Use compression bags or packing boxes to organize your clothes - This will help keep wrinkles at bay and allow you to fit more into your suitcase because it can be flattened down.
  • Use a hard-shell suitcase - Hard shell luggage is essential during rain, as soft shell bags will cause less humidity in luggage during dry weather.
  • Pack your tools - If you're driving in bad weather, be sure to pack your things such as paper towels, a shovel, and an ice-scraper. Make sure they are adequately placed in the compartment so you can easily reach for them if needed.
  • Pack for extra tires - If you're traveling in a car, it's always a good idea to pack a spare tire. This will help ensure that you can get where you need to go, even if something happens to one of your tires while on the road.

6. Double-Check Your Things Before Leaving for a Drive

Don’t forget to do a final check of your belongings before leaving for a drive. This will help reduce the chances of something important being left behind. You may use your checklist again for efficient checking to ensure all your items are in your luggage already. 

Bad weather can be unpredictable, but if you're prepared for it, you can still have a great time. Following these steps will help you stay safe and dry while enjoying your vacation.


You can't control the weather, but you can prepare for it. When packing your bag, it's essential to consider the right things to bring. Make sure they can all be useful for you if ever you get into trouble on the road. We hope you've found these tips helpful in preparing for bad weather. If so, don't forget to share it with your friends and families!