Last week an Oregon man made the news after he and his dog became stuck in the snow and spent five days subsisting on nothing but Taco Bell hot sauce.  While we aren’t suggesting getting your car stuck in the snow tomorrow and seeing how well you can ‘Survivor Man’ it out in the bush, we know that having some cold weather hacks up your sleeve can help make life a little easier when the snow flies – in the city and off road. Here are some suggestions to build your arsenal of MacGyver know how, one hack at a time.

Stop the Fog

Foggy windows making it hard to see where you’re going? No problem – just bust out a can of shaving cream and spread a thin layer over the inside of your windshield.  Shaving cream has many of the same ingredients as defoggers so once you wipe your window clean you can enjoy a fog free view while you drive.

Make Your Own Candles

If the power goes out and you don’t have any candles (or are running out) you can make your own by using your pantry.  All you need is a tin can, some string or cotton, and some cooking oil.  Place the string in the middle of your can of oil and light it.

No More AA Batteries, No Problem

If you’ve run out of AA batteries and need them for your flashlight you can turn to your AAA batteries to do the job, provided you have some tin foil on hand.  Simply place a small ball of foil between the negative (-) side of the AAA battery and the device you’re looking to power and you’re all set!

The Credit Card Car Cleaner

Gone out without your scraper?  Use an old credit card instead to get the ice off your car.

The Freezer Detector

To keep an eye on your food during a power outage rely on a handmade freezer detector.  Partially fill a mason jar with water and freeze it on its side.  Once it has frozen stand it up right in your freezer.  If the water melts to the bottom when you’ve lost power you know that it’s time to start throwing out food.  For more information on what to eat from your fridge and when, after you’ve lost power, click here.

Melt Frozen Locks

Got an ice build up on your home or car locks, simply rub some hand sanitizer on your keys and let the alcohol in the sanitizer melt any ice inside the locks. 

Windshield Cover

Consider using an old mat or rug and keeping it in the trunk of your car.  Not only can it be used under your tires if you get stuck, but you can also lay it across your windshield before snow storms to prevent ice from getting glued to your window, making your car clean up a whole lot easier.

Side Mirror Bags

If you aren’t parking in a garage and you know a storm is coming, consider getting some plastic bags to place over your side mirrors (securing the bags on with elastic bands) and you’ll have two fewer areas of your car to clean after the storm.