Prepper Travel 101: Traveling During Bad Weather

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Traveling on your own or with small kids is tough enough.

Throw bad weather into the mix and you've got a recipe for disaster.

Last year, I trekked from Colorado to Kansas and back again seven times. I made the 12-hour (each way) road trip with my kids and a car full of CDs and snacks, and I hit several insane storms, including:

  • a hail storm
  • a blizzard
  • an ice storm
  • a tornado
  • a thunderstorm
You know what's not fun?

Traveling with kids and getting caught in a storm! 

Prepping beforehand saved me and my kids a lot of stress. While I still ended up at roadside motels a couple of times, prepping for the worst meant that my kids and I had food to eat while staying at those motels, that we had extra clothes ready, that we had hygiene supplies, and that we had all of our regular medications on hand.

Since my kids are young and bouncy and love to have adventures, prepping also meant I had bandages and first aid supplies on hand when one of my son's got hurt.

I know a lot of people are scared to drive by themselves or worry about driving with kids. "What if something bad happens?" is a question I've gotten a lot.

Well, something bad did happen.

Several times.

And you know what?

Everything was okay.

One of the reasons I write The Nerdy Survivalist and why I write the eBooks that I do is to help other moms develop the confidence they need to make tough journeys. While dads and nonparents are always welcome to read anything and everything I write, my primary motivation is to help other moms who might not know that yes, they can do it!

Driving alone with kids is tough, but you can make difficult journeys even with small children. You don't have to let your husband's working hours, deployment, or dislike for your family (ha!) mean that you can't go on a trip or have a fun experience. 

I was a military wife for 8 years. Trust me: I get the work hours. There were plenty of times when I had to decide whether I would skip out on an adventure because my husband couldn't make it. Sometimes I did. Sometimes I sucked it up.

If you do decide to travel, though, understand that there will be bad weather sometimes. All the planning in the world won't save you from freak thunderstorms or random weather anomalies, especially if you drive an unpredictable highway like I-70, which I did.

One of the most important things you can do before you leave is to prep for bad weather. Here's what I like to do.
  • Pack rain ponchos for each person
  • Bring liquid HEET for the car in case of a snowstorm
  • Pack a scraper for the windows
  • Include one pair of gloves for each person
  • Pack a warm blanket in case the car breaks down during a storm or the hotel room we crash in doesn't have heat (This happened to me. The front desk gave me a space heater, but I was glad for the extra blanket.)
  • Read up on how to handle hail while driving and learn the safest ways to navigate driving in the rain
  • Tell someone what route I'm taking and check in at periodic intervals
  • Have an extra charged phone battery with me
  • Bring extra snacks for each kid AND water bottles
  • Pack at least one to two days' worth of medication MORE than you think you'll need
  • Pack kitty litter or sheets of cardboard to put under the tires if it snows or there is too much sludge to drive
Remember that there will always be something you didn't plan for. There will always be random things that happen that catch you off guard. This is okay! It doesn't mean you're a bad mom or that you didn't do your best in prepping. Just try to keep your head up and remember that even though things can get tough, you can get through whatever weather-related situation you find yourself in.

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