In spite of the warnings about winter cold all over the news and websites, it is apparent to me that the average person who has never been in a survival situation does not take time to even slightly prepare. I have an arctic rated parka in the back of my vehicle that I can sleep in if necessary.
I asked the teenage daughter of a friend of mine who was driving through the country on a recent frigid winter morning if she was prepared to survive a walk in the cold or if she would she freeze to death. She was on her way to work and dressed for the running vehicle that was going to be warm in just a few minutes and for the warm building she was going to be working in. She was not prepared to have to hike even a mile in the cold or to maintain body temperature if she slipped off the road and down over one of the steep hills. She said she would probably freeze.
Winter clothing is bulky. It is uncomfortable to wear inside a vehicle with the heater on. It is restrictive to the normal movements of driving. It is okay to not wear it in the car. However, it should be in the back seat of the vehicle and not in the trunk. If you are trapped in an accident there still exists the high likelihood of being able to retrieve something just behind you in the back seat. No sense freezing to death because blankets or a parka were in the trunk.
Keep a spare set of boots sturdy and warm enough to walk in snow, slush and water without allowing your feet to get wet or cold. If you leave home in a suit or skirt or other clothing not suited for winter survival, pack some jeans, a pair of sweatpants that will fit over the jeans, heavy socks, a t-shirt and sweatshirt and a fleece jacket to change into if you get stuck. Those layers will work well with the parka. You have to have a heavy winter coat or parka for frigid cold and wind. Don’t forget a heavy knit hat and waterproof winter gloves or mittens.
Packed down in one of those vacuum bags, the stuff doesn’t take up much room. You may never need it, but if you do need it you will really need it. Don’t be stupid. At least throw in the vehicle a good winter coat along with a hat and gloves kept in the pocket of the coat. It could save your life on some frigid winter or night.