Here at Yale, Reading Week is upon us. It’s a week of no classes, partying, studying, and, for some, even quick roadtrips before Finals Week.

If you haven’t read about it already, the body of missing CNET editor James Kim has been located. After autopsy, it was determined that Kim died of hypothermia. He had left his family’s stranded car, looking for help.

So, if you plan on taking a quick roadtrip soon or over the break, let me pull out the inner “mother” inside me and point you all over to a great vehicle survival kit:

- Water – The Red Cross says that tap water that is treated can be stored for six moths, and unopened bottled water for a year.
- LED flashlight – specifically an LED one, so the battery will last forever. Here’s a well-reviewed hand-crank model. This one has a siren and a cell charger, but the charger only works for Nokia phones. If you are at all handy, you could easily strip that connector and stick one for your phone on there.
- Flares – for signaling, obviously, but also to start a fire if nothing else.
- Wire. Anything conductive. If need be I’d strip it out of the car, but it would be nice to have a roll of say, 16-gauge speaker wire.. You can make one hell of an antenna out of that. Climb a tree, attach it to your cell and hope that some tower somewhere at least picks up a ping if not a signal. 100 feet is $20 at Radio Shack.

As that’s only a quick list, be sure to click over to see the rest.

Also, on another note, I’d like to introduce you all to to Ridester.com. It’s a “feedback-rated roadtrip marketplace”. In other words, you can find a ride, and you can offer a ride. But, as always:

Is using Ridester safe?
Ridester provides a feedback system to foster a more dependable community. However, dependability does not equal safety. Safety is YOUR responsibility. Using Ridester involves the same inherent risks as ridesharing via regular rideshare sites. Ridester does not verify users’ identities, run background checks, or check drivers’ licenses and insurance. Furthermore, Ridester does not endorse traveling with any particular Ridester member. We strongly encourage you to exercise caution and common sense when ridesharing via Ridester or elsewhere.

There’s also the Rideshare Directory to look for carpools by state.

And, with gas prices being so crazy, check out GasBuddy.com.

Stay safe this winter!