When you’re on the open road, anything can happen. Usually, this is a good thing – where new experiences, adventures, and friendships await.
But the other reality we road warriors face is that something might go wrong. Whether it’s a flat tire, a dead car battery, cuts, bumps, or bruises, there are a few essentials we should all keep in our cars to ensure health and safety at all times.
Before your next road trip, take a few minutes to assemble your very own car kit. You’ll feel better knowing it’s there, and hopefully you’ll never even have to use it!
Safety & Survival Kit
If you spend any amount of time in your car, it’s best to have a few items on hand to help in the event of an emergency. Consider collecting a few items and stowing them away – just in case.
- First Aid kit – include bandages, sterile gauze pads, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, safety pins, instant ice packs, disposable non-latex gloves, and antiseptic wipes.
- Food & comfort – include a blanket (or 2), toilet paper, bottled water, and energy bars.
- Gadgets & communication – battery-powered radio, a pocket knife or multi-tool, maps, USB mobile device charger.
- A few ‘tools’ – think rope, duct tape, and glow sticks.
- Other – matches, tea lights or candles in a tin, a shovel, batteries, flashlight.
Car Maintenance & Repair
You can’t predict when your battery might die or when you’ll get a flat tire. But you can prepare for these instances in the event they do occur. Before your next road trip, spend an hour or so gathering these essential items and familiarizing yourself with how they work.
- Spare tire – this is a no-brainer, but always be sure to have a spare in the car.
- Jumper cables – and knowledge on how to use them.
- Tire sealant - in a pinch, a sealant will help you patch a hole in your tire long enough to get yourself to a nearby phone, hotel, or mechanic, without having to fully replace the tire yourself.
- The car manual - these manuals contain a lot of helpful information about your car and how you should expect certain elements of it to work.
- Tire pressure gauge – checking your tire pressure regularly is a good practice, helping to prolong the life of the tire. It may also help you troubleshoot if something feels off in the car.
There are just a few more things you’ll need to complete your car kit, including:
- A change of clothes – if you unexpectedly end up somewhere overnight, or if your clothes get soaked while changing your tire, it’s nice to have another set available.
- Umbrella – to help keep you dry when you’re out there changing the tire!
- Poncho, hat, gloves – any clothing items to make you more comfortable in the elements.
- A little bit of spare cash - just in case!
- Emergency contacts – even in a digital age, it’s a not a bad idea to keep a list of names and phone numbers in hard copy in the car. If you’re in a jam and your cell phone dies, you’ll be happy you have this.