An emergency can strike at any place, and at any time, which is why it is essential
always to stay prepared and have some emergency tools and products on you in time of need. Our cars, in particular, are one place where survival tools need to be kept. Cars are great for storage as there is a lot of hiding spots where we can stash stuff so when we break down or need to get away fast we have the gear we need.
Because of this, it becomes important to have the right tools on you that can help you stay safe and equipped during this time. The right tools can not only ensure that you are more equipped for the task at hand but can also shape how you seek a solution to get out of it.
What to put in a Car Emergency Kit?
One of the first ways to prepare yourself for an emergency is to keep a suitcase or a toolbox with all the everyday essentials that you might need. You never know when you can be stranded in a place and may need some of these items to protect yourself.
To start out, make sure that your suitcase or trunk container itself is one that is made tough in quality. It should be something that is ideally waterproof, and which can protect the items inside it from harsh weather conditions.
One of the first things that you should keep in this case is a spare set of clothing. Even though it is ideal to keep a full set of light and warm clothing in this suitcase, some people like to keep just one, i.e., either light clothing or warm clothing.
This option will mainly depend on the places that you are traveling and the weather conditions that you will be encountering there. If you live in a warm area and use your car for your daily commute, keep a change of clothes that you can use on a sunny day. If you are traveling by your car to a place that is colder, carry a set of warm clothing to ensure that you have something to protect you well in case of an emergency.
I have lost count on the number of times I have had to change my kids because they have spilled something on their clothes going somewhere.
2. Personal Hygiene Products
Having a few personal hygiene products on you when you are traveling by car is always
a good practice, and is especially useful in case of an emergency. If your car breaks
down and you need to spend a night somewhere, you have what you would need to get
This is something that can also be useful in cases of personal emergencies.
Keeping a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, hygiene products and other essentials is a good start. I have lost count number of times I have been late to work and forgot to brush my teeth. Now it is just a quick trip to the trunk where I keep a spare toothbrush and some bottled water.
Sometimes, a person can encounter a situation wherein they would have to spend
some time away from any place where they can get food. In situations wherein a person
is stranded and doesn’t have roadside assistance, you may be spending the night in the car.
Having a few snacks in your car is always beneficial. It is important to note that the snacks that one keeps should not be perishable goods and should be things that can last a considerable amount of time.
Car trunks also tend to get heated a lot more than the rest of the car, which is why carrying
something that won’t melt is also advised. Things like crackers, gum, and other packed
items that can be kept for more than a year.
There are some food products called Meals ready to eat or MRE for short. They are made for the military and can last for many years if stored in a cool dry place. I store a few under the driver’s seat and rotate them through ever 6 months.
The fourth thing that you should have in this suitcase is some emergency money. It is
essential that you don’t use this unless it is an absolute emergency. Sometimes, I find myself grabbing a few notes from time to time and then when I need it its all gone.
This amount should be kept safely in the suitcase and should be enough to suffice in time of an emergency. Generally, keeping around $100 is advised when going on a trip anywhere with your car.
Because of how dependent we are on our gadgets, it is now vital to carry the equipment
that ensures that these devices run smoothly. Phone chargers, and car battery jump starters, in particular, are some of the essential emergency gadget accessories that one can carry along with them.
Losing all your battery in a time of need can be devastating, and sometimes, just a phone call is all we need to get out of a tough situation.
Always keep your phone charger along with its adapter in a safe part of your car. Sometimes, having an emergency phone in your car during long trips is also a great way to ensure that you always have communication. This is especially useful if you lose your phone along the way and are in an emergency situation. In addition, keeping a few other accessories like a flashlight and a portable charger is also beneficial in these situations.
I also like to include a Car engine OBD2 scanner in the glove box just so I can quickly check what is wrong with the engine if I am in the middle of nowhere. Often it’s a quick fix. The guys over at Scantoolcentre have some great gadget accessories which you can learn more about.
What tools to keep in your car?
Sometimes, a problem with your car can be the emergency that you have to deal with,
and being prepared in such a situation is always advised. You should always have a full
tank of gas whenever you are going on a long trip, and make sure that your engine is
properly checked before you go anywhere distant.
Carrying few spare parts like spark plugs, fuses, radiator fluid, engine oil, fan belts, electrical take and some basic tools can ensure that you have a solution even in the most cumbersome situations.
- Screwdrivers of various sizes
- Socket set
- Spark Plug socket and wrench
- Cable ties
- Electrical Multimeter
- Carjack and wheel nut wrench
- Seatbelt cutter and window breaker
Keeping a spare tire ready to go must be your top priority a tire puncture is an incredibly common occurrence. The tire should ideally be filled and ready to go.
Additionally, you will also want to carry along a few tools that you could use to fit on the
tire, though these are not completely necessary.
A puncture repair kit is one of the best things to invest in situations like this. All they are is a rubber or felt plug that needs to be inserted with a special tool that comes with the kit.
Its really easy to do and will save you a few dollars at the tire repair center. If you are in the middle of nowhere they are really handy. Just be sure to have a 12v tire pump on you as well.
Sometimes, one of the biggest emergency situations can be when a car has a flat battery. These battery issues can sometimes be incredibly hard to resolve if you
don’t have the right tools with you.
One of the best things to have on you is a portable battery jump starter that can be quickly used to jump-start your car. This will ensure that you can reach a safe destination quickly and swap out that dead battery.
I have a Noco GB40 lithium Ion jump starter which lucky for me I have only had to use on a workmates care. It started right up so I was very impressed even with it being in my car for 5 months without a top up charge.
For my piece of mind, I like to change out the car battery every 3 years. It’s a small cost for reliability. Batteries tend to have a high failure rate after 3 years especially 4×4 truck batteries.
Winter Survival Kit for Car
Sometimes, emergency situations can arise when the weather is bad or there are kids around, and it is essential to make sure that they are completely safe in these situations. Parents who are traveling with children should always carry a small kit that caters to their needs specifically. Some of these essentials are as follows:
Change Of Clothes
Having a change of clothes for your children is always advised when going on long trips,
and keeping an emergency set is even better. Children tend to feel a lot colder than
adults, which is why it is essential to make sure that the set contains clothing that is
suited to the weather that you are traveling in.
Blanket Or Sleeping Bags
If an emergency situation arises wherein you and your children have to spend the night
outside or in the car, having a sleeping bag or a blanket is a good way to ensure the
safety and comfort of children in these situations.
A small lightweight hammock is also a nice choice if you break down in the wild. Just string it up between two trees and waite for help.
Winter emergency car kit
Always make sure to have the following on hand for those winter emergencies.
- Plastic ice scraper
- Tow rope and shackle also know as a snatch strap
- Antifreeze coolant
- Tarp or rug to put on the ground to change a tire
- LED Torch
- Weatherproof gloves
- Spare Oil
- Chains for your tires
- CB radio if out of mobile phone reception
The list can go on forever as eveyones situation is different. Always keep valuables out of site for thieves. They will have no problems smashing a window to grab a bag. A dark towel works magic to hide briefcases and other attractive items.
Don’t overload your car with the whole kitchen sink. Traveling around town is a lot different from traveling in the wilderness. Take your time and pack methodically.
Try to strap down your load where possible so they don’t rock around and cause damage. Use soft items of clothing to pack between lose items. Remember in an accident lose items can become projectiles so pack heavy items in the trunk or boot.
All the best with your road trip, remember to pack your emergency car toolkit and it will get you or a fellow motorist out of trouble when you can repair your car fast. Not all of us are mechanics but most often it is a simple fix. If you see a fellow motorist in trouble stop and offer a hand often it is a tool they need that they don’t have.