I’m heading out on a road trip next week to Oklahoma, for a family reunion. Packing for this ten hour road trip made me wonder about all the essentials a person needs to have anytime they hit the road for a long journey. Obviously what you pack will vary based on the seasons or location, but it’s always a good idea to have a box or bag with the essentials in case of an emergency.
Before you pack your emergency kit, be sure to make sure your spare tire is in good shape and that your jack is also in the car. In addition, be sure your car is fueled up (especially when driving into desolate areas where gas is scarce), has had a recent oil change, and has proper scheduled maintenance (especially for older vehicles).
Here’s a list that I compiled of what I think is important to pack when traveling by car:
- a complete first aid kit
- jumper cables
- non-perishable food and water
- tire sealant for a flat tire
- blanket, tarp, and/or emergency (space) blanket
- small fire extinguisher, specifically for cars
- tire pressure gauge
- car escape tool (window hammer and seat belt cutter)
- rags/paper towels
- flares and/or emergency triangle reflectors
- a solar or hand cranked phone charger
- washer fluid
- Leatherman or multi-tool knife
- flashlight with batteries (batteries packed separately)
- screwdriver (flat head and Phillips), pliers, and/or small tool kit
- toilet paper and/or biodegradable wipes
- electrical and duct tape for repairs
- rain poncho
- road map or atlas
Extra items to bring with when traveling in the winter or in cold areas:
- extra food and water
- collapsible shovel
- hand warmers, blankets, and/or extra clothes
- sand or kitty litter (for traction, if your car gets stuck)
- candles and lighter/matches
- ice scraper/snow brush
Taking the extra time to make certain you are prepared could save you time, money, and inconvenience in the long run. If you don’t have time to pack your own emergency kit, you can always buy them online at retailers like Amazon, L.L. Bean, Survival-Supply.com, among others.
What items do you keep in your car for emergency situations? I’d love to know!