If you plan on spending any amount of time on the road this summer, then it is always a good idea to get your car a good check-up to make sure that the basics like your oil and tires are in good shape. But you should also take the time to stock up on some items that you should always keep in your car. Some of these are simply a good idea for the sake of convenience, but many of them are essentials for safety and security. So get out your shopping list and let’s look at ten essentials that should be in every car.
- Tire changing/repair supplies—A flat tire can ruin your day. But it gets even worse if you don’t have the materials to repair or replace the flat. So what do you need? First and foremost is a quality spare tire. Make sure that you double check the tire to make sure it is in good shape, otherwise it’s useless. Also, make sure that you have a tire iron, a jack, and also tire sealant that can help you fix the flat until you can get to an auto parts store.
- Car emergency kit—Most retailers and auto part stores carry basic emergency car kits that include a flashlight, jumper cables, flares, reflectors, and a tire gauge among other items. This is a basic, but absolutely necessary, item for your car.
- First aid kit—In the event of an accident, you need to have a basic first aid kit so that you can take care of injuries until EMTs arrive. A simple Red Cross first aid kit will suffice and also help you in case you have a small-scale accident in the car, like a cut, scrape, or nosebleed.
- Multi-tool—It may be difficult, if not impossible, to include every type of tool that is necessary in emergencies. If you don’t have room for a large toolbox, get a good quality multi-tool or multi-tool kit such as a Leatherman.
- Portable car jump starter—Jumper cables should be a no-brainer when it comes to car supplies. But these only work if your car breaks down with another car nearby. If you need a jumpstart in the middle of nowhere, you have to use a portable car jump starter, a device that you can plug up to your battery and get a quick jolt to get you on your way.
- Cell phone charger—When you are on the road, your cell phone may be your only connection for help in the event of emergency. That’s why you should keep a charger in your car to make sure your phone will work when you need it. (It’s also great for keeping your phone from dying if you use it for the GPS function.)
- Money—So many of us today don’t carry cash but instead rely on credit and debit cards. But a small stash of cash hidden in the glove compartment or somewhere else in the car can always come in handy. If you can, also stash a few dollars worth of quarters away in the event you run across a snack or drink machine at a rest stop on the road.
- Bags—You never know when a plastic shopping bag will come in handy: from storage, to trash, to an impromptu puke bag. That’s why a small bundle of them kept in the trunk will come in handy. In addition, if you can store them inside a larger canvas grocery shopping bag that you can also use when you go shopping at a store where you need to bring your own bags.
- Duct tape—One of the best quick fixers you can keep on hand is duct tape. Duct tape can hold just about anything together when you need to make an on-the-road repair until you can make your way to a garage.
- Blanket—This has so many uses that you can’t even name them all. Just know that you need a good all-purpose blanket for emergencies or for comfort when you are on the road.
Before you hit the road this summer, take a little bit of time to get your car squared away with the supplies that will help protect you when you are traveling.
Other articles you might be interested in:
Roadside Safety Tips for Florida Highways
Car Accidents Can Cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Article updated 7/17/2017