Picture this: you’ve got your car window rolled down, the wind in your hair and the sense of endless possibilities. Your favorite song is on the radio and you can’t wait to reach your destination. All of a sudden, your car starts sputtering and your gas gauge goes from halfway full to empty, with no warning. You’re stuck somewhere in the middle of nowhere, with a dead cell phone and no gas. To top things off, your stomach is growling.
There are many unexpected things that can come up while you’re traveling. Your car might break down, you might get stuck in traffic, or your tires might end up spinning in a puddle of mud. Fortunately, being prepared can make all the difference.
Here are 10 lifesaving items you should never remove from your car:
1. A First Aid Kit
Every car should have a first aid kit. Make sure it contains sanitizing wipes, antibiotic ointment, Band-Aid’s and gauze. Women, it’s also a good idea to keep a few pads or tampons handy. Most of us know from experience what a pain it is when we suddenly need them but don’t have any lying around!
2. Warm Clothes
Even if it’s the middle of the summer, keeping extra layers in your car is a good idea. Temperatures can drop unexpectedly, even after a day at the beach! Always keep an extra coat or sweatshirt, a pair of long pants, a hat, gloves and a scarf in your car. If your car breaks down in a blizzard, you’ll be thankful you have warm clothing nearby.
3. Food And Water
Keeping some extra water in your trunk is always a great idea. Whether you’re stuck in traffic, thirsty after a snack or your kids need to re-hydrate after playing, it will come in handy. You can also keep snacks like granola bars, nuts and dried fruit in sealed containers.
4. A Backpack
If your car breaks down or you run out of gas, you might need to walk to a nearby gas station. Keep an old backpack or gym bag in your car in case of an emergency. Make sure it’s big enough to carry your items but small enough to fit in the trunk of your car.
5. Light Sources
A flashlight is a must-have. If yours is battery-powered, make sure to pack a few extra batteries along with it. If you get stranded in the dark, you’ll need a way to see. You’ll thank yourself for being prepared!
6. Heat Sources
In addition to warm clothes, it’s a good idea to pack some items that will keep you warm and dry. Hand warmers and thermal blankets can help warm you up, while a rain poncho can help keep you dry.
7. Car Supplies
A mini shovel is a handy tool to keep in your car, in case you ever have to dig your tires out of snow or mud. Pack some basic tools such as a hammer, screwdriver and a wrench. Jumper cables, tape and extra motor oil are also good things to pack. You may want to consider an emergency escape tool, which can break windows and cut through seat belts. This should be kept within reach of the driver’s seat.
8. Tools For Visibility And Communication
In order to call for help, your cell phone has to be charged. Keeping a car charger on hand is extremely important. While you’re waiting for help to arrive, you’ll need to stay visible on the side of the road, especially in the dark. Use road flares outside and an LED light inside.
9. A Full Tank Of Gas
When you set out to travel, make sure you have a full tank of gas. Even if your destination should only use up half of a tank. You never know when you’ll run into a road block, traffic or accidentally miss an exit.
10. Relaxation Tools
Sometimes, you’re just stuck waiting. To keep yourself calm while waiting for a ride or a tow truck, keep a good book or a magazine in your car. If you have kids, make sure you have some coloring books or puzzle books on hand to help pass the time.