DIY

10 Lifesaving Items You Should Never, Ever Remove From Your Car

Laura Laura Caseley

Traveling by car is fun. There’s the sense of adventure, the wind in your hair, and the endless possibility of the open road.

But nothing puts a damper on your travel plans quite like an unexpected delay. Even worse? A delay where you can’t get moving again because of an accident, weather conditions, or mechanical problems.

Luckily, there are ways you can prepare for any misfortune that might befall your car out on the road, and it’s actually super easy to prepare for any issue during any season, from summer storms to winter ice. We don’t just mean making sure to brush the snow off your car.

Simply grab a large backpack (an old suitcase works, too) and items you probably already have around the house, or that you can pick up easily from your local home goods or hardware store.

We hope you’ll never have to use this emergency kit, but having it in the car at all times can make a world of difference. And you can always use the items to help someone else in need, too!

Check out what your car’s emergency kit needs below. The best thing about it is that it can stay in your car year-round, and it will always have something to help you out of a jam.

Once you use up an item, though, be sure to replace it to make sure you’re prepared for whatever comes next!

Thumbnail Photos: Flickr, 2

#1: Backpack

#1: Backpack
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

If your car breaks down, you might need to walk (safely) to a nearby house or gas station. That’s why it’s important to always have a backpack in your car.

Any old backpack will do, but make sure it’s large enough for all the things you’ll be putting into it.

You can also use an old suitcase or gym bag, as long as it can hold all your items and fit in the trunk of your car.

#2: Warm Clothing

#2: Warm Clothing
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Regardless of the season, keeping extra layers on hand is a great idea.

Look for hats and scarves that are lightweight and warm, and gloves that will allow your hands to move freely.

If you have a family, get enough items for everyone.

#3: Light Sources

#3: Light Sources
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

If you get stranded in the dark, you’ll need a way to see. Matches and candles are great and don’t need power, but be careful when using them in or around a car!

A flashlight is another must-have tool. If yours is battery-powered, be sure to stock some extra batteries.

You can also opt for a hand-powered flashlight that uses the energy from your hands’ motion to stay lit, meaning it’ll never run out of juice.

#4: First Aid Kit

#4: First Aid Kit
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

first aid kit is something every car should have.

Be sure it contains sanitizing wipes, antibiotic ointment, Band-Aids, gauze, and over-the-counter painkillers.

You might also want to consider packing your first aid kit with some tampons or pads, just in case.

However, if your injury is serious, be sure to immediately call 911.

#5: Food And Water

#5: Food And Water
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Depending on how long you’re stuck, you’ll need to keep your energy up.

Non-perishable snacks like granola bars, nuts, and dried fruit in sealed containers are all great choices.

Just be sure to use unopened foods and wrap them in plastic to hide the smell from any critters.

You’ll need to stay hydrated too, so some water bottles are also a great thing to have.

#6: Car Supplies And Tools

#6: Car Supplies And Tools
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

If you ever have to dig out your tires, a mini shovel is a great item to have in the trunk.

Your car likely has its own spare tire and jack, but having a small toolkit with some basic tools like a hammer, screwdriver, and wrench is also a good idea.

Jumper cables, tape, and extra motor oil are also good things to pack away.

Another lifesaving item to keep on hand, specifically in reach of the driver’s seat, is an emergency escape tool, which can break windows and cut through seat belts.

#7: Heat Sources

#7: Heat Sources
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

In addition to scarves and gloves, it’s a good idea to pack some items that will keep you warm and dry.

Emergency Mylar thermal blankets and hand warmers are great ways to keep warm — and both come in small packaging, so they won’t take up much room.

If you have to go outside in inclement weather, a plastic rain poncho is also a good idea to keep handy.

#8: Visibility And Communication Tools

#8: Visibility And Communication Tools
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

To call for help, your first step will probably be reaching for your cell phone — so be sure to keep your battery full with a car charger.

While you’re waiting for help to arrive, you’ll need to stay visible on the side of the road. Use road flares outside the car and use an LED light inside.

If you have to leave your car, be sure you have a high-visibility vest so oncoming traffic will see you. However, it’s best to stay inside the car until help arrives.

#9: Relaxation Tools

#9: Relaxation Tools
Janine Ngai for LittleThings

Sometimes all you can do is wait, unfortunately. If you’re stuck waiting for a tow truck or a ride, it can get boring.

When the minutes seem to stretch out, you might also start to feel panicked.

Keep those feelings at bay and keep your spirits up with some entertainment. A good book is always a great choice.

If you have kids, keep some paper and pencils or a book of puzzles on hand to pass the time. Playing cards are also great for groups.

#10: A Full Tank Of Gas

#10: A Full Tank Of Gas

Whenever you’re traveling, no matter the distance, be sure you have gas in your tank.

Not only is running on empty bad for your car, but it can be dangerous if you’re ever lost or traveling through unfamiliar territory.

Also, whenever you travel, be sure to tell people where you’re going — and when you should be expected to arrive. Take your phone with you and make sure it’s charged.

SHARE this important information with anyone who drives to keep them safe all year round!