Road trip? Stock your car with these 10 must have items

5152723899_f63b274585_o copyWhether you’re going cross-town or cross-country, it’s a good idea to make sure your vehicle is in top form before you set out on your summer adventures: check your tires, oil, coolant,lights, etc.. Check that your spare tire is in good shape and that you have your jack on hand as well. Don’t forget your vehicle documentation too!

Even if your car is in prime cruising shape, things can still go wrong on the highways. With that in mind we’ve created a list of some important items to keep in your car in the event you find yourself stranded on the side of the road.

You can assemble most of these in a small kit or container that will easily store in your trunk:

  • Jumper cables – Battery died? Jumper cables and a little help from a friend, or passerby, will get you on your way.
  • Clothing/jacket/gloves/blanket – These are great for keeping warm and protection from the elements in any weather conditions. Gloves are also good for protecting your hands if you need to turn some wrenches.
  • First aid kit – Because boo-boos happen.
  • Flashlight/batteries – If your car conks out at night, it’s much easier to make repairs, or read a book while waiting for a tow with a portable light source. Don’t forget the batteries!
  • Food/water – If you’re forced to wait for any period of time, food and water are critical. Keep a gallon of drinking water and an assortment of snacks with longer shelf life, like energy bars, for staying hydrated and fueled up.
  • Tools – There are several kinds of tools to keep on hand: tire gauge, ice scrapers and even a basic set of wrenches and screwdrivers can come in handy for making repairs. Bring tools you know how to use.
  • Duct Tape – You can fix almost anything with duct tape.
  • Tow Rope – Rope is handy no matter what, but a tow rope can get you out of a ditch or give you a lift to the nearest service station.
  • Cell phone charger – Because being without your phone, GPS and camera all at once is not good in a jam. Consider a battery powered portable charger too. And, don’t waste your juice checking Facebook!
  • Fuses/fix-a-flat/oil – These types of items and spares make for easy fixes or patch-up repairs until you can get to a qualified technician.

Stock up, stay safe and happy travels!


Photo credit: Bob Julius

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