Essentials for Emergency Car Kits

Emergency Kits for your Car

We spend a lot of time in our cars, from daily commutes, to traffic jams, and road trips. You never know, you could be on the way to work, or picking up the kids from a friends house when an emergency occurs. A simple flat tire on a busy road in a thunderstorm is a dangerous place to be, but the right safety equipment can make the difference between life or death. Make sure you have the right items needed to get you out of a jam BEFORE you get into one.

Signaling

-LEDs

An alternative to the fiery red light of the road flare, LED flares have become very popular due to their low cost, reusability, and versatility in emergency situations. As long as you have enough batteries on hand, they can function for many, many hours on end. Fast strobe or Morse code patterns can also be utilized.

-Reflective

Simple, reliable, effective. If you’re on a dark, wet, busy road and your car breaks down, those are what you want from your signaling device. Reflective materials on vests, road markers, and vehicles are available in many different varieties. Best of all, they are one of the most cost effective solutions and They’ll work all night without the need to buy any extra batteries.

-Flashlight

I’m not even going to write a whole big thing here, if you don’t have a flashlight in your car, you are NOT prepared. Go get a flashlight right now and throw it in your glovebox or center console, I’ll wait here until you get back…

Cutting

-Knife

If you don’t already have one in your pocket, or even if you do, a knife is an incredibly practical thing to keep safely inside a vehicle. A sturdier fixed blade might provide more utility than your pocket folder for roadside emergencies, and something with a nice sturdy rubber handle will keep your grip even when dealing with oils and greases.

-Seatbelt cutter

In the right (or wrong?) situations this can be a literal life saver. You can find them built into a multitude of other car safety items at very reasonable costs. There’s no reason not to have one handy at all times.

-Nail clippers

That’s right, nail clippers. Some consider it a beauty tool but those people have never learned the practicality of a small, powerful flush-cutting nipper for everything from snipping zip ties to stripping wires.

Cordage

-Zip ties

These guys go in every kit as far as I’m concerned. They’re cheaper than most other kit items, they’re incredibly strong and versatile, they weigh almost nothing, and you can really save the day with one.

-Ratchet straps

Truckers know, these guys have been asked to do a LOT more than they’re supposed to sometimes. Ratchet straps are one of the most ubiquitous road tools around. The good ones are worth investing in, they save you both time, money, and stress. Learn how to use and store them properly.

-A rope

Can’t beat the simplicity of a rope. It could be a spool of paracord, a bundle of nylon or cotton rope, or maybe it’s an improvised extension cord. A rope is a rope is a rope. You can do all sorts of rope things with it, but only if you have one.

-Dental floss

Sometimes what you need is a fine thread, floss is like thread but on steroids. You can use it to strongly sew fabrics, setup traps, or even as sutures in the field. I guess you could floss with it, too.

Charging

-Lipo jump starter

These things are great. They’ll jump start a V8 and top off an iPhone8 at the same time. They’re light weight enough to keep in your car 24/7 as long as the climate is not too hot, unlike its lead-acid ancestors. I like to get a cigarette lighter adaptor for mine so that it can power any 12v DC device with the standard plug.

-USB cords

You can’t charge your phone or device if you don’t have the right cord. Micro USB? Mini USB? Type B? Type C? Lighting? Ya… you better figure out what you need and make sure you got the right adaptor.

-Solar usb charger

Never be without a charge again, as long as you have daylight, you can have current. Just don’t forget your sunscreen.

Emergency prep

-First aid kit

You need a first aid kit. A lot of cars even come standard with one. Just having a bandage for a scraped knee or hangnail can really help a situation. Often things like scissors, pain relievers, tweezers, and tape from the kit can serve a function outside of a first aid scenario.

-Fire extinguisher

If you’re ever on fire, trust me you’ll want one of these. Same goes for your car, and I’m sure that ill equipped motorist will thank you when you save his life and/or day. Make sure its properly secured and accessible so that if you DO ever need it, you look like you’re not as scared as you might actually be.

-Compression bandage

Here’s the thing, if you need something from a first aid kit, like really NEED it… it’s not going to be a band aid or some tape. Real medical emergencies require real medical supplies. Unfortunately, most first aid kits are not well equipped to handle massive trauma, major hemorrhaging, etc. Equipment like tourniquets, compression bandages, blood clotting agents, fast acting medicines, etc along with the knowledge to use them SAVES LIVES. That life maybe you or a loved one so please, be prepared.

-Food and water

A bottle of water and an energy bar go a long way. If you find yourself falling asleep on a long leg of highway driving, eating something can make the difference between staying awake or dozing off at the wheel. A bottle of water is the universal feel-good offering for stranded or lost drivers, pets, children, or yourself!

-Blanket/towel

I’m just going to list situations where one of these would be useful and you think to yourself how many times you’ve been there. Ok ready?

  1. You or a passenger is cold but the car is not on/warm.
  2. Dirty passengers/pets need to sit in the seats.
  3. Someone spilled something, I don’t know who (it wasn’t me) but now everything’s all sticky.
  4. You’re soaking wet for who knows why.

Repair

-Tire patch

Flat tire? Sometimes you can’t wait for rescue, repair it yourself and get where you need to be. In a pinch, these kits can be used without even removing the tire from the rim.

-Tire sealer

If it’s a really dire situation, this stuff with fill you tire with a foam that then hardens, allowing you to travel on a “filled” tire for a short distance. It wreaks havoc on your wheel, sometimes requiring replacement of what was once reparable, but it’s FAST and it works, so it has its uses.

-Tire pump

Maybe it’s just a low tire or a very minor leak, an air pump is a great thing to have in your car anyways. Find one that runs off a 12V adaptor and you can use your car or jump starter.