Having the right items in your car can save you a lot of headaches if something were to happen. If you are on vacation, trapped in traffic, or break down these simple items will save you time and provide a little comfort in a bad situation.
Don’t be left in the dark or rely on your cell phone light. I’m a huge fan of having at least two quality rechargeable flashlights on hand at all times. I also keep a rechargeable headlamp for hands-free use. Streamlight makes a great flashlight and headlamp but there are plenty of other good options out there. If you go the traditional route and use a flashlight that requires batteries, stay away from cheap alkaline batteries as they tend to leak. Energizers are a good choice.
Most cars come with a basic jack and lug wrench but if you are stranded in the middle of nowhere you may have to repair that flat yourself. This is a must-have if you are pulling a trailer. A heavy-duty tire repair kit is crucial because it’s much easier to use that the cheaper ones at auto or big box stores. Know how to use it before you need it! Also, you will need a way to inflate your tires. There are a variety of adequate small air compressors that are designed for emergencies. I wouldn’t skimp any of these items. That’s just my rule. Don’t forget to throw in a pair of gloves. YouTube is your best friend when it comes to learning the basics of changing a tire and using your car’s factory jack.
It’s so simple but during the summer it could save your life and I do not leave home without it. You may be stranded or stuck in traffic for a long period of time. A large metal water bottle or something similar is a life saver when you need it. Keep it clean and replace the contents after you drink some of it or just replace the water every other week. Stay away from cheap plastic water bottles because they can leak and when they get hot your water can taste bad.
Just the other day I plugged my dying cell phone in my truck’s charger cable and it failed. It’s a good idea to keep two of every charger that you may need. I keep two for an iPhone and two for and Android even though I don’t own a Samsung but someone else may need it. I also keep a charger for the computer (it can use a charging cable and Type-C cable) and any flashlight that I carry. Mine are stored away in couple of plastic chewing gum boxes! How creative right?
First Aid Kit
Each vehicle I own has an IFAK or Individual First Aid Kit. I prefer to make my own over buying the pre-made ones. You do not need a lot of first-aid items, just the right ones. On top of having the essentials for treating bleeding, having basic items such as antacids, pain relief, splinter removal, etc. can make life much better when the stores are closed and you are in need. Again, YouTube is loaded with videos on making trauma and simple first aid kits.
Some honorable mentions. Toilet Paper…I mean come on, don’t leave home without it. I also keep a roll of paper towels in my truck because I’m messy and never seem to get napkins at the drive through, problem solved. Comfortable shoes as you may be walking for help so be prepared! And if you are walking then a portable phone charger is a great idea. Keep an old school paper road map because technology may not be available. A pocket knife, no human on this earth should be without a good one! Fire extinguisher, you may not need it but someone else just might. Cash, hide it well and use in emergencies. Jumper Cables or jump starter, a dead battery can ruin your day.
Stay safe out there!
Brent Moye REALTOR®