Most people use their vehicles a lot. If you live in a rural area, it is your main transportation to anywhere. If you have kids that drive, you have vehicles going at all times of the day.
That being said, there are certain things you should always have in your vehicle. Whether you are a prepper or not, you should always be prepared for emergencies with your vehicle. You could leave home and run into bad weather. You could be stuck on the side of the road with a broken down car or the weather is so bad you can't see.
The following list of items are things I regularly use, couldn't live without, and have found myself needing when something goes wrong. I am actually surprised that people do not have them in their vehicles and just think that AAA or their paid roadside service can save them. Not every place in this fine country gets cell service...
10 Things You Should Always Have in Your Car
1. Jumper cables. This is an absolute must-have in a vehicle. I have jumped vehicles who owners didn't stock them. My kids have used them in their cars and on other people's cars. Batteries die sometimes and this is a pretty sure way of bringing them back to life!
2. Blankets. If you live in the Midwest, you have a blanket in the car. We are used to snowstorms, adverse weather conditions, and the favorite "warm in the afternoon, freezing at night" situations. Blankets are essential to staying warm in a broken down car or when the heater decides to give out.
3. Knife and Scissors. I keep a good sharp knife in the car (and my purse) at all times. I also keep scissors in my car. Keeping sharp instruments with the ability to slice and cut will make short-term repairs so much easier. Keeping a knife or scissors in the car means you have the means to escape seatbelts in emergency situations.
4. Tie Down Straps and Bungee Cords. These are indispensable in most vehicles. They keep loads from moving around. They will help to keep trunk lids closed when hauling big items. They can be used to keep doors with broken latches closed. You can use them around totes to keep them closed. We have these in our vehicles because we never know when we will need them, but need them we have.
5. Flashlights and Extra Batteries. Ever needed a flashlight late at night on the side of the road? This has happened to most people and those little keychain ones don't usually cut it. Get a good heavy duty flashlight with a solid beam and keep extra batteries in your glove compartment just in case.
6. A Set of Tools. You need a decent set of tools in your car to fix anything minor or improvise until you can get to a repair shop. This would include a multi-tip screwdriver, a hammer, pliers, a crescent wrench, and a vise grip. You can add a socket set and a wrench set too for even more repair potential.
7. Duct Tape. Let's face it: Duct tape can fix or temporarily repair a lot of things. You can wrap it around hoses that have split until you get to a repair shop. They can hold a window up that has fallen off the track. However, this is one area you should not skimp on. Buy the quality duct tape. Store brand has its place, but the higher quality tape will make sure you have a repair lasting longer than a couple miles. Trust me on this one.
8. Gear appropriate for the season and the weather. With all of our technology we have, we pretty much know what the weather is from day to day, even hour to hour. You should always be ready for the weather if possible. Carry ponchos or rain jacket, umbrellas, towels to dry off and protect the seats, and a jacket in the late spring, summer, and early fall. For the rest of the year, you should have cold weather gear in your car - stocking hats, gloves, winter coat, and boots.
9. First aid kit. This is a must-have item in your vehicle. I have used my first aid kit so many times! A basic one is all you need for most small injuries. You may want to keep a better-stocked one if you have kids in sports or have a person riding with you that has special needs.
10. Tire Iron and Jack. Usually, most cars and trucks come with one, but I have bought plenty of used vehicles that have been missing these items. Make sure your car has them and you know how to use them. It doesn't hurt to practice changing your tire so you can make sure you can do it without additional equipment. Getting those lug nuts off can take a certain amount of strength!
This is a pretty comprehensive list, but there are always more things you should have. I always have snacks (nuts and granola bars) in my vehicle and I carry a filled water bottle with me. I have a tire repair kit and a tire pressure gauge under the passenger seat. I also keep wipes, paper towels, and facial tissues for quick clean ups.
If you have babies and toddlers, there is more you want to carry. A fully stocked diaper bag is very necessary. When my kids were little, I would also keep an extra stocked bag in the car with extra diapers, wipes, change of clothes, extra baby blankets, extra snacks, infant Tylenol, a small container of formula, a bottle, and a sippy cup in addition to the diaper bag I carried with me. I couldn't tell you how many times I used things from the extra bag, but it was many, many times.
What do you carry in your car that you couldn't live without?
Thanks for reading,
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