What To Carry In A Car Emergency Kit

Emergencies can happen anywhere at any time. On a regular basis, the news carries stories of drivers who were stranded when they went off the road due to weather conditions and weren't rescued until days later. It is just common sense to have a car emergency kit stashed in the back seat or trunk, just in case.

So, what should you carry in a car emergency kit?

Usually, the first biological need to be satisfied is to be able to keep warm.  Your vehicle should be able to provided you with shelter from the elements, provided it isn't overly damaged. Keep a couple thick blankets or comforters in your car emergency kit to help you stay warm. Add in an emergency blanket, sometimes called a space blanket, is a wise decision. Though incredibly thin, they are excellent at helping you retain body heat. Plus, if need be they can be used to help fashion together a makeshift shelter outside the vehicle.

What To Carry In A Car Emergency Kit

While you certainly won't be starting any campfires inside your vehicle, I always suggest people have fire making supplies in every emergency kit. A couple butane lighters, some strike anywhere matches, and a bit of ready to use tinder like dryer lint will all be welcome should you have the need to fire.

Next on the list is water. The body can last weeks without food but only a few days without hydration. Store at least one or two large bottles of water with your car emergency kit. When filling the bottles, be sure to leave a couple inches of head space to allow for expansion when they freeze during the winter.

For food, you want things that require no cooking before eating. Stick to things like crackers, hard candy, granola bars, protein bars, and dried fruits and nuts.  The idea isn't to be able to provide three square meals a day. Instead, you just want things that will provide a high amount of calories in a small size. Calories are the fuel that your body needs to function and keep you warm.

Finally, there are a few odds and ends that are beneficial. A cell phone with a car charger is highly recommended. Obviously, a phone will allow you to call for help. Having the car charger prevents you from ending up with a phone that you can't use because the battery is dead. A small shovel will be helpful for digging your car out of a snowdrift. Cat litter or sand not only gives you a bit more weight in the rear of the car but can provide traction if needed. Should you find yourself without litter or sand, you may be able to use the floor mats from your car in a pinch. An assortment of basic hand tools (screwdrivers, wrenches, sockets, etc.) can help facilitate basic repairs. Having a couple bottles of motor oil is a good idea as well.

Having a car emergency kit is just plain common sense.


This is a Very Good BASIC explaination of what to keep in a car
kit, however, you forgot to include other essentials, like gas,
and a few other things.
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