If you know your way around a vehicle, you probably have all kinds of tools in your vehicle in the event of an emergency. But if you aren’t quite as mechanically minded, what kinds of things should you keep in your car?
It’s tempting to prepare for every worst case scenario in the book, but you don’t need to go that far to equip your car with emergency essentials. In fact, some of the best things you can keep in your car are there to just make your life a little easier. Consider finding room in your car for these ten things.
1. Spare tire with appropriate equipment
Many vehicles make room for a spare tire, but not everyone remembers to bring the tools required to put one in, especially if you want something a little more durable than the standard flimsy jack that comes standard. Even if you don’t know how to change a tire, having all the components necessary will be a big help for someone who does.
2. First Aid Kit
We do everything we can to avoid major injuries, but minor cuts and bruises happen all the time. If nothing else, a way to disinfect and cover a wound in a pinch can save a lot of pain and hassle in the long run.
If you find yourself trapped somewhere, wrapping yourself in a blanket is an essential part of staying warm. But even outside that context, a good blanket has tons of uses. You can use one to cover your windshields on a sunny day, or you can throw one over a passenger who is feeling a little chilly.
If anyone in your vehicle is coming down with a cold, you don’t want to be using leftover fast food napkins. They can also be useful for small coffee (or other) spills.
5. Duct Tape
There’s a reason why people say “duct tape fixes everything.” Whether you need to fix a rip in your clothing or even need to make a quick car repair, you’ll be glad to have duct tape on hand.
Whether you’re in an emergency situation or just out on a hot day, you need to stay hydrated. A healthy supply of water is always good to keep in your car, regardless of the situation. Besides, let’s face it, you’re better off with water than picking up soda from the gas station.
7. Umbrella (and a change of clothes)
A sunny day can quickly turn into a rainy day, but an umbrella on hand can easily save the day. Similarly, a change of clothes can prevent you from being stuck in wet clothing all day. In emergency situations, getting into dry clothes is essential.
8. Ice Scraper / Snow Brush
Winter weather only comes one season out of the year, and maybe only a portion of that season depending on where you live. Still, if your car is covered in snow or ice and you need to go somewhere, you better have an ice scraper and snow brush on hand.
Even a layer of snow on your hood can cause major accidents on the highway. You’ll want to make sure you thoroughly ready your vehicle for winter weather, no matter when the season approaches.
9. A rescue escape tool
Even if you’re the world’s most cautious driver, car accidents can happen. And in the worst of these, getting out of your seatbelt and your car could mean the difference between life and death. For these situations, you absolutely must be equipped.
A rescue escape tool generally includes a way to cut through seatbelts and shatter windows. Just make sure to grab one that’s sturdy enough to do its job, as certain cheap ones don’t always do the trick.
10. Your owner’s manual
Last but not least is your vehicle owner’s manual. This one is probably in your glove compartment by default, and there’s a reason for that. For any problem or oddity that arises while you’re driving, the owner’s manual is your surefire resource to figure out what exactly is going on.
Make sure this one stays within reach at all times. Who knows, maybe you’ll even learn about a new feature of your car you never knew before.