Breaking down on the road isn’t any fun. Breaking down without any emergency supplies can be downright dangerous, especially if you’re on an isolated road in harsh environmental conditions. Be prepared by packing these fifteen essentials.
Car / Truck Repair Kit
It won’t be pretty, but sometimes you can jury-rig a solution to your vehicle’s woes long enough to get it to a mechanic. Your car repair kit should include:
- Duct tape
- JB Weld cold weld epoxy
- Jumper cables
- Motor oil
- Parachute cord
- Road flares
- Tire reamer / plugger kit
- Two wire coat hangers.
If you’re stuck waiting for a tow truck or stranded for the night, some emergency provisions can take the edge off your hunger. Pack some long-lasting jerky or freeze-dried food in your emergency kit, along with a gallon of drinking water. If you’ve got room, a small cube stove, fire starters, and a small camping pot gives you a chance to have a hot meal or stay warm (only use stoves and other open flames outside the car or truck).
If you pack a stove in your car kit, remember to include a lighter and some stormproof matches.
A Big Blue Tarp
Keep a 7×9-foot blue tarp folded in your emergency supplies. In an emergency, a tarp is one of your most versatile tools. You can use it to fend off the elements while working on your vehicle, make a shelter if you need to hike out for help or camp overnight, and even catch rainwater.
Gear for Getting Unstuck
Road ice-melt or a bag of cat litter can help get you out of snow and ice, but don’t stop there. Having a folding shovel in your kit will help you dig out of your predicament, while two dedicated recovery straps are handy if another vehicle offers aid.
First Aid Kit
An emergency necessity, your first aid kit should be sufficient to handle most minor scrapes and help you keep an injured person stable until help arrives.
A raincoat is a blessing if you’re changing a tire in the rain. Choose one with OSHA-approved reflective stripping to lower the risk of being struck by oncoming traffic. Extra mittens, a sun-shading hat, and a pair of socks are also useful if you need to hike for help. Adding a blanket for warmth is also recommended, especially if you’re driving in winter conditions.
Your car battery’s dead, your phone’s almost out of charge, and you have no idea how long the blizzard’s going to last. Fortunately, you packed a hand-cranked, solar-powered radio in your supplies. Not only will a radio keep you informed (and provide music to help pass the time), many emergency radios now include smartphone chargers.
A Pack of Cards
Waiting for a tow truck in severe weather can seem like an eternity. A simple pack of playing cards can help pass the time, and is easily stored in your glove compartment.