Once you own a car, you keep things in it for your comfort, like snacks, bags, jackets thrown into the backseat, and all the general odds and ends that end up collecting there. But how many of these things are something that would help if you were in trouble or if you broke down? Are you ready for an actual emergency? Being safe is important. There are things to keep in your car not only for peace of mind but also for general safety, especially on a long road trip.
15 Items to keep in your vehicle
This is not a cumulative list, but these are some essential items that we believe should be in everyone’s vehicle!
1. Spare tire
One of the most important things to have is an extra tire, jack, and tire iron. If you have a flat, this is all you need to change a tire and get you on your way.
2. Tire Inflator/Sealer
This can plug a leak and inflate a tire until you can get to the tire repair shop and is essential if you can’t get the tire changed.
3. Jumper Cables
These are a must-have as they can get your car going if the battery is dead. Once you get the car going, get to the mechanic and have the battery and alternator checked or simply to recharge the battery if you’ve left your lights on.
Make sure you have a good, reliable flashlight, one that is not just your cell phone. Have a tough one that is small yet strong. Some have multiple light functions which are also helpful as it can flash a warning light or hang from the hood if you need it. There are others equipped with magnets, compasses, and can be used as a backup power bank.
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5. Portable battery booster
This is a newer product that is something every driver should have. It makes it easy to jump a dead car battery. Some of these products can also be used as a USB power bank and they often come with a flashlight as well. This is a small compact item that is kept in your glovebox.
6. Survival Kit
Everyone should have a survival or emergency kit in the trunk of their vehicle. It contains a lot of items that you need should you be hurt or stranded. Most of these kits have first aid items, a blanket, basic tools, and more. They can be found with a range of components, from the most basic to those with anything and everything you could possibly need. Remember, every emergency kit should also include a first aid kit.
7. Portable solar charger
This is a very cool and necessary item if you drive. A solar charger is perfect if you have a dead battery and need to charge a device to call for help or get a map on your smartphone. Most of these products need about 12 hours to charge in the sun before you can use them to charge your devices. Simply keep it on your dash and then you are always ready for any situation.
8. Folding Shovel
A lot of people carry a shovel in the trunk for emergencies. Shovels are always helpful if you get stuck. If you need to save a bit of space, there are folding shovels that work just as well. These are great for digging out or simply to have should you need one if you are out camping or backpacking. Having one in the trunk saves a lot of hassle if you need to dig out a tire or snowbank.
9. Rain Poncho
There is nothing worse than having your car break down in the pouring rain. Having a rain poncho means you can work on your car without ending up cold and wet. Tows and rescues don’t always come quick so having the proper outdoor wear is important to staying warm and dry. Find one that is compact, strong, and, of course, waterproof.
10. Window Breaker
This is something that is critical to have when you are often on the road. It only takes a split second to end up in water or in a situation where you need to get out quickly. Many of these small tools can be kept in the glove box and come with a seat belt cutter as well. They are small, easy to access, and can save your life.
11. Water filter
As odd as these products sound, they can be helpful if you become stuck somewhere and help is not arriving quickly. These are especially important for people who do long haul driving and are on back roads. This product is a straw that purifies water. It is small enough to tuck into your glove compartment or your roadside kit and doesn’t need batteries or chemicals so it is simple to use.
12. Car organizers
While most of these items are for use in emergencies, some are just helpful for keeping yourself organized. You can find organizers for your trunk, backseat, and center console. They keep your devices safe and your car clean. It makes finding things simple and keeps loose items in one place. These are especially good if you have kids with you on your travels.
13. Emergency Radio
If your battery dies and you are in the middle of nowhere, a radio can be a huge help so you are aware of weather and other important local information. You can find radios that are solar or crank-driven so there is no need for other power sources. Some even have a power bank and flashlight. The power bank is a big plus simply as it can charge a dying phone should you need it.
14. Smart Phone Display
This product is great for keeping you safe on a hands-free call. You can keep your eyes on the road and hands off the phone. These displays are mounted so you can see them and the road at the same time. They are customizable so you see the apps you need such as traffic or maps and can leave your phone alone.
15. Car OBD2 code Diagnoser
It can be nerve-racking when a dashboard warning light comes on and you are on a long trip but some products can diagnose up to 7000 issues without seeing a mechanic. An OBD2 adapter for iPhone or Android lets you assess the severity of the problem so know if you can drive or need help.