Whenever we’d get in the car as a kid, my Dad would pack a ton of extra stuff I was certain we didn’t need. “You never know what can happen”, he’d say, “better safe than sorry”. Then one time we got stuck in a ditch, and boy was I glad he had kitty litter and a shovel in the car. Here are 13 things ever driver needs to have in their car and why – better safe than sorry!
This one seems obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t have jumper cables in their vehicle. If your battery dies and you don’t have jumper cables, you have to wait for a kindly stranger who was prepared to take pity on you. Be the master of your own fate!
TIRE INFLATER AND SEALER
This beats using a jack on the side of the road to put your spare one. A can of tire sealer should be enough to at least get you to the closest gas station or auto shop.
As the illustrious Red Green used to say, you can fix anything with duct tape. OK, maybe not quite anything, but it does come in handy on the road.
FIRST AID KIT
Nobody likes to think about someone possibly getting hurt but, realistically, it happens. You can buy a small first aid kit just about anywhere, or make your own using items you likely have around the house. Either way, you’ll be happy you’re prepared.
MATCHES, LIGHTER OR OTHER FIRE STARTER
And along with this, a candle in a can. If you wind up being stranded for any period of time during the winter months, you’ll need the warmth.
This will come in handy if you’re stuck somewhere at night, need to find something your kid dropped under the seat or are trying to look under the hood and about a million other things. Keep it in the glovebox.
ENERGY BARS & WATER BOTTLES
Or any other non-perishable snack. It’s always good to have a small stash of food and water on hand. Should an emergency arise, you never know how long you’ll go without eating or drinking. Remember that 90 car pile up on the 400 from a couple of years ago that had people stranded for hours? Our point exactly.
Keep yourself visible at the side of the road, and avoid any further issues.
My Dad used to always throw our snowsuits and a blanket in the trunk if we were heading out during the winter months, even on short drives. I always thought he was a little crazy, but I can guarantee I’d have been thankful if we got stuck somewhere and I was freezing.
SEAT BELT CUTTER AND WINDOW BREAKER
We sincerely hope you’re never in a situation where you’re trapped in your car. But if you are, this less than $10 item could be the difference between life and death.
SAND OR KITTY LITTER
Never get stuck in the snow again (at least not for long). Sand or kitty litter will create some needed traction under your tires if you’re struggling to get back on the road.
A CHANGE OF CLOTHES
Sitting around in wet clothes if you get drenched in snow or rain is not ideal. A change of clothes in the trunk takes up very little room and will keep you comfortable if you have to wait for help. Nobody likes sitting in wet underwear.
A MULTI-TOOL AND COMPRESSED AIR
You just never know when you might need a sharp edge, a screwdriver, or pair of scissors. Keeping a multi-tool in the glove box solves a lot of problems. Frigid winter conditions can also lead to ice and other debris clogging up your windshield washer fluid nozzle. You can easily clear the lines by poking at the holes with a pin and blasting them with compressed air.
Yes, these still exist. If your car dies, you can keep track of the weather and have some music to keep you company until help arrives.
Yes…the paper kind. GPS and google maps are awesome, but if you’re lost in the middle of nowhere with a dead phone battery and no GPS nothing will make you happier than having a map of the area in your glove compartment. Like my Dad always said – better safe than sorry!