Do You Have These Basic Essentials in Your Vehicle?

vehicle essentials

We have a lot of choices to consider when deciding on items to include in our vehicle survival kits, and priorities can change depending on where and when we will be traveling.  However, it’s also easy to overlook some basic essentials that should be included in every emergency kit.  Take a look at the list below in order to make sure that these items are in yours as well.

Food, Water and Warmth

Bring enough food and water with you that can tide you over for 24 hours.  Try to pick items that are lightweight and easy to carry so that you can bring them with you in case you decide to start walking in search of help.  If cold temperatures are a factor, pack away a blanket or some warm clothing.  You may also want to consider getting a small Bunsen burner or hot packs in order to generate some heat as well.


Keep a flashlight or headlamp in your vehicle at all times.  Not only will they help you to see what you’re doing as you check for problems or make repairs, but you’ll need a light if you start walking.  Light will help you to navigate down darker roads, but you can also use it to be more visible to other motorists.

Basic First Aid Kit

You never know when you be involved in an accident, or perhaps you will be in a position to help someone else.  Being able to render immediate first aid can provide a valuable lifeline until emergency services can arrive on the scene.

Jumper Cables

Many motorists assume that they can call for roadside assistance and get immediate help if their battery dies.  Consequently, they don’t keep jumper cables in their trunks.  Don’t be one of them.  Having jumper cables can mean the difference between being stranded for hours or getting back on the road in minutes.

Quality Jack, Lug Wrench and Spare Tire

Donuts are intended for slow-speed driving over short distances until the driver can get to a tire shop.  There are dozens of reasons why donuts can actually make us more vulnerable on the road, but there are no drawbacks associated with keeping a full-sized spare with the vehicle.

The same applies to jacks and lug wrenches.  Anyone who has had to change a tire with these rudimentary and flimsy tools knows how labor-intensive they are.  You can save yourself a lot of time, energy and frustration by having a quality jack and sturdy lug wrench on-hand.

Tow Strap

This is one item that most people forget to keep in their vehicles.  Imagine being stranded and someone offers to tow you out.  Now imagine that you can’t because neither of you have a tow strap.  Tow straps can also be used for dozens of other purposes on the road as well, and having one on-hand can make life a lot easier for you, your rescuer or someone who you are able to help.


At a minimum, you should have one or two flares.  Ideally, you will also have a hazard reflector that you can set up if you break down.  Flares not only warn oncoming motorists that you’re stranded, but they can also be a good source of light that can be used as a signal to attract attention.

Phone Battery Pack

Keep a small battery pack in your vehicle so that you can charge your phone in an emergency.  The last thing that you need is for your phone to die when you have to call for help.

No one expects to be stranded on the road, and the important thing is to have options at your disposal when that time comes.  What other items can you think of that will give you options when you’re stranded on the side of the road?   Write up a checklist, compare it to what’s in your trunk, and fill in any gaps in order to ensure that your bases are covered.

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