This may not hold true for all parts of the country, but where I live, if you want to travel somewhere, you’re taking your car. Whether heading to work or to a friend’s house, my car is normally just a few hundred yards from me at any given time. It’s the perfect moving storage container that can hold special items that come in handy in emergency situations.
Not just any flashlight, but a good flashlight. With extra batteries. If your car breaks down at night, you can assume you’ll be on the phone while possibly having to move. Or maybe you’re looking for something in your trunk and you just can’t see it. The flashlight is the #1 thing I find myself using on a semi-frequent basis. It has helped me out of more jams than I can remember, and something that I will never be without. I literally have one (with spare batteries) in every car myself or my wife drive. Always.
2. Medical Supplies
The basics, like band-aids, antiseptics and aspirin. It can be hard to find simple things like a band-aid when you’re not at home, and depending upon how bad you’re bleeding it’s not something you want to have to go out and find. Medical kits are cheaply and commonly sold at stores like Walmart, and include band-aids, gauze, antiseptics, tape and all the very basic supplies. My rule of thumb is that if a medical procedure requires special training (like stitches), it’s not a supply I will carry with me. The only addition I include on top of a small medical kit is pain relievers like aspirin or IB profin and PeptoBismo. Depending on how prone to accidents or stomach problems I happen to be, I normally use everything and have to refill the supplies once every year or so.
3. Vice Grips
Yes, vice grips. Having tools can be important, but they also take up space and can be heavy. Plus, there’s nothing worse that not having the right size wrench or socket to accomplish a task. That’s where vice grips makes it’s name as the ultimate all-in-one tool. Depending on the size, I can use it on pretty much any size nut or bolt, use it as a hammer, use it as pliers, cut things with it, bend metal or even tighten or loosen screws if there’s enough head exposed to grip. Plus, they’re easy to use with little experience or guesswork.
If you get stranded somewhere (in your car or at an office, or even in the middle of the freeway) it can get cold if you’re exposed with no heat. If your car completely dies or runs out of gas, it can get cold even in the warmest of climates. Having a blanket can make waiting for help a lot more comfortable. I’ve also used my blanket before to help someone who was in a traffic accident stay warm while waiting for police to arrive (20+ minutes) in 10 degree weather. It literally could be called a life-saver. It’s also convenient to have because if I’m moving a TV or other fragile object, I have a blanket to wrap it with and protect it.
5. External Phone Battery / Charger
My phone eats the battery like it’s crab at an all-you-can-eat buffet. If I don’t have my phone charging throughout the day, it’s dead by 7 PM. I’ve also had car chargers break and stop working before. In an emergency, a cell phone can be your only link to help. Finding chargers in an emergency situation can be near impossible, and don’t forget you might not be able to rely on your car charger if your car is completely dead or broken or you have to leave your car. One of the external batteries basically can charge via solar or traditional car charger, and allows you to connect your USB charger to it to charge your phone up. They’re about the same size as a cell phone and as cheap as $20 on Amazon. You won’t have to worry about a dead phone battery again, as you can keep both in your pocket if you had to leave your vehicle.
Though there are a lot of other things you could keep in your car that make a lot of sense, these are the 5 I always have. Always. I’ve used them all before (frequently) and they have really helped me out of jams. No only can they save your life in an emergency, but they also make dealing with seemly major problems easy.
Image courtesy of: theroadto2010.com