Yeah, yeah…your vehicle’s fairly new and you take care of it, and you’ve even got a membership in AAA. That doesn’t mean that your chances of ending up in a tight spot are zero. It’s just common sense to be prepared with a trouble bag in your car. Here’s a pretty good rundown of things you should keep in a car emergency kit:
Fully charged cell phone: You may want to consider a cheap prepaid “burner phone” with a long battery life and keep it strictly in the car. If nothing else, at least keep a charged-up power bank on hand.
First-aid kit: At a bare minimum, a first-aid kit should include gauze pads and bandage tape, aspirins, antiseptic wipes, scissors, antiseptic cream or ointment, Band-Aids, rubbing alcohol and burn cream.
Tools: It doesn’t have to be anything comprehensive; just a good quality Leatherman-type tool and some duct tape can be real, real handy.
Fire extinguisher: It’s kind of bulky, but it can literally be a lifesaver. Try to find a fire extinguisher that’s rated for Class B and Class C fires: flammable liquids and electrical fires.
Warning triangles or highway flares: Self-explanatory.
Tire gauge: You know you should be checking your tire pressure regularly anyway…right? Right?
Foam tire sealant: If you got a flat tire and it didn’t completely shred before you could get off the road, a can of tire sealant can keep you going for a while.
Gloves, sweater, cap: Self-explanatory for cold climates or cold weather.
Flashlight and tow strap: Self-explanatory.
Nonperishable snacks: Try to find snacks that are protein-rich, as they will make you feel full and satisfied a lot longer than crackers or chips. Also, try to avoid salty snacks that will only spike your thirst.
Of course, you hope that you won’t find yourself stuck by the side of the road. But even if you don’t know how to repair a problem yourself and get back on your way, a well-stocked trouble bag can make your emergency a little more tolerable while you wait for help.