Sunday, January 2, 2011
People keep all kinds of strange stuff in their cars. Some even seem to use them as mobile storage units. Clothing, sports equipment, tools, and a litany of other odd items can keep your car’s extra space so packed that there might not seem like there’s any room for more. But some things you shouldn’t be without when you travel, and in an emergency you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t have them. Here are twelve items to carry in your car that can really save the day in a sticky situation.
Road atlas/maps - You never know when you might need some good directions or the GPS might go on the fritz. Having some trusty roads maps at hand could save the day.
Spare tire/jack – A spare tire without a jack or vice versa, isn’t going to do you much good, and a flat tire with neither in your car will really leave you in a bad spot.
Tools/tire pressure gauge – A tool set and a tire pressure gauge can really come in handy for all sorts of situations you might encounter while on the road.
Blanket – A blanket is another good item to have in your car. If you break down or have to spend several hours in your car when it is cold, having a blanket can help keep you warm. It’s also nice if you decide to have a picnic while traveling or decide to sit on the ground at a park or concert you have driven to.
Shovel/snow shovel – A small collapsible shovel, and/or a small snow shovel can be good items to have in your car if you become stuck in the snow or mud.
Jumper cables – This item is probably one of the most important items you can carry in your car. If you happen to leave your headlights on, an interior light on, or your car door doesn’t shut tight, you can run your battery down and find yourself stranded. With jumper cables on hand though, you can at least try to get your battery jumped with the aid of a friendly fellow motorist.
Gloves – Having gloves in your car can come in handy for not only battling the cold but also for keeping your hands clean and safe if you need to make repairs or change a tire. An old pair you aren’t worried about damaging can make a great set to leave inside your car.
Flashlight – Having your car break down can be bad enough, but being stranded in the dark can be even worse. Having a working flashlight can also come in handy for flagging down other drivers for assistance and help you to see while making repairs during day or night.
First aid kit – You hope you’ll never have to use it, but if you do, you’ll certainly be thankful you have a first aid kit. This is one of those items that you can put in your car and pretty much forget about, but it’s always in the back of your mind, providing a little bit of comfort... just in case.
Poncho/umbrella – A good poncho or umbrella in the car can be useful whether you’re changing a tire or just running across the parking lot to your car in the rain.
Spare change/money – A little stashed cash in your car can also be a good idea. Some spare change for tolls and a couple bucks for gas, food, or whatever if you forget your credit can help get you out of a bind.
Ice Melt/sand – These items can be a real lifesaver if or when you get stuck in snowy or icy conditions. If nothing else, they can add a little weight to your vehicle, which might help to reduce slipping and sliding due to loss of traction.