Many of us don’t think about having a car emergency kit. It’s one of those things we don’t need until one dark evening when we find ourselves stranded on the side of an empty road. Especially in Canada, where it is not unusual to end up in a bad situation in the dead of winter, it’s good to have a kit passively in the trunk that you have on hand should you need it.
You can easily purchase emergency kits, but it’s also great to make it yourself and tailor it to your needs and location. For example, you may need certain items in the winter months versus the summer months (instant hand warmers!). If you often travel with a pet or with children, you may need to add some extra supplies. The biggest benefit of creating your own safety kit is that you know exactly what’s in it.
Some kit essentials you may want to include are listed below. These are in addition to a tire changing kit and any car fluids you may need.
- A first aid kit: Band-aids, hand sanitizer, antiseptic, antibiotic ointment, bug spray, aspirin, cotton balls, gauze pads, tweezers, bandana, duct tape, scent-free baby wipes, and some bandages.
2. A fire extinguisher that’s easy to store.
3. Road flares (if not already included in the tire-changing tools).
4. Jumper cables.
5. Rain ponchos, blankets, and other extra clothing items for the cold.
6. A flashlight and some extra batteries.
7. Drinking water and granola bars.
8. A multipurpose tool.If your vehicle’s storage space is limited, pack a first aid kit, flashlight, multipurpose tool, jumper cables, road flares, and bottled water at the very least. These should see you through most emergency situations.
- If you have more space, some extra items could include a cell phone car charger or solar charger, extra cash, a clean empty, refillable, gas jug, and a deck of cards or some other entertainment.
No matter what you pack, it’s a good idea to store everything in a clear plastic container and tape a list of what’s inside the box on the outside of the container. Having an emergency kit ready is a small inconvenience to put together, but provides some peace of mind should the worst happen.