Cars offer the extra feeling of safety because they have a shell that can protect you. However it cannot help you when you are stranded out of nowhere unless you packed a few essentials to keep you worm and fed. A few small things you have can sustain you for a long time if you ever break down and cannot get help soon.
You may think that when would I ever need it since there aren’t many rarely travelled parts of the country anymore? But remember that you can go as far as you want once you have a good transport. And if you are adventurous you will find those spots easily. Camping out in the mountains or getting stranded in the snow are some of the examples. In any case, being prepared doesn’t hurt anybody. Besides you don’t need an emergency to need any of the items in a kit. Here are a few tips on what to include and how they can help you and others everyday.
Nobody can argue about how essential water is for survival. Also, you may have to top the vehicle up. Have sufficient amount with you at all times. You should have them in plastic bottles so that they don’t burst in freezing temperatures.
I remember my car overheating and running out of water in the cooling system couple of years ago. I was lucky that it was broken down on a busy road. Seeing the steam coming out of my automobile an old couple stopped, gave me water in a two litre coke bottle and drove off without saying a word. I thought what a kind and smart people! I waited a little for my vehicle to cool down, pour the content of the bottle in to the radiator and it was enough to get me home.
People can last several days without food but you function better if you eat. Pack some non-perishable food that can be good source of energy like energy bars. This is extra important if you often travel with the family.
Last year we decided to take a road trip to the highlands. We thought that we would find several restaurants and cafes with beautiful mountain views and delicious food on the way and didn’t pack sandwiches with us. Unfortunately, we drew miles and miles without a single place to eat or a store to buy anything. We were all starving and remembered the supplies we had in our survival kit. After a bar of chocolate we were much happier.
- Extra Clothing
Extra layer of clothing, boots and blankets can be immensely valuable especially if the weather is cold and you have to spend the night. Socks, gloves and hats are great to keep you warm as well.
I walked out of home without wearing appropriate clothing many times and was so glad that I always keep a fleece jacket in my car. They are extremely handy for people like me even in the cities.
- Emergency Kit
Sufficient medical supplies can be bought from most car accessory stores. Remember to add one or two medicines that every household has like painkillers. Simple bandages can be extremely valuable at times.
My daughter has always had fascination with plasters and she would have hours of fun with them that we keep a big pack in our car. Even now she loves them and uses them to avoid foot sores. And I often get sudden headaches that I always keep painkillers in my car. These basic provisions can be very handy even in a daily life.
Things like small shovel, army knife, torch, candle and matches can be handy in many situations. For example, shovel can be used to clean the snow or mud under tires. If you are stuck in mud don’t force your way out. Instead use a shovel to put solid support under tires.
Tools are always handy. I don’t know how many times I used my army knife when we are out on the road. Screw drivers and torch are other regularly used ones in our car.
- Car Tools
Jumper cable, tow rope, warning lights or flares and fire extinguisher are some of them come to mind. It is not a bad idea to keep others like a screw driver and adjustable spanner in a vehicle. Also, you should have a seatbelt cutter where you can reach from the seat.
I always wanted to be that guy who would produce jumper cables whenever someone needs to jump-start a car with death battery. But it is one thing I failed to produce whenever I need them and was so glad a stranger had them in their car and was kind enough to help me out.
- Items to Help in Communication and Direction
Don’t assume that the cell phone will always work. You should keep things like whistle, map and campus to help you out. We have already mentioned flares.
Maps are great when you need to plan a long journey for the day. GPS is great for finding the way in short distances but it is not easy to see which towns you will pass and if there are scenic routes along the route. I love to take a scenic route whenever I can and I always keep a map that shows them.
You should also think about extra batteries for flashlights or a cell phone adopter that can be used in automobiles. If you are like me you will need them. I seem to run out of cell phone batteries on a daily bases because I constantly forget charging them.
Here are a few more tips on what to do
- If you are planning on going camping or taking a road trip you should tell about it to someone close to you. Tell them where you are going, how long you are planning to stay and how they can contact you.
- Always make sure that the gas tank is at least half full when you are planning on taking a trip in wilderness or driving in less travelled regions in the snow season. On the above mentioned mountain trip we couldn’t even find food for ourselves let alone petrol. I was lucky that my car didn’t break down and I had plenty petrol.
- Don’t leave the engine on for heat and sleep, particularly when there is snow outside. Wind can quickly cover the exhaust with snow and cause a carbon monoxide poisoning.
Other Tips and Resources
While we are on the subject you can also check the best car insurance tips given by top insurers. They would surely know what they are talking about. You will learn a lot about what to look for in car insurance pretty quickly and that will help you arrange better policies at lower prices.