A few days back I visited the supermarket with my friends to grab some stuff preparing for a long journey. There I bumped into the Auto Section, looking for nothing in particular and I came across this car emergency kit. I had no real intention of buying it but the contents of it seem very essential for car owners. There were around three types of auto emergency survival kits with some common and uncommon items like Emergency Medical Kit ( first aid box ) for your car, Emergency Car Repair Kit, Ultimate Survival Preparedness kit for your car and so on.
Now consider a scenario; you are going on a long offroad journey and your car gives up in bad weather and somebody gets hurt? Which kit to buy, all of them? That would mean buying that same screw-driver from three different kits.
So, I decided to make my own All Purpose Car Survival Kit to save myself a few rupees. This worked very well for me, so today I’d be sharing the best car emergency kit you could get your hands on.
How to prepare Auto Emergency Kit, what to include?
A container for the equipment
First off, you would need a bag or a briefcase neither too large to occupy extra space and nor too small that your necessary items won’t fit in. The container must have a reinforced frame with a solid and inflexible shape or the material should be strong like fiber plastic. Do not use a wooden toolbox, as the kit itself is going to be a little massive. There should be multiple compartments of different sizes to categorize small and large objects. Also, check inner pockets and external pouches which should be as many as possible, to access quick items.
If you can’t find the right container to accommodate the whole car emergency kit, you can buy two compact ones instead of a large. There are several carrier cases in the market especially made for cars to keep emergency tools. Here are the essentials:
Medical / First Aid Kit
- International Red Crescent Society recommends First Aid Kit for cars. Include at least those items which come handy in case of road injuries
- Common Medicines for headaches, stomach-aches, fever, nausea, and car-sickness (vomiting)
- Thermometer, hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses and syringes
Car Repair Kit
- Electrical tape, to make minor repairs
- Tire inflater and sealer, like Fix-a-Flat which can plug a leak
- Your car’s manual
- Tire pressure gauge
- Multi-tool; this should include assorted screwdriver heads
- Gloves to protect your hands while you are fixing your car
- Spare tire
- Flashlight / LED Torch. LEDs are preferable as they give more light in less charge Keep spare Lithium batteries, they can be stored for up to 10 years without leaking the charge
- Non-perishable food items such as canned food, cereal, oatmeal, peanut butter, canned meats, canned beans, and stews to fight hunger if the car’s stuck in the middle of nowhere.
- Jerrycan or large bottle for Water. Water – one gallon per person, per day.
- Compass and local maps in case GPS fails
- Cigarette lighter and matchbox, because you never know when you need fire
- Magnifying glass, which other than its original purpose can be used to lit the fire from sun rays
- Extra dry and wet tissue papers to remove dirt when you are working on the car
- Raincoat and umbrella for bad weather conditions
- Extra set of Clothes in case you get dirty or wet, and Towels to dry yourself up
- Recycled shopping bags
- USB mobile device charger
- A satellite mobile is highly recommended because no reception in low access villages/outskirts is common in a developing country like Pakistan
- Ice scraper (if you live in snowy areas like Murree, Swat, Sakardu, etc)
- Cotton wool. Useful to clean wounds or as tinder for a fire
- Ice Bucket in case you are traveling in winters
- Duct tape and Scissors
Important Items you should Never Miss
A few items do not belong to the car emergency preparedness kit, but you should always consider carrying them with you, especially if you are traveling with your family on a long journey.
- Seat belt cutter and window breaker
- Small fire extinguisher
- Jumper cables, in case you need to start your engine using another car or to start another car’s engine
- High-visibility vest or similar. It is important to be able to be seen by traffic and rescuers
- Warning Triangle; place 45 meters (147.6 ft) from the car on both sides if possible
- Rag or plastic sheeting
- Portable cell phone charger
- Family and emergency contact information
- Manual can opener
- Extra cash
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Extra set of car keys
- Playing cards for entertainment
- Blankets or sleeping bags
You cannot predict what lies ahead but readiness can shield you from miserable situations and with cars, it is often the case. So, the next time you travel, carry a car emergency kit.