When you’re out on the highway you never know what potential issues you could run into. That’s why it’s nice to be prepared for whatever challenges you may face by making sure you keep important items on hand at all times. Here are 11 things you should always keep in your car.
11. Jumper Cables
If your car’s battery suddenly dies, it’d be nice to have some jumper cables on hand–especially if the person you flag for help may not be carrying any in their trunk. But, if you’re a little leery about asking a total stranger to help you, make sure you have a car jump starter on hand instead. You can use it to jump start your car without jumper cables. The one made by Suaoki comes with a built-in flashlight and has a USB port to charge your phone. It works for cars, motorcycles, and all-terrain vehicles with 2.0 liter engines.
10. Car-Adapted Phone Charger
If you’re ever in an emergency situation, you’ll need a way to contact someone for help. Keeping a phone charger in your car can help ensure your phone’s battery doesn’t die.
But here’s something we bet you probably didn’t think of. If your car is dead, you’re going to need another way to charge your phone. That’s when having an emergency cell phone charger comes in handy. An emergency cell phone charger is an external portable battery charger you can plug your phone into in order to power it up quickly. TIP: Make sure the emergency charger is fully charged (this can take several hours) before you get on the road.
9. Female Urination Device
What’s worse than being stranded for hours on the side of the road? Needing to use the bathroom at the same time. For men, it’s as simple as going in an empty McDonald’s cup. For women, on the other hand, urinating in a vehicle is not so easy. Thankfully, there is a solution: GoGirl. GoGirl is a funnel-shaped female urination device that lets you go while standing up (the funnel directs urine away from your feet). It’s discreet, reusable, soft, germ- and moisture-resistant, hypoallergenic, and even travel friendly (i.e. TSA-approved).
8. Paper Towels and Wipes
Now that you’ve used your GoGirl female urination device, you’re going to need something to wipe with down there–and something to wipe your hands with, too. But, not just even that. Paper towels and wipes are especially important to have in your car if you have kids as well. They can be quite messy at times, so it’s a good idea to have something to clean them AND your car. Oh, and don’t forget to keep some plastic grocery bags on hand, too, so you can have a place to store all those nasty paper towels and wipes until you get to a trash can.
If you’ve ever been stranded in the dark, you know how essential a flashlight can be–especially if you’re trying to change a tire or see what’s going on under the hood. But, don’t reach for just any old flashlight. Make sure it’s magnetic and flexible. Why? Well, for starters, a magnet flashlight will free up your hands to do other things. And, a flexible flashlight lets you point the light where you need it most.
TIP: Make sure you bring extra batteries along. You don’t want to be in the dark with a flashlight that doesn’t work.
The last thing you want is to be stranded in the cold without a way to keep warm. An ordinary blanket will help some, but if temperatures dip below freezing, you’re going to need more than that to keep warm. You’re going to need a heat source. That’s where thermal blankets like the Mylar blanket, also called a solar blanket, come in. It’s made of durable insulation Mylar material and prevents you from losing body heat by reflecting 90 percent of your body heat back to you. It’s also waterproof, windproof, and won’t crack, mildew or shrink. And, it’s small enough to fit in most first aid kits.
TIP: Make sure you have warm clothing such as a sweatshirt or an extra winter coat on hand, too.
5. Food and Water
If you’re stranded for long periods of time, you’ll need sustenance. This is especially true if you have a health condition such as diabetes. Keep some easy-to-open non-perishables like granola bars, energy bars, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and beef jerky in your car. And, make sure you have plenty of water, too. You can go a lot longer without food than you can go without water. Plus, all that extra water will come in handy in the event that your car overheats.
Most of us don’t carry cash on us anymore, but we should at least keep some in our vehicles. Now don’t go carrying around a briefcase full of bills. You don’t want someone to think you just robbed a bank. You also don’t want to run the risk of getting robbed yourself. A few small bills should do. Even a roll of coins could be helpful. You never know when you may be in a situation where you need to purchase essentials, but for some reason your plastic card–be it a credit card or a bank debit card–isn’t cooperating.
TIP: Stash your cash in a safe place that is not in plain sight.
3. Escape Tool
If you get in a wreck, you may not always be able to wait until help arrives–especially if there’s a fire or you happen to be submerged in water. An escape tool such as AutoXscape or Resqme lets you cut jammed seat belts and break through windows. AutoXscape comes with a car mount for easy access. Plus, it comes with a built-in high-power flashlight. Resqme can be attached to your key chain. Both devices are also small enough to be stored in your glove compartment.
2. GPS Tracker
If your car happens to get stolen, wouldn’t it be nice if you could somehow track its whereabouts? Now you can with Spy Tec–a real-time tracker that reports location data to within 15 feet. Spy Tec is small (about the size of a matchbox) and easy to set up. Once you have it in place, simply log in to the Spy Tec website and monitor your vehicle’s movements.
TIP: It’s also good for monitoring the driving habits of your teenage kids.
1. Anti-Sleep Alarm
According to an article published by Mashable, the CDC reported that 1 in 25 adults say they’ve fallen asleep behind the wheel. That doesn’t even include the people who do it but didn’t happen to be surveyed by the CDC. Pretty frightening, huh? But, if you’ve got an anti-sleep alarm in your car, it could mean the difference between life and death. StopSleep is an alarm that continually measures your levels of awareness and concentration using eight built-in sensors that monitor your brain activity. As soon as your concentration and awareness levels start to drop, StopSleep will beep and vibrate, keeping you from drifting off into la-la land while you’re driving.
What items do you keep in your car? Why do you keep them there? Let us know in the comments below.