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Useful Things To Keep in Your Car In Case of Emergency

Updated on January 6, 2016
BellaNocheLucia profile image

Noelle Lucia has been a writer and author for over 10 years. She wears a lot of different hats and uses her experience to fuel her writing.

The Rundown

There are obvious things that everyone should keep in their car, like a spare tire and jumper cables. But there are a few household items that, I find, come in handy for everyday emergency situations.This list is not in any particular order, some items are more important than others. But hey, it will all fit in the car.

1. Swiss Army Knife

From the tiny, plastic toothpick to the scissors, the Swiss Army Knife is an invaluable tool. A knife is a good tool to cut food or plants, as well as prying open your car door when you lock your keys inside. I once found an apple on a hike that I cut up using the knife, which was a great provided a great boost of energy for the whole hiking party. The uses for a knife are too numerous to name in this short article, and the average Swiss Army Knife can be cheaply acquired at your local department store or Army Surplus store. Nothing brings out everyone’s inner MacGyver like a good, useful knife.

2. Toilet Paper

Where will you be when diarrhea hits? This charming meme has been making the rounds on the internet for quite some time, but there’s a grain of truth to be heeded. Toilet paper has saved my rear-end more times than I care to mention, especially on a mountain trip or driving through the desert. You can also use it to clean up spills in your car or blow your nose.

3. Spare Change of Clothes

Sometimes accidents happen at work, on a trip, or if you spill a burrito on your shirt at lunch. It’s never a bad idea to keep extra clothes in your trunk for whatever the occasion, you’ll thank yourself later. Even if it’s just tennis shoes for after a wedding, it’s a lifesaver.

4. First Aid Kit

This one is a no-brainer. When you’re on an adventure, there’s a risk that someone may get hurt. Whether you have to wrap a sprained ankle or stitch up a bullet wound, you will be glad to have the first aid kit.

5. Non Perishable Food and Water

Have you ever been stranded somewhere without food? Maybe waiting for a friend to get their stuff together? Or having engine trouble on a hot day? Food like crackers and nuts can handle a bunch of temperature fluctuations and provide some nourishment in an emergency. Water is also an awesome thing to keep nearby. One note about water storage though, try to use a metal thermos instead of plastic. When plastic gets hot, it releases chemicals into your water, and you want to avoid that. Your gut is saved thanks to your preparation!

6. Blanket

You never know what's going to happen out on the road or trail. Often, when night falls, the temperature drops like a rock. You don't want to be stuck somewhere with no means of warmth in case your car breaks down or something to that effect. If you have an emergency blanket, you can keep you and your compatriots warm. You can also haul supplies or injured people in it. Like the army knife, there are about a gazillion uses for a sturdy blanket or tarp if you put your mind to it. An authentic wool blanket is best, as it traps the heat, repels water and doesn't melt to your skin when on fire like synthetic fabrics.

7. Matches or firestarter

A way to start a fire is completely invaluable when you're out, roughing it. Fire creates warmth, a means to cook food, and provides light. That's why everybody makes such a big deal when they make fire on those survivalist television shows, it's important.

To Sum Up

Yes, you should keep a spare tire and jumper cables and a jack in your car if you are handy and can fix these small problems. In any case though, it's generally a good idea to have these items stowed in the back of your car just in case some crazy stuff goes down. Really, you never know, and you don't want nature to catch you with your pants down. This whole thing started when I was stricken with a mad bout of diarrhea out in the middle of nowhere. Staggering back to my car, I was elated to find a forgotten roll of toilet paper and bottled water. Clean and rehydrated, I could happily go on my way. The discovery of toilet paper was pure chance, but man did it make me happy to have it. So I've made this list for you, in hopes that you can learn from my own desert adventures.


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    • lrobert79 profile image

      Robert Leiker 13 months ago from Sheridan Wyoming

      i have found my swiss army knife to be worth its weight in gold many times whether it was just to pull out the splinter in your finger, or cut a sapling for roasting hot dogs or building a fire. its seems though not everyone agrees on what kind of container to store water in. I myself do not like the taste of the plastic in my water or those aluminum water bottles that taste like metal in short fashion. Does anyone besides me remember the old water cans with stainless steel insides before our world turned plastic.

    • Krishna dasa profile image

      Krishna dasa 2 years ago

      hey i was gonna do a whole series on emergency prep with video and everything, i had a few on here that I deleted, nice work by the way!!