As we travel much of our area is rural and sometimes the distance between our destinations can exceed a hundred miles or so. To ensure our survival and peace of mind every vehicle in our domestic fleet should include an emergency kit. Those who travel with children will appreciate some of the amenities. Most homes have more than one vehicle and they each need to be properly equipped. Nature can throw a curve at us occasionally with floods, snow and in the summers, forest fires. Forest fires are taking national precedence as the national drought in the western US continues. What do you need to survive?

Car Emergency Kit Checklist

• Storage – a durable ripstop nylon or canvas bag to hold emergency items.
• No-Spill 2.5-gallon gas can.
• Jumper cables – the longer the better, i.e. 20’ vs 12’
• Emergency lighting, meaning flares & glow sticks. A modern alternative uf LED flare/marker lights.
• Flat tire inflation canister. Many of these products use propane or other flammable or explosive gases, get the ones that use inert gas.
• Spare – When was the last time you checked your spare tire for inflation? A flat spare is just another flat. Make sure the parts of your jack are all there.
• Fuses go out – If the critical fuse goes out so does your transportation. Many parts houses have fuse kits that should cover nearly every need for a reasonable price.
• Water – First thing you realize when you have no water is how thirsty you are. 2-3 gallons minimum. A case of bottled water would work.
• First Aid Kit – band aids, OTC NSAIDS, i.e. Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, etc. Sterile wipes, gauze pads, cold pack, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, cotton swabs, hydrocortisone anti-itch cream, nail clippers, disposable gloves and eye drops.
• Long wait – You’re going to get hungry. Some granola bars would be nice. Be sure to rotate any foodstuff in your kit. No chocolate, it melts. Things like Payday bars, hard candies, etc.
• If its broke and if its dark you’re going to need a flashlight. Be sure to include at least one change of spare batteries.
• If its broke and you got to fix it, you will need a basic tool kit. Most American made cars are a mix of SAE and Metric bolts and nuts so you need to include both. At least a set of screw drivers, include Torx head, straight and Phillip’s. Pliers, vise grips, adjustable wrench, tire pressure gauge, etc.
• Stuck; even a small folding shovel can get out of a rut-GIs call ‘em Entrenching Tools.
• Vehicle escape tool. Should be secured in the front compartment of the vehicle. If you need to break glass or cut a seat belt this will not help if it is in the trunk.
• Set of road maps, car GPS will not work if your battery is on the ‘fritz’.
• Some blankets, surplus GI style wool are great and affordable.
• Antifreeze, a gallon.
• The greatest emergency item, duct tape. Duck Max Strength or Gorilla are the best.
• Two quarts of oil.
• Paper towels are a bag of old T-shirts for rags.
• Pen and paper. Have kids, coloring books, art paper, colored pencils (better than crayons, don’t melt when it’s hot, or dry out like markers.)
• Clothing, caught out at night, or in the winter, extra clothing will be handy, think of the kids. Gloves, boots, wool socks, stocking cap.
• Every vehicle should an ABC rated fire extinguisher.
• Leatherman, Gerber and others have excellent multitools that will take care of the majority of on-site fix-its.
• Of course, you will window ice scraper, rain gear, etc.
That’s the primary stuff, some would add the following, maybe not all, but some of the listed items below.
• Tow strap or chain
• Hand cleaner, waterless hand cleaner, towelettes, couple small trash bags.
• Emergency car battery charger. Some of the portable units are very effective at recharging and jump-starting your car.
• Sleeping bag
• Battery or hand cranked emergency radio
The problem with commercially available emergency kits are that they tend to be minimal, but are better than nothing, and they dictate your response. Better have a custom kit to fit your environment, and seasonal challenges as well as your personal preference and circumstances.

Towing, Roadside Assistance & Cash for Cars in Cassia, Gooding, Jerome & Twin Falls Counties in Magic Valley, Idaho & Jackpot, Northern Nevada

In most cases you will have help close enough that you will be ok, but if you have to bug out due to fire, flood or other emergency will find a good emergency kit to give peace of mind, and add comfort to any traveling delays.
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