I’m a huge fan of preparedness, especially since I had to evacuate my home from a hurricane. I’m not a crazy prepper like you see on TV, but I understand the importance of it. Being prepared can turn a crisis into an inconvenience, and I’d much rather have the latter.
A car emergency kit was one of the first things that I put together when I bought my first car, and it has been very useful. It’s important to be prepared for those little times when you get a flat tire, or your car breaks down…all the way to the big problems like getting stuck in a snow bank for hours and hours.
Here’s what I have in my kit:
*Disclaimer-This post may contain affiliate links, but every link leads you to products that I have used and love!
Read the full disclosure here. *
Good Walking Shoes
I’m a flip-flop/sandal kind of girl, but I wouldn’t want to walk miles in them to get help when my car breaks down.
I hope you already have your spare tire in your vehicle, but having a tire pressure gauge and a car jack are super important to tire safety. Do you know how to use them? Can you change your own tire? If not then ask for help, watch a YouTube video, and practice! I’ve had to change a flat tire 3 times on the side of the road, and I’m grateful that I knew ahead of time how to do it. NOTE: Please don’t drive on your spare tire long unless it’s a full-sized tire. Those small little spare tires are meant to get you to a repair shop to fix the full-sized tire, not get you to the other end of town or to your road trip destination.
I also have an emergency tire repair kit in case more than one tire goes flat at the same time.
This one seems pretty strange, but if you live in a cold winter climate then cat litter works wonders to give you traction on icy roads and when you get stuck in snow. I own a cat so I already have large bags of it. I cleaned out an orange juice container and filled it with the litter.
I always keep a small travel sized hand sanitizer, clapstick, and lotion. I also have a roll of toilet paper (has so many different uses), a small washcloth, feminine hygiene products, and small container of ibuprofen.
This one is pretty important in case you get stranded for any length of time. Especially if you have kids with you! I like to store my water in mason jars because during the summer the plastic water bottles break down it not only tastes bad, but isn’t that great for your health.
Small First Aid Kit
I keep this underneath the driver’s seat so it’s easily accessible.
I’m not proud to admit how many times I’ve had a battery die and had to use these, they are definitely the #1 must have car item on my list.
Weather Related Materials
I added a couple of rain ponchos, HotHands Hand Warmers, and a Mylar blanket.
• Small utility tool
• Duct tape
• Baking soda- in case something catches on fire. If the fire is large though then RUN!
• Road Map– We bought a large on like this one and used it to get from the West coast to the East coast, without a GPS! It’s useful if your phone dies or you don’t have cell service.
• Phone charger/ phone mount
• Window Breaker/ Seatbelt Cutter– This one is very important in case you need to get out of your car fast, for example if you are sinking into water or your car is on fire, but your seatbelt locked up and your door wont/can’t open. I keep mine in the center console.
• Flashlight & extra batteries. Be sure to put the extra batteries in their own separate bag though in case they expire and leak everywhere. Here’s an example that I had of that happening:
And that’s it! It may seem like a lot, but it all fit in a 10-gallon container that easily fit in my small car’s trunk. I have used each item multiple times so I’m grateful that I took the time to put one together.
What are your must haves for a car emergency kit?