What You Need (and What You Should Have) in Your Car

For some of us, our car is less a mode of transport and more an extension of our bedrooms. Kinda like how a turtle carries its home everywhere, we pack all our things in and go, and hope that a wide right turn doesn’t send it all flying to one side. Even if you’re not one of these people, it’s always a good idea to carry basics with you, for comfort and safety both. In this article, I’ll cover these and a few more items you may not have thought of.

                                                                                                              (Photo by michele spinnato on Unsplash)

First, the essentials for emergencies:

Jumper cables and a well-stocked first aid kit are what immediately jumps to mind for most. Just as important are things like the owner’s manual and a carjack for changing a flat tire. And speaking of flats, use a tire pressure gauge to make sure that your main wheels and your spare are in good working condition, too! A flashlight (and maybe even extra batteries) is essential because your phone’s flashlight will not be sufficient in a lot of situations and it is not a good idea to drain the battery that way, especially in a pinch. With that in mind, a portable phone charger (with a compatible cord!) is also a necessity. It snows and freezes here, so an ice scraper for your windshield is a must during winter, and I always keep a warm blanket in my trunk (and that blanket can come in handy for dates too…) And as always, keep your registration and proof of insurance in your glove compartment.

And now, the secondary and non-emergency items:

First and foremost: a trash receptacle of some kind. Treat your passengers kindly, and don’t make them step in last night’s (or last month’s…) fast food leftovers. If you’re the kind of person who goes on long trips frequently, or you have a dietary need or issue such as hypoglycemia, it’s always a good idea to carry some non-perishable food items like dried fruits or granola bars, applesauce, or jerky in your car, as well as a few water bottles. A pocket knife may come in handy, and I personally keep two kinds of charger cords in my car: lightning and micro-USB (not all my friends are iPhone users!) as well as a charger block.

Emergency preparedness:

  • Jumper cables
  • Emergency kit
  • Owner's manual
  • Carjack
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Portable phone charger
  • Ice scraper
  • Blanket
  • Car registration
  • Proof of insurance

Non-emergency (but still important!)

  • Trash receptacle
  • Non-perishable food
  • Sealed water bottles
  • Pocket knife
  • Charger cords
  • Charger block

(Thumbnail by Mitch Rosen on Unsplash)