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Five Things You Should Always Carry In Your Car

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard the lecture about my gas mileage going down because I carry too much stuff in my trunk. While it’s true that your car should not be used as storage locker, there are some things you absolutely should have in your car in case of a roadside emergency.

  1. Emergency blanket. Even if you live in a warm climate like we do here in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Norfolk, you’ll want to keep warm if you find yourself having to rough it in your car for a night or two. Mylar blankets are inexpensive and will do a fine enough job keeping you warm until help or a tow truck arrives.
  2. First Aid Kit. It seems like a no-brainer but just ask your friends how many of them have a first aid kit in their car and you may be surprised at the answer. You’ll see a lot of first aid kits on shelves around August and September as parents stock up for kids driving to college. In October, those very same kits show up in the discount bin.
  3. Emergency snacks. If you’ve ever been broken down in the middle of nowhere with a child, a pet or a whiny traveling partner you probably already know the value of having some high protein snacks. Try to buy things that have a long shelf and set your calendar to remind you to check the dates from time to time.
  4. Solar powered battery charger and a couple of adapters. The only thing sadder than not having a GPS or cell phone in your car is having one with a dead battery. Solar powered chargers can help you gather and relay important information about where you are.
  5. Roadside kit. This is actually a multi-part answer but worth bundling together since you really should have all the items. No roadside kit worth its salt should be without jumper cables, a can of fix-a-flat, a battery operated flashing light (you can pick one up at a bike store). A flashlight and batteries or a hand-crank version. You might also want to throw in a pair of inexpensive gloves to protect your hands during any emergency work.

These items often come bundled in a neat bag, but if choose to build your own kit you can always pick up a small basket and slide it under a passenger seat. Good luck and don’t forget that the best way to avoid an emergency is to prepare!