We are about ready to head out on a 6 hour drive to take care of our town home and turn it over to renters! In preparation, we cleaned out the car and updated our stash of car essentials. Here’s a list of things we keep in our car that you might also consider storing in yours if you don’t already!
Spare Cash Keep 20-30 dollars tucked in an inconspicuous place such as the owner’s manual or in the pocket of a seat if it’s not being used.
Snacks Instead of keeping non-perishables in the trunk, I’ve decided a better option for us is to just pack granola bars, nuts, and the like when we will be driving a substantial amount of miles. That way I don’t have to worry about it going bad or remembering to switch it out. This can be applied to taking water too! If you are spontaneous though, you may consider storing a few MRE’s along with a couple bottles of water.
Phonebook This is especially helpful if you are new to an area or don’t have a smart phone (both of which currently apply to me). If it’s a small one you can stick it in the glove department, otherwise it would fit nicely in the pocket of a seat. Perhaps with your spare cash.
Map/Atlas I have a thing for maps. They are not only useful if you find yourself lost, but are just fun to look at and learn from.
Owner’s Manual While this is most likely already in your glove compartment, it’s not a bad idea to make sure. A handy reference tool, the owner’s manual provides useful information on such things as maintenance, special features, and will even guide you in changing a tire if you unfortunately run into this problem.
Jumper Cables Although you will need the assistance of another car, these will certainly be of help if your batter dies.
Gas Can Anyone who has ever ran out of gas will attest to keeping this in their trunk! A lot of time as well as my pride, at least a portion of it (I would still have had to walk a couple of blocks, gas can in hand), could have been spared had I simply stored a gas can in my car a few months ago when my car unexpectedly died right before turning onto a busy street. I thought the battery was dead. Nope, out of gas! One of the most embarrassing experiences of my life!
Tire Gauge Did you know gas mileage is improved when your tires are properly inflated? Keep a gauge in your car and check tire pressure on a regular basis. Low tires increase the risk of tire explosions.
Tool Kit At the very least, carry a small multi-tool. If you can’t fix it, perhaps a good Samaritan can if you have the proper tools.
Duct Tape Can fix anything, right?
Collapsible Reflective Triangles You probably know these from semis, right? I think they even use them during the day, but you would most likely put them out if you had to change your tire and it was dark.
Slow Burning Candle This may not be so much for creating light, but to help keep you warm if you get stuck during winter.
Water-Proof Matches You will need something to light that candle with!
Flashlight Don’t forget extra batteries.
Disposable Camera For insurance purposes, take pictures of any accident you get in. A photograph will aid in your explanation of what happened.
Blanket The car is the perfect place to store that ugly blanket of my husband’s that he insists on keeping! Perhaps one day, it will come in handy.
Towel There are many things you could use a a towel for. To name a few: drying off after getting rained on, keeping warm, soaking up spills, and tire traction when stuck in the snow. We used one to catch Baby J’s throw up when we didn’t have a plastic bag. It was a lifesaver!
Tissues, TOILET PAPER, Wipes, Paper Towels These are all a must, especially the toilet paper. And especially if you have kids!
Are there any essential items you keep in your car, not listed here?