The weather outside might not be frightful right now, but you never know when that could change. It’s a good idea to have an emergency kit for whatever is coming. Car emergency kits are different from bug-out bags or other types of emergency kits. Being prepared for emergencies on the roadside goes beyond basic emergency needs.

Having a car emergency prepared can make the difference between getting back on track quickly or being stranded for hours. If you commute every day or drive long hours, an emergency kit can really come to the rescue.

Car Emergency Kit Must-Haves

All vehicles should have an emergency supply kit in the trunk. Your emergency car kit should be inspected every six months, and any expired items should get replaced on a regular basis. Your emergency supply kit should have:

  • A spare tire which is properly inflated, a wheel wrench and tripod jack
  • A durable canvas bag to hold your items and supplies
  • A no-spill gas can that is 2 to 5 gallons
  • Jumper cables that are 12 to 20 feet long, and make sure to get a gauge that is compatible with your vehicle
  • A few reflective triangles and brightly coloured cloth to help make your vehicle more visible
  • A couple of bottles of water
  • Some granola or energy bars
  • A battery-powered jump starter
  • A flat tire inflation canister that is non-explosive
  • First aid supply kit
  • A small, foldable shovel
  • Antifreeze
  • A small toolkit that includes: screwdrivers, pliers, vice grips, adjustable wrench, tire pressure gauge, etc.
  • A flashlight and extra batteries or a flashlight that does not need batteries
  • Some road maps of the local area
  • A car escape tool which includes a seatbelt cutter and window breaker
  • Blankets
  • Extra gloves, boots, wool socks, and a hat if located in colder climates
  • Two quarts of oil
  • Some paper towels or rags
  • A multipurpose tool
  • Washer fluid
  • Pen and paper
  • Seasonal supplies such as rain gear, an umbrella, an ice scraper, etc.
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape

It’s also a great idea to keep a copy of family and emergency phone numbers, including your insurance provider’s contact information and a reliable towing company in your phone.