Having a well-stocked emergency kit in your car can be a lifesaver if you find yourself stranded. This is particularly important if you live in rural areas or frequently drive along sparsely traveled roads. Packing your emergency kit with the following essential supplies will help you get back on the road quickly, and/or keep you safe while you wait for help.
Extra Layers & Warm Blanket
If you’re stranded overnight in your car, keeping warm is the top priority. Pack extra insulating layers in your emergency kit and toss in a blanket or old sleeping bag. Gloves and hats are a must since you’ll most likely need to be out in the elements trying to get your vehicle moving again.
It’s a good idea to keep jumper cables in your car year-round, but it is especially important in colder temperatures as they can quickly drain a battery. Carrying a portable jump starter is a good idea if you’re traveling in areas without cell service or if you’re unlikely to come by help to jump your car.
A sturdy, foldable shovel can come in handy for digging out compacted snow under the tires. Often, all you need to do is a little digging to get the car free. Having a shovel is also convenient if you need to dig the car out of a parking spot or build an emergency snow shelter.
Sand or Traction Mats
A bag of sand can help boost your car’s traction if you’re stuck on ice. Traction mats can also aid in traction and are reusable in case you find yourself stuck more than once.
Auto First-Aid Kit
A well-stocked first aid kit should be kept in your car at all times. The kit should also include spare medications, and if you need them, a list of emergency contacts. First-aid kits come in all varieties and sizes and should have gloves, gauze, and bandages at a minimum. Our Auto First Aid Kit attaches to the passenger side visor and keeps all the necessities easily accessible.
Keep a spare cell phone charger in your survival kit so you can call for help if your phone battery dies and you’ve misplaced your regular car charger. If you’re traveling a significant distance during the winter months, a portable charger for USB devices isn’t a bad idea in case you have car battery problems. Most portable jump starters also come with USB charging ports.
Extra Food and Water
Depending on where you’re stranded, help may not come quickly and extra food and water will make you more comfortable while you wait. Go with high-calorie snacks like energy bars, jerky or dried fruit since you burn more energy in the cold. If you live in a desert, it's a good idea to always travel with at least a gallon of water in your car regardless of the season.
Having a small tarp can keep you dry and ward off hypothermia if you need to kneel in the snow to change a tire. A tarp can also keep you from losing parts or tools if you’re stuck in deep snow.
If it’s dark out and you need to fix a flat, having an LED flashlight or headlamp may mean the difference between fixing the flat or having to wait until the first morning light. An LED light can also come in handy for signaling oncoming motorists.
Auto Rescue Tool
If you really want to be prepared for emergency situations, consider adding a Tactical Auto Rescue Tool to your emergency car kit. These tools can cut seat belts and break glass, and also include an LED light and stainless steel blade - all items that should be in your vehicle safety kit year-round. We also offer a smaller auto escape tool, the SupervizorXT which comes with a sheath which stores on your car's sun visor.