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7 Must-Have Items to Keep in Your Car

Let’s face it. Emergencies and accidents happen. The best way to deal with them is to make sure you are prepared before they ever happen.

One surefire way to make an already-bad situation worse is to not know what to do after it happens.

When traveling on the road, there are several items you will definitely wish you had if something goes wrong – things like accidents, break-downs, emergency weather, and more.

The obvious ones would be jumper cables, a flashlight, first-aid, windshield scraper, and tire gauge. Below is a list of the not-so-obvious items you will wish you had when the unexpected happens.

Bottled Water

Human beings need water to survive. In the event of a break-down or a similar situation where you find yourself stranded for an extended period of time, having water on-hand could literally be a life-saver.

If you happen to be traveling in something big like an RV from Outdoorsy, you’d likely have a full kitchen and this wouldn’t be an issue.

For the rest of us, having bottled water is a necessity, especially for long drives and road trips, as proper hydration is usually something most people forget about when sitting for a long time.

Always keep bottled water in your car if you can, making sure to refill the supply often, and storing it in a darker place away from direct sun.


In the event of some inclement weather, namely blizzards, having a blanket is something you will undoubtedly wish you had. It will keep you warm and prevent you from freezing to death.

In the summer months, you can also use it as a pavement cover when working on your car, or even as a blanket for a spontaneous picnic trip.

Emergency Food Stash

Right up there with water, you always want to make sure you have an emergency food stash just in case you breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Energy bars, the non-perishable kind, work wonders to curb hunger in a pinch (and give you extra fuel to rage about your situation).

Emergency Escape Tool

Believe or not, cars get driven into bodies of water more often than you’d think. Having an emergency tool on hand to smash a windshield, window, or cut a jammed seatbelt will save your life.


Technology and cell phones, most notably Google Maps and Waze, have made us complacent to always knowing exactly where to go. But what happens when you lose GPS signal in a remote location you’ve never been before?

Having a hand copy of your state’s local map as well as a U.S. map could prove extremely useful for getting yourself back on track.

Duct tape

Duct tape solves just about any problem. Sometimes that’s reattaching a knocked off mirror, holding your exhaust in place, or using it for other cases when you least expect it. Duct tape is always a handle tool to have around.


There’s not a lot worse than having a flat tire than having no ability to change it. If you don’t have a jack in your car, change that (now!). Something as basic as this Pittsburgh jack would do it.


Accidents continue to happen, despite all of our best efforts to prevent them. The next time you’re in an unprecedented situation with your car or automobile, hopefully you will have read and followed the advice in this article to be prepared for just about anything.