We envy those people who go through life with their vehicles immaculately clean and completely devoid of anything other than their luxurious upholstery. For the rest of us, though? There are several things that we need to store in our cars or trucks. And while we won’t go so far as to say that there are 30 Essential Things You Should Keep In Your Car, there are most definitely some things that you should never leave behind.
Might As Well Jump
Let’s get the most obvious thing out of the way first: Buy a set of jumper cables and stow them (neatly) in your trunk. Even in this day and age when many vehicles have an automatic off feature for their headlights, a set of jumper cables is a must-have. If you don’t need them, chances are that someone you know absolutely will. We also recommend that you have a USB charging cord in your vehicle for your phone or other handheld device. This is a safety issue: If you’re ever stranded on the side of the road, you need to be able to call for help.
And speaking of safety issues: Pack a small first-aid kit in either your vehicle’s cabin or trunk. We’d recommend putting it somewhere in the cabin in case you have trouble accessing the trunk when you need it. Like jumper cables, a first-aid kit is there to help you or someone else in need. It’s a smart thing to keep near you when you’re on the road.
Just like the Boy Scouts, you should always be prepared. Duct tape and WD-40 are great items to keep as part of an emergency kit. Like the old saying goes: If it moves and it’s not supposed to, use the duct tape. If it doesn’t move and it’s supposed to, use the WD-40. It’s also a good idea to have flares and reflective orange triangles on hand, too, in case you have a breakdown at night. Other good items to carry: A can of Fix-A-Flat and a tire pressure gauge.
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If you’re traveling in bad weather, be aware of the very real possibility that you could be stranded for an undetermined amount of time, depending on road conditions. Pack some energy bars and bottles of water. And maybe — just in case — some toilet paper, too. You’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it, right?
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