How to Make Emergency Kits for Cars

How to Make Emergency Kits for Cars
Having your car break down on the highway is a frustrating inconvenience, but chances are you'll be able to call for help or even flag down a passerby. However, having your vehicle break down in the middle of nowhere can be a lot more dangerous. Packing the appropriate supplies in a car emergency kit could prove to be a lifesaving move. Spend the little bit of time and money that it will take and be prepared for your next adventure.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Think about your travel plans. While emergency kits need to include many of the same items, it pays to adapt your kit to your specific trip. Consider some questions. How far will you be from help? How long would it take you to hike to civilization? Is there cell phone coverage? What will the weather be like? How will you take care of the basic necessities like water, warmth and food? In answering these questions, you can further tailor the steps below to meet your specific needs.
Step 2
Pack tools. The best way to get out of an emergency situation is to fix your vehicle and drive out. Make sure that you have a spare tire, tire iron and jack before driving into the wilderness. Jumper cables and/or battery starter are standard items that should be carried. Also pack basic fluids such as antifreeze and spare oil. Spare fuses and basic tools such as pliers, adjustable wrench, screwdrivers and flashlight are valuable too. You may not be able to fix every problem, but at least prepare for the most likely.
Step 3
Pack water. Water is going to be a necessity, particularly if you have to hike your way out. A general rule is a half gallon to a gallon per day per person, so if it would take you three days to reasonably hike to safety, you should pack 2 or 3 gallons of water for yourself. You want even more in the desert. Of course, there's only so much water you can reasonably pack and hike with, so also pack a portable bottle and a filter and purification chemicals or tablets. In winter, pack a metal container so you can melt snow to use as water.
Step 4
Bring items to keep you warm. Pack emergency blankets, sleeping bags, extra clothes, gloves and hats. Pack fire-starting equipment such as matches, flint and tinder. Keep this equipment in a waterproof case or bag.
Step 5
Pack food. Bring nonperishable food such as energy bars, nuts, peanut butter and jerky. Also consider packing food-procurement tools such as a fishing rod, hooks and bait.
Step 6
Pack multifunction tools. Items such as a Swiss Army knife, rope or cord, duct tape, small shovel and zip ties could prove helpful.
Step 7
Pack hiking and navigation equipment. Pack some basics: a backpack, a good pair of hiking boots or shoes, a detailed topographic map of the area and a compass. In the winter, this may also include having snowshoes or skis. In the warmer months, have sunscreen, sunglasses and other sun protection.
Step 8
Pack a first-aid kit.
Step 9
Pack communication equipment. An old cell phone could be packed in your kit and used to call 911 (even phones without service should be able to call 911). In the event that you don't have service in the wilderness, pack a device such as a personal locator beacon. Also pack basics including road flares, a mirror and a whistle.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Store the equipment in a trunk compartment or box so that it's organized and easy to find. Keep equipment that you would want to carry with you in a waterproof backpack, bag or sack to make it easy to grab and take with you. Get a tuneup for your car before traveling and study a map so you're familiar with the area you are visiting.
 
Store the equipment in a trunk compartment or box so that it's organized and easy to find.
 
Keep equipment that you would want to carry with you in a waterproof backpack, bag or sack to make it easy to grab and take with you.
 
Get a tuneup for your car before traveling and study a map so you're familiar with the area you are visiting.
 
Make sure that you're familiar with each item in the kit and able to use it effectively.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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