Any trip can encounter unexpected road trouble, from the occasional flat tire to the flat-out, scary, white-out, northern blizzard and the difference between inconvenience and danger can often be as simple as having the right supplies on hand. Check your trunk and be sure your spare tire is aired up and in good condition and then assemble the items on the list below and keep them with you when you are traveling by car.  You also want to make sure your spare tire release is working properly and that your jack in in fact in your car.  There is nothing worse than thinking your prepared for a breakdown and finding out the hard way that you never actually checked to make sure your jack was in your car.  Visit your trusted auto repair facility if you are unsure how to use your vehicles jack or spare tire release.

  • Jumper Cables
  • Candle w/ matches
  • Bottled Water
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Non-perishable snacks like granola bars
  • First Aid Kit
  • Road Flares
  • Flashlight (wind-up doesn’t require batteries)
  • Compass
  • Rain poncho
  • Road Atlas
  • Car jack and tire iron
  • Baby wipes
  • Diapers, if you have small children
  • Cell phone and car charger
  • Basic tool-kit (hammer, screwdriver, pliers, etc.)
  • Full change of clothing for the season including underwear, spare jacket, extra pair of sturdy shoes, jacket, and hat
  • A pair of sturdy work gloves
  • Emergency contact info, and identification
  • Extra set of keys
  • Extra set of glasses and sunglasses

Depending upon where you live and which season you are traveling you may add seasonal items for summer like insect repellent, sunscreen; or sand and a small shovel in winter. Hopefully, you’ll never occasion to use any of it but it’s nice knowing that if you do, everything you need is right there. The peace of mind alone is worth the effort!

It is also a good idea to ensure your vehicle is mechanically sound, to prevent unnecessary and easily avoidable breakdowns.  A thorough inspection including checking your belts, hoses, cooling system, tires, etc. can be the difference between  smooth sailing and spending your next vacation on the side of the road.  If you are unsure how to properly inspect the mechanical components on your vehicle, visit your authorized mechanical repair facility for a full vehicle inspection.