Always Be Prepared: Important Things You Need to Keep in Your Car
Your car is something that you need to get you from point A to point B and back, and depending on how far it is between these two points, there are going to be things that you should always have in your car. Of course, it is essential that you always carry the right tools for changing flat tires and jump starting dead batteries, but, in addition to tools and a spare tire, there are many other things that you should always have in your vehicle, just in case.
Be Prepared for All Types of Weather
It doesn’t matter where you live, or whether you are always in a nice, warm climate. You should still be prepared for all types of weather. After all, if you are broken down on the side of the road at night, no matter where you are, it is bound to get quite chilly once you have had to sit there for a while. Here are some things that you should always have in your vehicle, just in case:
- Blankets or sleeping bags: You never know where you are going to break down, and if you are somewhere that you are going to be stranded for a few hours, especially at night, you will be thrilled to know that you have those blankets or sleeping bags to wrap up in to help you stay warm. It is probably a good idea to have a pillow as well so you can get nice and comfy while you are waiting for help.
- Clothing: You could end up stranded in wet weather, and once you have been outside working on your vehicle, your clothes are going to be wet. Having a change of clothes handy will help to keep you from freezing until help arrives. At the very least, make sure that you have an extra jacket in the vehicle. If you know you are going to be away for more than one day, you will probably have already packed clothes, but you should still have extras always in the car for emergencies.
- Salt or sand: If you get stuck somewhere in the snow, you will be very happy that you remembered to pack some salt or sand in the trunk of your car. The salt will help to melt ice around your tires, and the sand will provide you with traction. Having these in the trunk will also give your car added weight, which will help give you even more traction.
For the Kiddies
There are very few things in life more annoying than being on a long drive with kids and having to listen to “are we there yet” the whole way to your destination. If you make sure that you have all kinds of things to keep the kids entertained, you will find that you do not have this problem, and if you have enough to keep them entertained, they will be not be entertaining themselves by driving you crazy. Here are a few things that you should always have in your vehicle if you have children to keep them from getting bored and to save your sanity:
- Toys: Obviously, you can’t have an entire toy box in your vehicle, but if you have kids, it is a good idea to keep a few toys in your car to keep them occupied. Younger children will be happy with a teddy bear or other type of stuffed toy. Young girls will enjoy having a couple of Barbie dolls, and have an action figure or two for your boys.
- Puzzles and games: There are all kinds of great puzzles and games that kids can play on long drives, and many of the most popular board games are now available in a travel-size edition.
- Books: If your children are old enough to be able to read, always make sure that there is something for them to read on long drives. Once they get into a really good book, the vehicle will be nice and quiet, and you will even be able to hear yourself think.
- Pillows and blankets: Depending on how long you are going to be on the road, you should bring along blankets and pillows so your kids can nap during the drive. Chances are, even if they say they are not tired, they will quickly fall asleep, and you want to make sure that they are going to be comfortable.
- Extra clothing: You never know what kind of little accidents are going to happen while you are driving, and it is smart to carry a change of clothes for the kids. You could hit a bump, which can cause drinks or food to be spilled on clothing. Or it could get suddenly cold or warm, and you need to know that your kids are going to be dressed properly for the weather. If you have infants, always make sure that you have plenty of extra diapers on hand.
- Wipes: Where there are kids, there are spills and messes, and if you have some wipes handy, you will be able to get to those messes before they become serious stains that you cannot get out. Having a package of wipes in the vehicle is handy, as well as a roll of paper towels or some napkins.
- Snacks: Always make sure that there is something for you and your kids to snack on during long drives. Pack some healthy treats, such as trail mix, pickles, cheese, etc., and don’t forget something to drink. If you have perishable items, pack them in a small cooler that will fit easily in the back seat so everyone can get to it when they want something to munch.
These are just a few of the things that you should think about having in your car, whether you are going on a long road trip or just driving to the corner store. You never know when you are going to need any of these items, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Find-a-driving-school.ca. He has been writing for beginner Canadian drivers for several years.
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