You don’t have to be a mechanic to overcome some of the bumps in the road. Keep these basic items in the trunk of your car and avoid larger roadside hassles.
A dead battery can be a relatively easy fix… if you have the right equipment. Keep some jumper cables in the car and all you need is a friend - or a good samaritan - to help you out. Or keep a portable battery pack too and you can jump it yourself!
There’s not much you can do about a flat tire - except change it. Keep a jack and a lug wrench too, for optimum efficiency. Even if you can’t change the tire yourself, having a spare on hand will prevent you from the ordeal of having the car towed.
For traction. Seriously. Ice, snow, or mud can get your car stuck and leave you stranded if you don’t have a way to move it. Just pour some litter in front (or behind, depending on which way you way you want to move the car) of the tires so that they have something to grip onto and drive yourself right out!
Sometimes you really just need a quick fix - even if it’s temporary. When something falls off the car and needs to be reattached, or breaks and needs to be held together, in certain instances duct tape will do the trick. Pick up a sagging bumper, attach a mirror, or even tape a malfunctioning trunk closed. It’s not permanent, and it won’t be pretty, but it’ll work for now.
An absolute must. On its own, a flashlight might not seem like it’ll do a lot to get your car going, but if you break down at night it’ll be difficult to fix anything if you can’t see - and this is not the time to waste your phone’s battery using it’s light. If you need to leave your car for anything, a flashlight will help you see where you’re going, and hopefully help other motorists see and avoid you.
Such a simple tool, such a big lifesaver. The likelihood of encountering enough snow and ice on your travels to need this probably depends on where you live and the time of year. But hey, the weather is wild nowadays! And wouldn’t you hate to get stuck on the side of the road because your windshield is covered in ice when it has a relatively easy solution?
Keep a few spare bills tucked somewhere safely in the car. You never know when you’ll come upon a convenience store or gas stop that’s cash only. Even worse, you could lose your wallet or have it stolen. Backup money is a must for a road trip, and wise to have on hand in general.
We’ve all made a wrong turn or gotten a little turned around after a spontaneous off-route adventure. The map will ensure you can get back on your way. Yes, most of us have a GPS or a smartphone with similar capabilities nowadays, but it’s not wise to rely entirely upon that sort of technology. What happens when the battery dies - or you suddenly lose your connection? Well, you, prepared traveller, will pull out your map!