Roadside Emergency Kit: The Essential Items to Carry in Your Car

roadside emergency kit

Imagine this: Your engine suddenly dies and you’re in the middle of nowhere. There’s no cell service and the closest gas station isn’t for miles! The last car you saw had to have been at least 20-minutes ago.

This is the point you had bought or created an emergency roadside kit.

These kits contain everything you need to stay safe and sane when you’re stranded on the side of the road. They won’t replace towing, catching a ride, or flagging down help, but they sure make your life easier.

This article shares how you can DIY a roadside kit for when you’re in a pinch.

What’s in a Good Roadside Emergency Kit?

An auto safety kit can run about $30 – $50 depending on where you’re buying. This is a bit costly considering you likely have a lot of the items that go into it.

A DIY emergency roadside kit should (at least) include:

  1. Jumper cables. The longer, the better, since you never know what type of vehicle comes your way. We recommend you learn how to use jumper cables before you’re forced to use them. Otherwise, you could pick up a portable jumper kit in case you don’t expect much help on the road.
  2. Drinks and snacks. You don’t know how long you may be waiting and so having a couple extra waters and snacks will tide you over. You could even include a couple of canned goods and a can opener if you don’t think the snacks will suffice.
  3. Flashlight or headlamp. You’ll want to see your way around the vehicle whether it’s getting further into the shoulder or if you’re doing some mechanic work to the engine. Likewise, the flashlight will help flag passerby’s and keep you (and others) safe when it’s dark.
  4. Basic tools. A toolkit within a toolkit would include screwdrivers, ratches, a knife, wrenches, and the like. This would let you do some minor repairs so you’re not completely¬†left on your own.
  5. Engine liquids. This could include motor oil, engine coolant, transmission fluid, washer fluid, and the like.
  6. Tire Sealant. A can of fix-a-flat can get you down the road to a gas station so you can call in the tow truck or get friend/family help. Don’t expect to drive fast and long with the temp seal, though. Go slow, get out of the troubling situation, and back to what you were doing.
  7. Flares/reflectors. Your battery may die and put you on the side of the road. When this happens, you can’t put on your emergency lights. You could be at risk if drivers can’t see your vehicle! Pack road flares and/or reflectors for your and other driver safety.
  8. First aid. Scrapes and cuts happen. A few, basic first aid supplies can turn a bad situation into something manageable. Include things like bandages, antiseptic sprays, gauze, and the like.
  9. Backup medications. A long wait could leave you without your essential medications. When this happens, things get worse! We suggest carrying your medications when going on longer trips just in case.

You can mix and match what goes into an emergency roadside kit. Feel free adding what you’d find necessary if you were stranded. And, remember to check on the items periodically to make sure they’re all in working order.

Stay safe out there!