DIY Emergency Car Kit

DIY Emergency Car Kit

With winter fast approaching, we decided to assist drivers in assembling their own DIY car emergency kit.  Of course, you could just buy a pre-made car emergency kit from Amazon, and it’s a good start.  That link leads to a great kit by the way, but it’s incomplete in my opinion, and what’s the fun in that?  This is a blog post about a DIY car emergency kit, meaning we get to put exactly what you need in there and customize it for your own needs. 

DIY Emergency Car Kit Example

The Life Essentials

Since we don’t where or when we might become stranded in the car, we need to plan for any situation.  Since risk of hypothermia and frost bite are high during the winter weather, we need to take special precautions during this time.  So what do we need in this DIY car emergency kit?  First and foremost, we’ll need a small supply of drinkable water and non-perishable food.  I recommend carrying some bottled water, but having a LifeStraw in your trunk isn’t a bad idea either if you travel through remote areas.  Protein bars or MREs are easy and convenient to store in a small bag for nutrition.  Next, you’ll want things that will keep you warm such as a blanket, a hat, and some gloves.  The other four safety essentials would be a lighter or fire starter, some sort of reflective triangles or LED flares, a first aid kit, and a small fire extinguisher.  

LED flares
fire extinguisher
fire starter

Everything Else

In addition to the things needed to keep you safe, you should carry some basics in your DIJ car emergency kit that might help you get back on the road.  The obvious is a set of jumper cables or a lithium jump starter.  Of course, you’ll want a basic toolkit of some kind and some fix-a-flat aerosol tire inflator.  Depending on the condition and age of your vehicle, you might want to keep some oil and/or coolant with you also.
Lithium Jump Starter

There are a few other items I think everyone should carry just in case, especially during the winter months.  They include an ice scraper, tire gauge, rags, car charger for your cell phone, and an inexpensive hand crank weather radio.   Something else you might not think of is cash.  Many of us just don’t carry it much anymore, but it can’t hurt to have if you need some help on the side of the road.  Lastly, you’ll need a backpack or other bag to carry everything in so it stays together and doesn’t end up all over your trunk.

I’ve tried to incorporate most essential items in this list without making it overbearing.  I may have accidentally left a few things off the list (like warm clothes), and you should also be conscience about the climate of your region when making your personal DIY car emergency kit.  This one works for me, but you might have different needs than me. 

List of 15 Items for Your DIY Emergency Car Kit

1. Lifestraw

2. Fire starter

3. Fire extinguisher

4. LED road flares

5. Lithium battery jump starter

6. Basic tool kit

7. Fix-a-Flat

8. Protein Bars or MREs

9. Blanket

10. Warm clothes/gloves

11. Tire gauge

12. Weather Radio

13. Rags

14. Car Charger

15. Cash

A Final Word

If you’ve ever been stranded in a car that won’t run in the dark, in the snow, in the cold, then you know the importance of an emergency car kit.  For those of you who haven’t, consider yourselves lucky and hop you never are.  However, you should be prepared just in case.  This kit might be the difference between getting back on the road and being stranded overnight.  It might also be the difference between a comfortable few hours in the car waiting for help and hypothermia setting in as you sit and hope someone will drive by.  I can’t say for sure you’ll ever need it, but I’m sure you’ll be glad you have it if you do!


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