14 Must Have’s for Car Emergency Kit

An auto emergency kit can help ensure your safety and survival in the event of a vehicle breakdown. Here is an overview of the necessities you need to build a reliable auto emergency kit.

RELATED: Car Emergency Kit Basics: How to Prepare Your Car for a Disaster

Auto Emergency Kit List | Important things to keep in your emergency car kit

1. Flashlight and extra batteries

In the event of a nighttime mechanical failure, a flashlight can help you investigate the problem. When no other light source is available, this item is a safer option compared to exposed candles.

Also, keep spare batteries. If you’ve been stranded for days, you’ll need another power source as you may accidentally drain your car battery.

2. Bottled water

Water bottle |  Car emergency kit

You need water to survive. It’s also important to stay healthy and wide awake, especially on long trips.

Drinking water may not be available on the street, especially during a disaster. So pack at least three days. Be aware, however, that extreme temperatures can affect the condition. If you can, bring an extra item to use to clean it.

3. Non perishable foods

Inventory of non perishable auto emergency kit

Like your bottled water, keep canned food supplies in your vehicle that can last for at least three days.

Keep foods that don’t need to be refrigerated and cooked. You can prepare canned food, protein bars, and dried fruits. Choose snacks with nutrients to get the energy you need.

As much as possible, avoid packing meals that can dry you out. Also, consider the nutritional needs and food allergies of your companions, including your pet.

Don’t forget to bring a can opener and utensils.

4. Blankets or sleeping bags

Stack of rugs |  Car emergency kit

If your heating fails and it’s cold outside, a blanket or sleeping bag can keep you warm. It is a versatile tool that can serve many functions.

For example, you can use it to cover your seats in case you need to transport heavy items.

Stow at least one blanket or sleeping bag for each seat in your vehicle so that your family and friends can stay warm too.

5. Whistling

Whistle on red tip |  Car emergency kit

This is one of the most important items to have in your auto emergency kit. A whistle delivers a loud sound with minimal effort. Best of all, you can use it endlessly as it doesn’t require electricity or a battery.

The sound it makes signals to rescue workers that you need help. It gets their attention and helps them find you.

6. Pocket knife

Swiss knife |  Car emergency kit

This multipurpose item fulfills various functions. You can use it to start a fire, prepare your food, and repair your other equipment.

It can also help you in emergency situations. It can serve as a survival tool and be used in first aid procedures. You can cut fabric to bandage a wound or cut a seat belt in the event of an accident.

7. Standard first aid kit

First aid kit |  Car emergency kit

Travel can be unpredictable. Breakdowns can occur so you need to be prepared. Therefore, a first aid kit is essential for an automotive emergency kit.

In the event of minor injuries from vehicle accidents, you must disinfect every cut and stop the bleeding. In addition, bandages and tweezers should be included in your kit. Don’t forget to bring medication to relieve pain and treat allergies as well.

RELATED: Survival Emergency Car Kit | The DIY kit that could save your life

8. Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguisher |  Car emergency kit

A vehicle fire can cause burns or even death. Auto parts can burst and shoot junk over long distances. However, some auto emergency kits don’t include fire extinguishers on the list.

It would be helpful to have a portable device on hand. The type you should keep in your car must be rated for class B or C fires.

When using a fire extinguisher, do so from a safe distance. Make sure you also have the means to get out quickly.

9. Jumper cables

Jumper cables |  Car emergency kit

If your car suddenly doesn’t start, it is likely due to accidentally discharged or dead batteries. Don’t worry, your jumper cables will help you with this. Add them to your car emergency kit so you can restart a vehicle battery and get back on the road.

However, before using a jumper cable, it is a good idea to become familiar with your vehicle’s engine for your safety.

10. Tape

Applying tape |  Car emergency kit

Duct tape can help stop leaks in your vehicle and water bottle, and fix worn sleeping bags and torn clothes. You can also use it with your first aid kit. It can form large bandages, add bladder pads, and wrap around your sprained ankle.

If you have broken car windows, you can tape them up too. This piece can fix almost anything but is often overlooked.

11. Cell phone charger

Charging the phone battery |  Car emergency kit

If you’re out on the open road, you most likely have your mobile phone with you, but don’t forget the charger. You must notify your family for immediate assistance if you are caught, injured, or in an accident.

You’ll also need to bring a power bank so that you can charge your phone once the vehicle’s battery runs out. Make sure the power bank is self-charged.

12. Tire gauge

Check air pressure with pressure gauge |  Car emergency kit

A tire pressure gauge checks the air pressure in your car’s tires. It is important that you always keep the tire pressure at the optimum level. Pump them all up properly so they’ll last longer and avoid blowouts.

Remember to also check the pressure on your spare tire. Most people often forget to realize that their spare tire may have low air pressure.

13. Reflective triangles

Red emergency stop sign |  Car emergency kit

When your car stops moving, especially on busy roads, placing your reflective triangles can make your vehicle more visible. These also warn approaching drivers of the situation in your car.

Place your triangular reflectors 50 feet from your car. It is also recommended to use three reflective triangles. This gives people enough reaction time to avoid your vehicle and avoid further accidents and traffic jams.

14. Local road map

Put pins on the map |  Car emergency kit

In the presence of a global positioning system (GPS), using a local road map seems old school. Similar to GPS, however, a map can also help you find alternative routes.

In addition, if your smartphone dies, it is the right way to find out your direction. With a card, you can still find your way home without using technology.

In addition to your car emergency kit, you will also need to prepare a medication kit for trauma situations. Check out this video from Overland Bound for the medical equipment you need:


Regardless of who is driving, you need to be ready with an auto emergency kit. Now check your supplies and make sure you have these items to save you.

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Macallister Anderson

I am by no means an expert in every aspect of this stuff. I plan to learn, and when possible, enlist the help of experts in various fields to come together and offer their knowledge. In a few years, I dream that this site will be a virtual survival encyclopedia and allow a total novice to come on here and be supplied with everything they need to prepare for anything.

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