*Emergency Car Kit*
By: Boboroshi
21 January 2008

While we all are working on our BOVs and various other remote stashes, etc. we can tend to forget about the little emergencies that cause havoc in our daily lives. One of the most common things to happen is a failure of some variety with your regular, every day car. From flat tires to blown belts to running out of gas to a dead battery, I'm sure most of us have had an issue at some point. On a more severe scale, look at some of the recent stories of people getting stranded in their cars in the wilderness. What can you do to prevent these situations from becoming untenable?

Well, you can start with a basic emergency kit in the car. I've had one of these in every car I've driven since I got my license almost 15 years ago. My father (A USCG officer who still lives Semper Paratus) taught me the basics and I've augmented it with things I find valuable. I am assuming your car has the basics of a properly inflated spare and a jack. If not, you should add them yourself.

The Basics:
* First Aid Kit
* Road flares (6+)
* Safety Vest(s) - for working around a car on the highway
* Roadside reflective markers (triangle, etc)
* Fire Extinguisher
* Small shovel/spade/entrenching tool
* Trouble light (ideally cigarette lighter powered)
* Duct Tape
* Maglite (kept in the actual car itself)
* Jumper Cables
* 2 qts of oil
* Cell phone charger for the cigarette lighter
* Fuses
* Cable Ties
* Antifreeze
* Electrical Tape
* Lighter
* Some kind of food (MREs, etc) that will do well in heat and cold
* Trash bags
* Fleece blanket

* 100' Parachute cord
* Work gloves
* Small camp axe
* Marine Air horn
* Flare gun
* CB Radio/HAM Radio
* Fix a flat foam
* Empty small gas container

Winter Add-ons
* Small Snow Shovel
* Ice Axe
* De-icer spray
* Scraper
* Gas Dryer/antifreeze
* Kittie Litter (Small bag) - for traction
* Space/Emergency Blanket

Basically, you should be able to handle most situations that your car runs into. I've had to break out the kit on a few occasions.

One time I stopped to assist a motorist who had smoke coming out from under the hood. It was a bad time to learn that the fire extinguisher had not been fully charged. Luckily we had a cell phone (this was back in the 90s) and we were able to call the fire department.

Another time the car I was driving decided it was done and the engine went into shutdown. I was able to get to the shoulder, but on a freeway at night is no place to be.

Providing safety and comfort while waiting for the tow truck (or AAA) to show up definitely helps everyone involved. Having some additional tools in case you're stuck out in the winter somewhere and need to look at heat generation etc. couldn't hurt, and it also doubles nicely in case you are not able to get back to your BOV in a crisis situation.


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