How To Create Your Own Roadside Emergency Kit Essential Items To Carry in Your Vehicle


There is tons of local stores where you can get a basic kits and I highly encourage this is a great idea to start off with and build off with but please be careful as these kits do not use quality pieces such as in the case in Jumper Cables. I have personally found in every economy kit I have ever seen they use the cheapest jumper cables on the market and 9/10 times they never work and if you have a truck or diesel, they will never work! Just words of advice from someone that knows. Use these store kits as examples to build your own kits. If you want to out one of these kits if a car to start with ok, but please replace it when you can with better, more quality items and I dont mean items from the Dollar Tree / Dollar General....Good Quality Items!!!

A basic roadside emergency kit should include some of the following items:

  • Jumper Cables - Good Quality .Another Great Idea: Battery Jump Box. You can now get these at Lowes, Home Depot, Harbor Freight and most are small, portable, lithium-ion battery with jumper cables. Usually, these batteries will also recharge computer USB ports for your cell phones and some even have air compressors incase you need to air up your tire. I personally highly recommend these as I have one I travel with, I actually have both jumper cables and Jump Box as a back up. Jump Boxes range from $60-$199. If you go the Jump Box route, make sure to keep it charged. Take it out once a month and make sure it is charged *** Battery Jump boxes are a great alternatives

  • Flares and / or triangle reflectors. LED flares are also an option worth considering.

  • First-Aid Kit

  • Fixed Blade / Folding Knife (Cutting Tool)

  • Blanket or Space Blanket

  • Flashlight and Extra Batteries / Head Lamps are great and are hands free when you may need to change a tire or work under hood.

  • Tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, pocket knife, multi-tool

  • A can of tire inflator and sealant such as Fix-a-Flat, I am not a fan of Fix A Flat, but these can save your life.

  • Tire pressure gauge

  • Paper Towels / Rags

  • 12’ Rope

  • Roll Duct Tape / Foil Tape (Small Roll)

  • Adult Ponch

  • Work Gloves

  • Spray bottle with washer fluid

  • Pen, Paper & Black Marker

  • Granola or Energy Bars

  • Bottled Water & Electro Light Drinks

  • Antifreeze (1Gallon)

  • 1 Qt Oil) check your vehicle for specific recommendations

  • Tow Strap / Chain (please do not use those cheap tow ropes, they never work and break every time)

  • Fire Extinguisher

  • Safety Vest / High Vis Yellow

Once you have assembled your roadside emergency kit, find a good way to keep these items together in your trunk so they don't roll around. Even a simple cardboard box works well. A backpack is another option. But make sure the kit is quickly accessible because you might need it in a hurry.

You also can buy pre-assembled emergency roadside kits that come in handy storage bags to keep the items organized. A quick Internet or Amazon search will locate dozens of such kits ranging in price and size. This DIY kit requires more work, but covers more than just the basic items we've listed here. It is vital for your safety that you know how to use all your items.

Before you actually use your kit in an emergency situation, take some time to familiarize yourself with the items you've collected and how to use them properly. Also remember that the most important thing is to exercise good judgment. If your car breaks down, make sure you stop on the shoulder, well out of the flow of traffic. Turn on your emergency flashers and, if you have roadside assistance and a cell phone, stay in your vehicle until help arrives. If it's a problem that needs quick response, or you are on that lonely country road, take out your emergency kit and proceed cautiously.

AAA lists "car with a flat tire" as one of the most common calls its roadside service team gets. To be ready in the event of such a problem, familiarize yourself with how to change a tire. In some modern cars, there is no spare tire so you need to use a tire inflator. AAA also points out that its most common calls are related to drivers skipping basic maintenance on their cars, so be sure your vehicle is properly maintained, particularly before going on a trip and at the change of seasons.

Unfortunately, there isn't one tool for all roadside emergencies. But with a little planning and some organization, you'll have a kit that could save the day.

I also highly encourage you to look at your kit and make a Summer Kit and a Winter kit.

For winter consider adding a few other things: Kitty Litter, Road Salt, Ice Scraper, Thicker Blanket, Chocolate Bars

  • If you live up North or out West; consider Tire Chains

Remember to Winterize your vehicle before WINTER also always check your tires. Lastly I cannot express how important it is to always have the proper Jack and lug wrench for your vehicle when traveling and always check all fluid levels before getting on any major highway. If you are towing a trailer, always have a jack and 4-way that will fit that trailer. Having extra 4x4 wood blocks never hurts to help with jacks. I am a personally fan of a good quality bottle jack stand as opposed to cheap old floor jack. Bottle jacks are small and can be stored away more easily than floor stands. We have 4 season, Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall and there is no reason you cannot make the effort to check your vehicles 4 times a year minimum to make sure your emergency kits are up to date and you have what you need with you at all times. Worst case scenario, Spring / Summer and Fall / Winter. Whether your travel on a daily commute for work or you travel cross state lines for pleasure or for work, you should always have a vehicle emergency kit with you at all times. Please do not thing AAA or some other type of Roadside Assistance will always be there for you. Countless lifes are lost each year to this mind set and they are all wrong! It is your responsibility to be prepared for your safety and it is your responsibility for those in your vehicle. Being prepared is vital for your own personal safety and the safety of others around you. You never know when you will be the first responded and can save someone. Just this past week, at the time of this post I came to the rescue of a stranded motorist and I knew I was prepared enough to help them; what a great feeling it was to reach out to help someone in need. Are You Prepared ???

(Updated 1/9/2018)

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