When I was 16, I was in a car accident that left me stuck in icy weather as I awaited help. Having some of these items would have helped.
10 Items You Should Always Have in Your Car
As a girl who does not know a lot about cars, being prepared in case of an emergency does not involve much in the way of tools. Yes, almost every car comes with those handy tools needed for changing a tire—and yes, my car has these necessary instruments. However, when it comes to the items I keep in my trunk just in case, do not expect to find a wrench or screwdriver.
When I was sixteen years old, I got into a car accident on my way to work that left me, luckily, uninjured but still caused me to be stuck in some icy weather as I waited for good ol' Dad to come help me and hopefully get the car working. What I learned from this incident was that not only do I need a good lesson on how to drive safely in icy conditions, which I will not go into here, but I also should have kept some things with me for just this sort of catastrophe. A blanket, for example, would have been greatly appreciated.
After that day, I kept a small bag of essentials in every car I drove—and I still do so today. Here is my list of items I believe every girl should keep in their car. You may think you are the safest driver in the world, but you never know when you may be stranded for whatever reason, and these things can really help.
1. Cell Phone Charger
Although I did not have a little emergency kit in my parent's car back when I was sixteen, having a working cell phone definitely saved me the trouble of having to sit there on that barely-used back road until someone kind came around and was willing to pull over and let me use their phone. Keeping a cell phone charger in your car at all times is a great way to ensure that you will at least have that mode of communication ready and at your fingertips in an emergency.
Many drug stores have chargers that are less than 10 dollars that work just fine. It is important to keep it in your car at all times, rather than bring it in the house every time you are not in your car, since you are likely to forget it from time to time. Personally, even if my phone is charged, I plug it in right when I get in my car. Not only does this ensure my phone does not die at any time in the day but, if my car dies, I will have a cell phone that will last as long as possible.
A blanket is the one basic thing that is a definite must-have for an emergency kit for your car. Just having one has saved me many times in situations that weren't emergencies but still required a little extra warmth. Great blankets do not have to be pricey, so get something cheap that you aren't afraid to get a little dirty.
If you do not have an extra blanket lying around or would like to save as much as you can, keep an old warm coat in your car's trunk instead. As long as you have something handy that can keep you cozy in freezing weather, it is the perfect thing to keep in your car at all times.
You can choose from a wide variety of snacks to keep in your car and store as much as you would like, but keeping food handy is a definite must. I always keep three or four protein bars handy, just to save space, because I drive a small car and cannot fit much in my trunk. Just remember that if you keep food in your emergency kit, you should make sure and check it every once in a while so that you can use the food before it goes to waste and replace it.
4. Feminine Products
More than likely, if you get into a situation where you are stuck in your car for a long period of time, you will not have to use those tampons you keep in the trunk. However, in those emergency situations where that time of the month comes unexpectedly, having some feminine products handy can really help you—or a girlfriend who may be with you.
5. Travel-Sized Necessaries
Keeping a small bag of travel-sized items can be a good idea, just in case. These items include: a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, and whatever else you deem necessary. Although you may never need them in an emergency, they can come in handy if you ever need to stay the night over at someone's house due to weather or another unexpected situation.
6. Hand Warmers
Hand warmers come in packs of all sizes and can be a real help in freezing weather conditions. There are even toe warmers and body warmers that can be purchased in packs. These warmers last from five to 10 hours and can have a shelf life of six years, depending on the brand.
7. Hair Products
A spare travel-sized hair dryer, small hairbrush, and some products to keep your hair pulled back can be really handy in those situations where you have to stay somewhere other than your own home for a night. No girl wants to have a bad hair day, even in an emergency.
You never know when that emergency situation can happen the same night you went out dancing with your friends. Keeping a pair of socks with some tennis shoes handy will be really helpful if you get stuck wearing high heels.
9. Spare Clothes
Any old clothes you do not normally wear that you are not concerned about whether or not they get dirty can be really great to keep for that emergency kit in your car. This way, if you are stuck in a situation like the one I described above, where you went out with friends and now you're wearing high heels and a dress in a car on the side of the road, a pair of old jeans and a t-shirt can help you get a little more comfortable. This is also handy for those overnight stays in really harsh weather.
10. A Bag
Yes, ladies, now that you have all you need for your kit, it's time to go bag shopping. Keeping everything consolidated in a bag not only keeps your emergency kit together, but it also makes it easy to grab all at once and keeps your trunk looking a little neater. A backpack works great, but if you are like a typical woman and packing a little heavy, a great big duffel bag may be even better.
Do you keep an emergency kit in your car?
More Essentials for Any Car Emergency Kit
Car Emergency Kits
While there are many other things that can and should be kept in your car at all times, these basics should help you in case of an emergency situation. You never know when you may be stranded in your car, so it is always best to be prepared. I have been stranded three times since I was sixteen, and I have been very grateful to have these emergency items in my car.
© 2012 Lisa
Mara on February 01, 2020:
It's also a good idea to have some plastic bags in case you need to run to the gricery store. Or if someone or yourself feel quesy during the carride and need to throw up, those can be super handy. Also old rags in case something spills or again if someone throws up, something goes flying into the car.
Ryan Palmer from In a Galaxy far, far away on May 18, 2013:
I've found that, amongst other things it's very much important to have a warning triangle in your cars boot (I'm a Brit, here it's boot and not a trunk!) in case you break down and need to warn other drivers in advance, as well as a torch (Flashlight) and a set of sockets in case any repairs can be made yourself. For good measure I always keep a first-aid handbook in my glove-box too, behind the CD's, in case I come across an accident on my journey!
It's also always handy to be able to prepare your car before a journey, especially a long journey to ensure it is as safe to drive as possible. Make sure your tyres, including your spare-wheel have plenty of tread and the car has the recommended amount of oil/water/coolant in the relevant places. Doing this will help prevent many accidents as well as save you money.
A good hub with some good advice! Voted up.
Joanie Ruppel from Texas on January 06, 2013:
I like to shop at garage sales and have purchased a few damaged quilts to keep in the car to use for a blanket. They have come in handy for many different things, including an impromptu stop at the park on an unexpected beautiful day.
Nancy Yager from Hamburg, New York on January 01, 2013:
Getting stranded is never fun. It is always embarrassing waiting for the tow truck to arrive.
H Lax on December 27, 2012:
Lots of very useful information in this hub. I never even thought about bringing my phone charger with me when I go somewhere in the car. Thanks for bringing that up. Sometimes my phone service is shut off and it's also good to know that as long as you keep it charged you can still use it to call 911 in an emergency. You don't have to have a current service provider. Thought I'd throw that in for your readers. Voted ++