Few activities match the exhilaration of getting in the car and taking an extended road trip. Whether you’re going on vacation to a sunny spot, moving cross-country, or just exploring the countryside, taking a long summertime car trip is one of life’s great joys.
But as with every big activity, being prepared for all outcomes is the most important part of taking a trip. The gear you pack is as key to arriving at your location as putting gas in your vehicle.
The open road is full of dangers and pitfalls, so creating an emergency kit containing some essentials helps ensure you’re ready for some time on the open road. A fully stocked emergency kit not only makes the journey more enjoyable, it can keep you safe. Including these items is a must.
Jumper cables/rechargeable car jumper: Nothing spoils a road trip like car troubles. Rapidly changing climates can wreak havoc on your battery, and being stranded in the dark or in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery can make a trip go bad at a moment’s notice. Jumper cables are an essential item, but even better is a rechargeable jumper box that doesn’t require another car. Both are compact, packable, and provide big value in a small package.
Portable air compressor: Your tires can also go flat with almost no notice, and a portable, battery-powered air compressor. There are even versions that plug into one of your car’s power ports. An air compressor might seem like a luxury item that just takes up space, particularly when you’re packing up the trunk, but it’s an item you don’t want to be caught without when you need one.
First aid: Cuts, scrapes, scratches, and sunburns happen on the road, and having a supply of first-aid materials ensures you can treat those ailments. Adhesive bandages, pain relievers, antibiotic ointments, and other first-aid supplies can help you anywhere, anytime on the road.
Road flares: Visibility is vital on dark highways and byways, and road flares are a must if you have a breakdown at night. Road flares help you signal for help and ensure other motorists can see your vehicle if it breaks down.
Reflective vest: Couple road flares with a reflective vest to give other drivers another thing to watch out for on dark, isolated roads: you. A late-night flat or other issue can be a dangerous situation on the roadways, and wearing a reflective vest will keep you visible.
Spare tire/tire tool: You’d be surprised how many people don’t know if they even have a spare tire and lug wrench in their vehicle. It’s especially important to check that you have one before a long car trip — where it is (in some vehicles, they are stored underneath the car) and how to remove it when you need to. And certainly learn how to change a tire, which can be tricky if you don’t know how.
Roadside emergency kit: A roadside emergency kit will contain many of the essentials listed above along with a few other items that would be great in a pinch: scissors, needle and thread, screwdriver, tweezers, tire pressure gauge, and rain poncho are just a small sampling of things that could prove valuable in case of emergency.
Emergency rations: Having a few non-perishable food items and an emergency supply of water tucked away can help if you’re stranded in a remote area — and yes, those areas still exist! Even in the age of cell phones and WiFi, you could be stranded for a long period of time.
Blankets: Another great item to have if your car breaks down and it’s going to be a while before help arrives. Even if it’s summertime, many areas still get chilly at night. A blanket will make your wait more comfortable.
Portable cell-phone charger: Your cell phone is certainly your best friend in the event of a breakdown, so keeping it charged is critical. Keeping a portable charger ready can get you out of a jam in a lot of situations. This also serves as a backup battery if you lose a charging plug.
Bathroom emergency kit: When you’re on the road, the distance between rest stops is sometimes long. You need to stay hydrated, which means you will also need to use the restroom often. You can avoid frequent stops by having some emergency bathroom supplies, like the Cleanwaste Pee-Wee® Unisex Urine Bag, perfect for long car trips.
You never know what you might need at a moment’s notice when you’re taking a road trip, and no one ever has said you can be too prepared on a vacation. Be sure your car or truck is equipped with all the necessary items before you begin your long trip.
And don’t sleep on Cleanwaste’s portable bathroom solutions, which can help make your trip a much more enjoyable, less urgent one. We have options for a variety of situations where public restrooms are out of reach or inconvenient. Browse our catalog of products and see which are best for you.