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  • What Emergency Supplies Should I Have in My Car?

    June 24, 2022 6 min read

    What Emergency Supplies Should I Have in My Car?

    Getting stranded out on the road with your vehicle is something you should be prepared for – no matter how farfetched it may seem to be. 

    Sure, your car may be perfectly fine, but the likelihood of driving emergencies will always be there.

    Whether you get a flat tire, are affected by inclement weather, or simply lose your way due to problems with a GPS signal, it is imperative to keep emergency supplies in your car. These include items that would revive or get your car moving, survival kits, flashlights, etc.

    So, regardless of your travel frequency, being prepared for any road emergency will guarantee your safety all the time.


    Why Should You Always Keep Emergency Supplies in Your Car?

    The items you have pretty much determine your next move. Generally, emergency supplies should provide the following benefits.

    • It’s easier to jump-start or unstick your car.

    If you’re driving on an off-road trail during harsh weather conditions, there is a chance that you’ll find yourself stuck on mud or snow.

    Likewise, you might even experience problems with your engine, making the car completely or partially dead. Items like tow ropes, jump-start cables, cat litter, etc., can help you literally get out of the situation.

    • You won’t starve or get dehydrated on the road.

    It may take more time for you to get rescued. And two of the most common concerns are food and drink availability.

    If you happen to stop in a public area where food and beverages are sold, then lucky you. Otherwise, hunger and thirst will add up to your frustration.

    But if you have an emergency supply in your car, that’s one less thing to worry about.

    • You can keep yourself safe and warm until help comes.

    Items like clothing and blankets are lifesavers if you have car problems during cold, moist weather. It protects you against hypothermia.

    a whole bunch of safety related items to keep in your car including: safety triangle, portable car charger/starter, FLEXIT auto flexible flashlight, safety orange reflective vests, first aid kit, jumper cables, tow rope, glass breaker/seat belt cutter, bungee cords, thermal blankets, BAMFF tactical flashlight, electrical tape, and a pair of gloves.

    What Emergency Supplies Should I Keep in My Car?

    When it comes to choosing which items are considered emergency supplies, you always go back to the practical and absolute importance of the item.

    Here’s our recommended list of objects to include in your emergency supplies that should be mainstays in your car.

    1. A Reliable Flashlight

    Yes, your phone has a built-in flashlight, but you don’t want to waste cell phone battery and nothing beats a reliable portable flashlight in an emergency. Even more so today with the evolution of the classic flashlight. In addition, some lighting devices are intended for difficult situations, such as getting stranded on the road. 

    Check out these flashlights from STKR Concepts for your emergency car supplies.

    STKR Concepts' FLEXIT Auto in use attached to a car wheel well as a female wearing a safety orange vest works on the wheel.

    FLEXIT Auto Light

    Nothing is more perfect for your car than the FLEXIT Auto Light. It is designed primarily for road use when you need light for car repair or a road safety sign. It has a flexible Shape-Loc frame that can be bent, folded, hooked, or placed on a surface.

    The FLEXIT Auto Light is an orange triangle shape has three red LED hazard lights that warn other cars when you’re fixing your vehicle on the road. It has about 200 lumens front-facing white LEDs with four light modes. 

    To learn more about lumens, check out our brightness article here.

    Pocket Light poster featuring a hiker wear one on his backpack and a few studio poses

    FLEXIT Pocket Light

    If you want something portable to keep in your car, then the FLEXIT pocket light is what you want. 

    It may be small, but it emits bright and sufficient light for road safety with about 650 total true Lumens. 

    Likewise, it is highly flexible as you can attach it to your pocket, hang it using a dual-hinge clip, or just let it stand on a surface. It can even stick to the underside of your hood with its magnetic base.

    Make sure that whichever light you choose, it comes standard with a strobe feature as you can use this to signal for help during an emergency. 


    Survival / Camping food example pic

    2. Food

    Not all types of food can be kept for emergency purposes. 

    The general rule of thumb is that the food items should have longer expiration dates and can withstand car storage. Therefore, they should not be easily perishable. 

    Avoid keeping foods that are not well-packaged or can deteriorate within the tight space of the car. 


    Drinking water example pic

    3. Water

    Of course, enough drinking water is essential for survival. Keeping at least one gallon of water is the standard measure if you’re up for a long trip.

    When you’re stuck somewhere far from minimarts or general stores, dehydration could get the best of you, especially on a hot summer day.

    Hence, securing enough water supply won’t simply save you from inconvenience but keeps you physically well for situations that require plenty of problem-solving skills.


    blanket sitting on the ground in an outdoor setting

    4. Blankets

    For some, keeping a blanket or two may seem like a stretch. But believe it or not, this item is essential, especially against hypothermia that could endanger your life. We rely on the temperature of a running engine to keep us comfortable while driving, but if you’re stuck on the side of the road with a dead car then the inside of the car will quickly cool down to the outside temperatures.

    Likewise, you can use a blanket to create some makeshift shade when it’s hot. If you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere waiting for a lift, the inside of the car may be unbearable and you may have to use a couple of open doors to throw the blank over creating a blanket tent for some much-needed roadside shade.

    Not only that, if you need to carry items out of the car and you don’t have enough space in your bag, you can use the blanket and turn it into a bindle bag.


    person hooking up jumper cables to their vehicle

    5. Tow Rope and Jumper Cables

    There are times when your car just won’t start, you will have no other choice but to have it towed or jump-started by another vehicle.

    If a towing company is out of reach, your last resort will probably be asking strangers for help.

    If you’re stranded on a highway, you can seek the assistance of other drivers to have your car towed to the nearby service station. But this could only be done if you or the kind stranger has a good tow rope.

    On the other hand, if you just accidentally left your lights on or your battery is just getting weak then jumper or booster cables are essential. That kind stranger can hook up your battery to their battery and give your vehicle a jump start.



    portable tool kits in a pile. top one is open showing a socket set

    6. Portable Tool Kit

    If you are somewhat mechanically inclined, then the idea of having a nice compact tool kit will be much appreciated the next time you find yourself on the side of the road. 

    Even if you don’t know how to fix every part of a car, a tool kit can help a good samaritan who pulls over that might know what to do. Better to have the right tools than not.

    A good tool kit will have just the right amount of wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, and pliers to be super helpful, but not inconveniently large for a mobile tool kit.


    tri-folding first aid kit with three main compartments full of first aid accessories

    7. First Aid Kit

    As a driver, you’re always at risk of road accidents. 

    But we’re not just talking about collision accidents. There are also minor injuries you can sustain when driving or fixing your car on the road. If these accidents happen, it is best to use your first aid kit rather than wait hours for treatment. 

    Make sure you have the following items in your kit:

    • Anesthetic spray/liquid
    • Adhesive bandage
    • Pain Reliever
    • Tweezers and scissors
    • Gauze pads
    • Specific medicines you may need


     two small shovels sitting on the ground

    8. Cat Litter and A Small Shovel

    Having a bag of cat litter along with a small shovel may seem a bit odd if you don’t know what they are for. But if you do, these items make sense. 

    The purpose of cat litter and shovel in your emergency supplies is to increase traction if the car is stuck in the mud or a ditch. 

    Putting cat litter around the tire allows the car to better grip and move out of the mud. A small shovel can scrape the soil and dirt off the tires.


     female out of frame making piles of clothes

    9. Extra Clothes

    Repairing your car, especially during the day under the scorching heat, can leave you drenched and uncomfortable. That’s why keeping extra clothes can do you a huge favor. 

    It goes the same way when you have to deal with other harsh weather conditions. You may not be dressed for a sub-zero roadside adventure, so make sure you have a backup.



    map and compass close up

    10. Map and Compass

    You might wonder why a map and compass are still necessary when you have GPS. These items are intended for when signals and internet connections are unavailable on the road. 

    As you may already know by now, there are several limitations and glitches in the technology that can leave you hanging especially if you rely on it 100% of the time.


    Even if your car is the most reliable vehicle there is, on-the-road repairs can still be inevitable. If you accept this reality, then keeping emergency supplies in your car makes so much sense. 

    You can place them in a single bag like a got-to or emergency bag to keep them safe. Put them in the trunk or under the backseat. 

    Just make sure to replace items like food and water from time to time, based on their expiration dates.

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