Driving around exposes most of us to more people than most other situations we encounter in everyday life. In that throng, there are bound to be several unsavory characters, as well as unstable people, unhappy people, angry people and plain lunatics, and what’s worse is that they’re all driving 2-ton weaponry around on the streets. With that in mind, it’s plain crazy that most of us never prepare for the possible encounters we might have while we’re on the roads.
But fear not – we’re here to help, with a quick look at some essential in-car kit that we should all invest in.
First thing’s first, and the first thing is first aid.
A good first aid kit is something you should never be far away from, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. Something like this will cover most, if not all, of your basic needs if something should happen to you on the road – or off it, for that matter. But, seeing as for most people who commute between work and home, and home and the grocery store, you might be just as well covered with this one. A lot smaller, but a lot cheaper as well.
A good first aid kit should contain all you need to temporarily treat minor injuries, and stem major bleeding from medium sized wounds, a pair of medical scissors, a tourniquet, disinfectant and a booklet of simple instructions. The use of all the first aid supplies isn’t always self evident.
Stuff can happen, and stuff happens every day. That’s probably the least useful sentence we’ve ever written. Even for those who aren’t mechanically inclined, a suitable tool kit in your car can save you a lot of grief, a lot of money and a lot of time. Even if the problem isn’t something you can fix yourself, having the tools ready can help a mechanically inclined good Samaritan with getting you back on the road.
DIY repairs on the side of the road isn’t restricted to changing your tires – loose hoses, claps and wires (and battery clamps, for example) cause more break downs than you can imagine, and are all easily fixed with a nice tool kit in the back.
Light and Heat
Good, battery powered lights is something which is often overlooked when it comes to cars. The car already has lights, right? True. Still, if your batter comes off, or is broken in an impact, you’re sh1t out of luck. That’s why you should always keep a battery powered light in the car. One of these work lights is a good idea – since they’re LED, they’ll last a long time, either for signaling or simple comfort. A high powered light in a compact size will help you lead rescue work or even signal air units that are looking for you, and some even have strobe or flashing capabilities built right in. Technology, people. Make it work for you.
Heating can also be a problem. Cars lose a lot of heat once the engine shuts down or cools down, and the cabin will be cold sooner than you think. While there’s no way to generate more heat, you’ll want to preserve the eat that’s already in you, and making use of compact emergency blankets is the definitive way to go. Mylar is the preferred material, and will reflect your body heat back to you, making a cocoon for you to live in while the rescuers are on the way, or while you wait for that pesky storm to blow over. In addition to that, consider getting an all wool blanket, both for the comfort, and for the added protection against humidity and water. Remember that wool keeps you warm even when it’s wet.
Sad as it is, some of those people we mentioned, may decide that they’re out to get you. You might have done something to piss them off, or they simply think you did something to piss them off. In either case, you should keep something close at hand to defend yourself with. No, not a gun. No, not a bat. No, nothing lethal. A legal self defense spray of some kind is your best bet. Roll down our window 3 inches, and hit them square in the face before they see what’s going on, and drive the f#!k away from there. Preferably straight to the police station.
The ResQMe tool is also a good thing to keep close at hand in such cases – you don’t want to be hit in the hand with one of these, so if someone’s restraining you through a window, for example… you get the idea.
Some people also combine this point with their lighting option, opting for the traditional MagLite 4-cell flashlights, which pack a heavy (and dangerous) punch when they’re wielded as weapons of self defense. Be careful with these, since they’re easily seen as deadly weapons if you manage to actually hurt someone with them. That said, they’re exceptionally durable and trustworthy. Just sayin’.
Keeping a good stock of supplies in your car, whether you’re setting out on a long roadtrip or headed to the grocery store, is a good idea. As for weight and space requirements, most of the stuff we’ve listed here take up less space than your airplane carry-on, and sacrificing that amount of space and a few pounds of weight will be worth it’s weight in gold when it comes to safety and security on the road.
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