How to Pack a Vehicle Emergency Kit

Do you consider yourself well prepped for anything, or does it always seem what you need most isn’t on hand? When it comes to emergency preparation, it is essential to pack a few items into a vehicle emergency kit, to be ready for whatever comes your way.  In Colorado, weather can change on a dime, closing roads or creating long delays.  A vehicle seems to break down only on the hottest or coldest of days.  As Coloradoans, we’re active and enjoy going to parks and public land for outdoor activities. For these reasons it’s important to take inventory of your vehicle contents and make sure you’re ready for any challenges that come your way while out on the road.

Emergency kit for car

First Aid Kit

Hopefully you never need it but every car should have a well stocked first aid kit in case of an emergency.  Look for a kit that has a variety of plasters, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointments, athletic tape, aspirin, tweezers, and an instant cold pack.  These will come in handy for more than just a roadside emergency, but can quickly treat a skinned knee, sprained ankle, or more when on an outing at the park, etc.

Blanket

Should you ever have to spend a night in your car after being stranded, the best way to conserve your energy is to keep warm.  An emergency mylar blanket takes up very little space when not in use, and will reflect your body heat to keep you warm.  Hopefully you’ll never have to use one, but if you have to, they’re cheap to have around.

Flashlight

Every car needs a flashlight.  If you are using a battery operated flashlight, periodically check the batteries. The heat or cold can drain the juice out of your batteries.  Hand cranked flashlights are convenient for that very reason.  Whether you have to change a tire at night, or forgot a lantern while camping, a flashlight will come in handy at some point, trust me.

Water

Keep a couple water bottles in your car, and don’t forget to restock/refill them after you use them.  They will come in handy.  Don’t risk waiting for a tow truck on a hot 100 degree summer day with your dog on the side of the highway without it.  Trust me, that scenario has happened to me, but fortunately I had a gallon water jug to keep cool while we waited.

Shovel

A collapsible shovel can come in hand in our Colorado winters, when a heavy snowfall blocks in your car, a snowplow leaves an icy berm of snow  when your street parked, or heaven-forbid you spin out in to a snowdrift.

Non-Perishable Food / Snacks

It’s always a good idea to keep a couple non-perishable food items in your car.  Whether you’re stuck in a road closure because of adverse conditions, and food/dining is inaccessible, or if you finished a workout and are feeling light headed, a breakfast/sports nutrition bar, bag of trail mix, etc can help put off the hunger until you can get an actual meal.

Warm layers: hat, gloves, scarf, jacket…

Keep some extra layers in case if the weather turns on you, it is Colorado after all!  Protect yourself from exposure to the cold, especially if you have to dig your car out of a snowbank or change a flat on a cold day.

Fire extinguisher

Most commercial vehicles and trucks have one. It’s not a bad idea to have a fire extinguisher in your vehicle’s emergency kit especially if you travel through rural areas.

Snow brush

While a snow brush may not be an item used to get you out of an emergency, unless you have some serious MacGyver skills, it is essential to have during the fall, winter and spring months in Colorado.  Don’t even risk the frostbite trying to clear ice and snow off your windows and mirrors with a credit card or your bare hand.

Do you have any other items you keep in your car to be prepared for an emergency?

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  1. […] road closes, or you find yourself stranded, or in an emergency. Here are some recommendations on how to a pack a vehicle emergency kit to keep in your […]

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