Do you like to be prepared for emergencies? If so, this post, What to Pack in Car Emergency Kit, is for you!

You never know when you’ll be faced with one of many potential roadside emergencies.

Some emergency situations include a flat tire, breaking down on the side of the road, or no gas stations in range.

When out on the road, especially on your own, be as prepared as possible for any emergency situation.

Having a kit of emergency supplies can really come in handy, even when you don’t have a serious emergency.

what to pack in car emergency kit

You can’t always rely on emergency roadside assistance services. This is true, because we might not be in a place with cell phone reception.

Another situation that may require a safety kit is if a tow truck takes a long time to reach you. In this case, we might need something right away before someone is able to get to us.

You can easily put together your own emergency kit for your car by buying items individually. However, it can be a lot cheaper to buy a pre-assembled kit.

The pre-assembled kits can be found at the end of this post.

What to Pack in Car Emergency Kit: Basic Essentials

what to pack in car emergency kit

There are all kinds of handy things you can keep in your car as part of an emergency kit.

Some of the items below are nice to have but not essential to keep on hand at all times. Also, there are some items that should be removed or added depending on the season.

Having the following items in your car in the event of an emergency is a great place to start:

Emergency Items to Keep in Car

  • First-aid kit: a simple first aid kit can come in handy to fix up minor injuries or patch a major injury until help arrives.

  • Jumper cables/Jump pack: Jumper cables are good, but a jump pack doesn’t require a helpful stranger to come along. Investing in a good jump pack is a great idea!

  • Reflective triangles or road flares: In case you have an accident or your car dies in an unsafe place on the road, you’ll need these to be sure you’re seen by other drivers.

  • Fire extinguisher: If your car catches fire, a fire extinguisher is one of the most important things you can have on hand. It can also be helpful to lend a hand to someone else.

  • Car windshield sunshade: When your car dies in the summer and you are waiting for help, this may help keep you out of the sun, depending on the direction of your car.

  • Tow rope: Having some sort of tow strap on hand can be really helpful. Often there are people who want to help you out of a bind, but who don’t have the tools needed

  • Flashlight and extra batteries: A rechargeable flashlight or one with extra batteries will come in handy if you’re stuck after dark or even have to walk in the dark.

  • Tire inflator: These are so handy to have in your car! If not for an emergency, use it when your tires are low and you don’t want to pay for air.

  • Basic set of tools/gloves: You may be thinking that you wouldn’t know what to do with tools to fix your car if you had them. But someone passing by willing to help may need them to assist you.

  • Car cell phone charger: A cell phone charger is always good to have on hand but you will be especially thankful for it in an emergency.

  • Raincoat or poncho: If you have to walk in the rain or it’s not safe to stay in your car, you’ll be glad you had a poncho!

Winter Emergency Car Kit

what to pack in car emergency kit

Driving in the winter is a much different situation than any other season.

With potentially dangerous road conditions, your car’s emergency kit needs a different set of essentials in a cold season.

Add these basic items to your car at the beginning of the winter season. It’s best to leave them in there until spring.

  • Hand Warmers: hand warmers are excellent for keeping your body temperature up. Put them in your gloves and shoes!

  • Traction aid mats (or sand, salt, or cat litter): Getting yourself out of a ditch may be your best bet if you’re stuck in a snowstorm. In these cases, it’s usually hard for emergency services to make it to you quickly.

  • Foldable shovel: Another handy tool for getting yourself unstuck in a snowstorm. Be sure to get a good-quality shovel that will stay extended during vigorous shoveling.

  • Extra coats, gloves, wool socks, wool hats: Extra warm clothing gives you more protection from the cold if you’re stuck without heat for a long period of time.

  • Tire chains: Tire chains may come in handy for getting yourself out of a slick situation.
what to pack in car emergency kit

Other Emergency Car Kit Ideas

what to pack in car emergency kit

In case of an emergency on your next road trip, .these items are good to add to your car.

Long trips can easily take you to unfamiliar places. In that case, you will end up thanking yourself for expanding on those essential items.

Looking for a peace of mine when traveling? Here are some ideas for additional items that would be helpful to add to your basic car survival kit.

  • Food and water: Food and water are a great thing to have on hand when even emergency services can’t get to you.

We like to keep granola bars and mixed nuts in the car. They have a long shelf life and can offer the nutrients needed to get by.

If you’re in a snowstorm, or in a location where you can’t reach anyone, food and water are essential. This is especially important in the case you lose cell service to call for help.

  • Car escape tool: In the event of an accident where you are stuck in the car, a car escape tool is a literal lifesaver. This tool will cut your seat belt or break your car window with ease to help you escape.

  • Road Atlas: When that smartphone fails, a good old map is always handy!

  • Extra antifreeze, oil, and windshield wiper fluid: You never know when you’ll need extra fluids, especially on a long trip.

  • Antiseptic Wipes: If you’re keeping a plastic bin with emergency items, wipes are a must have. Whether you or a family member has cuts or a small spill, these will come in handy!
  • Mylar sleeping bag: This is a great item to have on hand for emergencies because it folds up very small but it can be used for chilly nights or in storms when you are stuck overnight or for a long time.

  • Solar-powered battery pack: Solar-powered battery packs are great to have on hand in case your car can’t charge your cell phone. If you’re on a road trip, toss one of these on your dashboard but don’t use it. Save it so it’s charged in case of an emergency.

Highest Rated Amazon Emergency Car Kits

what to pack in car emergency kit

All pre-made kits have their similarities and differences. We suggest choosing the one that best fits your needs, then buying any supplemental items that you want separately.

Below are the top five highest-rated emergency car kits on amazon.

We choose the kits that not only had the most stars, but also had the highest number of reviews. This way, you can know you’re getting a good quality product to ensure your and your family’s safety.

1. STDY Car Roadside Emergency Kit

2. HAIPHAIK Car Emergency Roadside Kit 

3. Car Emergency Safety Kit Bag

4. LIANXIN Roadside Assistance Emergency Kit

5. Vetoos Roadside Emergency Car Kit

Your emergency car kit items will vary. Consider where you live, the type of weather you have, the storage space you have in your car, and more.

Personalize your kit to best fit your needs. A general rule of thumb, the more prepared you are the better!

I hope you’ve found this list helpful when asking “What to pack in emergency car kit?”

Before you go, here are more posts you’ll enjoy:

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what to pack in car emergency kit

What to Pack in Car Emergency Kit