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#286999 - 11/03/17 09:29 PM The well-equipped automobile
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6693
Loc: southern Cal
This is sort of a redirection of the "compact food' thread,which has wandered....

What should be routine items carried in one's vehicle? A lot of the items mentioned as required in some countries make a lot of sense, like high vis vests, specs (if you must have them to drive), warning triangles, etc.

My short, tentative list:

water and at least a few healthy snacks
duct tape
hand tools -crescent wrench, screwdrivers at least
jumper cables
some sort of rain gear or poncho
small stove, pot, coffee or tea
shovel and ax

I probably should have something to deal with flats - tire sealant, hand pump, etc.

What else?
Geezer in Chief

#287002 - 11/03/17 10:06 PM Re: The well-equipped automobile [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1124
Loc: Alaska
I think you have outlined a pretty good list, overall. I don't keep a huge kit in my car, and what you list is more or less what I carry. Below are a couple of minor additions and suggestions. Most of these won't take up much additional storage space.

Depending on what you wear in your normal lifestyle, you might want to add a good pair of shoes or boots that you can walk in. Before I retired, I worked in an office, and dressed casually but appropriately for that environment. Especially in the winter I make it a point to keep a pair of winter boots stashed in the car. If during the winter with deep snow on the ground, if for some reason the roads became impassible (say damage from a big earthquake), I could still get the boots from my car and walk home. Likewise, simple rain gear or a poncho might be sufficient in some climates, but in winter in Alaska I always try to keep at least a good warm parka (with hat and gloves in the pockets) stashed in the car.

Water is problematic to keep in ones car in a cold climate. If one parks the car outside, one is likely to have bottles of ice by the end of the day. Definitely some water in the summer however.

A good headlamp and/or flashlight. Also one of those flashing caution light gizmos.

I would add a first aid kit.

Besides duct tape, I would put in a few hose clamps of various sizes, a roll of black electrical tape, some zip ties, and some cordage or light rope.

For tools I would add some big channel lock type pliers and/or visegrips, and needle nose pliers.

A pair of leather work gloves. I carry the kind with high vis orange and reflective fabric backs.
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

#287003 - 11/04/17 02:34 AM Re: The well-equipped automobile [Re: hikermor]
Montanero Offline

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1447
Loc: North Carolina
Varies with environment. Think mobility, what keeps you going. Survivability, what keeps you alive. Survival priorities do not change, but you can carry more. The car needs its own "survival" kit though, to keep it on the road and functional.

#287004 - 11/04/17 02:48 AM Re: The well-equipped automobile [Re: hikermor]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 896
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
For those of us who live in snowy climates - winter tires (usually on extra set of rims). Got my winters on today, check tire pressure (including spare), plus the oil change and replaced the cracked windshield. Top up the radiator and washer fluids and double check the fuses, lights, et al. Snowed yesterday, snowed today, snowing tomorrow. And next week it might all melt away. cool

Got the shovel, wiper brush, air pressure pump, spare kit (fuses, clamps, tire repair), FAK, battery jump starter, jumper cables, tool kit, reflectors, tow strap, hard hat, hi-vis vest and boots and cold weather clothes. Plus all the stuff in my day pack.

And when all else fails, there is always the cell phone and its charger. laugh

#287010 - 11/04/17 06:07 AM Re: The well-equipped automobile [Re: hikermor]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1074
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Tough gloves, I like the heavy vinyl coated ones for grabbing hold of sharp metal or glass in crash situations and for protection from liquids and also snow chains.

On back roads, a tow strap, come along, bow saw for down trees.
Hacksaw blade that fits the bow saw for cutting forest service gate chains, when some goof locks the gate while you are inside. Ask me how I know this

Winter add tire chains.

#287011 - 11/04/17 09:32 AM Re: The well-equipped automobile [Re: hikermor]
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 1035
Loc: Germany
I have a can of tire sealant and a 12V compressor with pressure gauge. I also have a can of gasoline (cars run of fuel in a traffic on occassion and there a fine for running out of fuel on the autobahn), one refill of washing fluid, a pump spray with concentrated washing fluid (helps to deice the windshield and clean mirrors in a pinch) and some motor oil. As I drive a station wagon, I also have a net and some straps for securing cargo.
I also pack anti fog sponges to clear the windows from the inside and a couple of ice scrapers.
High vis vests, warning triangle and first aid kit are required anyway. I have a vest for every passenger plus a few spares in my trunk.
I also have an unhooking mat. It is handy when some tasks need to be performed in kneeling or prone position. It´s comfortable when changing shoes or boots too.
If it isn´t broken, it doesn´t have enough features yet.

#287012 - 11/04/17 01:19 PM Re: The well-equipped automobile [Re: M_a_x]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4987
I carry lots of stuff in my truck, but the first thing to look at with a well equipped automobile is the condition of the car/truck — tires, battery, belts, oil and filter changed on time/mileage. The steering, brakes and coolant system should be checked regularly and changed as necessary. IOW, keep the vehicle itself in really good condition.

I have an older truck that I like. I’d prefer to get something newer and bigger, but the truck I want won’t fit in the garage, so I keep this one. Over 200K miles and if I needed to drive cross country tomorrow, all I’d need to do is fill the fuel tank. It’s nearing a half tank and that’s when it gets topped off, otherwise it is ready to go.

One item that hasn’t been mentioned (or I missed it) is alongside the red warning triangle I keep LED Roadside Flares. They are reusable and unlike normal flares, these are not a fire danger.

#287013 - 11/04/17 01:52 PM Re: The well-equipped automobile [Re: Russ]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6693
Loc: southern Cal
Of course the traditional road flares are a sure fire (!) fire starter - multo-use item. Keep both around...
Geezer in Chief

#287014 - 11/04/17 02:11 PM Re: The well-equipped automobile [Re: hikermor]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3010
Loc: USA
My car repair kit:

  • multitool with screwdriver bits
  • small socket set
  • large Channellock pliers
  • galvanized wire
  • tire plug kit
  • radiator leak sealer
  • assortment of auto fuses
  • self-fusing silicone tape
  • hose clamps
  • gloves
  • jumper cables
  • auto jumpstarter with area light, compressor, USB charger, and inverter
  • properly-inflated spare tire, lug wrench, and jack
  • "cheater bar" made from a length of pipe for lug wrench
  • tow strap

Other useful side-of-the-road items like flashlights, headlamps, first aid kits are in the main emergency kit, always kept in the car.

The spare tire (with jack etc.), self-fusing tape, Channellocks, and jumpstarter have all seen side-of-the-road use to keep me moving. The jumpstarter is used far more often for others, as it's much faster and easier to use than jumper cables.

Edited by chaosmagnet (11/04/17 02:12 PM)
Edit Reason: added tow strap

#287018 - 11/05/17 03:36 PM Re: The well-equipped automobile [Re: hikermor]
Michael2 Offline

Registered: 10/07/04
Posts: 26
Buried in the bag with tools, I add an envelope with $50 in small bills and a roll of quarters.

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