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#294182 - 11/15/19 03:59 PM Advice on small, "realistic" car emergency kit
albusgrammaticus Offline

Registered: 07/18/17
Posts: 66
Loc: Italy
Iím putting together a little emergency kit for my wifeís car. Something very compact that will reside permanently in the trunk and could come in handy for a common emergency or inconvenience, like a simple break down or a minor injury. Itís not a BOB or a GHB by any means.

She lacks any sort of mechanical experience and would be hard pressed even in changing a tire (although the car itself has a tire jack, a wrench and a full spare, in case she can get outside help), so I donít see a reason to include any tools to the contents (but feel free to express your dissent if thatís the case).

We live in a suburban area with good cell phone coverage. We have zero chances of being stranded for days in the snow on a mountain road and starve to death, therefore Iím overlooking common ďsurvivalĒ gear and focus instead on items that could help her to safely wait for road assistance to arrive.

My main and most realistic concern is for her to have a break down and be stranded on the side of the road at night, with the danger of being run down by passing vehicles. So Iíve been focusing in covering signaling, visibility and communication.

So far Iíve assembled, in a small red deployment bag:

- LED road flare, the orange disk-shaped kind, with various light and strobe modes. (Chemical road flares are prohibited in my country)
- Reflective blaze orange safety vest.
- WOWTAC A2 flashlight, with the included strap to convert it to a head lamp. Good quality waterproof flashlight with various modes, including strobe.
- Portable battery car jump starter with cables. Itís rechargeable via USB and can double as a power bank to charge USB devices. Can charge a cell phone multiple times (USB charging cable included).
- Pair of work gloves.
- Roll of duct tape (always handy! grin )
- Medium sized SAK.
- Basic FAK with band aids, gauze pads, bandages, EMT shears, alcohol swabs and painkillers.

Aside from the contents of bag, she always dresses for the weather and keeps an army surplus wool blanket in the trunk.

Any suggestions on changes and additions to the list are most welcome!

#294183 - 11/15/19 04:57 PM Re: Advice on small, "realistic" car emergency kit [Re: albusgrammaticus]
Herman30 Offline

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 356
Loc: Finland
I would change the wool blanket into a winter grade sleeping bag. Should be much warmer to sit inside the bag than wrapped in a blanket.

#294184 - 11/15/19 05:01 PM Re: Advice on small, "realistic" car emergency kit [Re: albusgrammaticus]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2409
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
Even in a suburban area, a person will need water with them. I've heard too many stories of people stuck in traffic, they are thirsty and have no access to water.

Jeanette Isabelle
ďTrust me, this is not gonna end well!Ē ó Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

#294185 - 11/15/19 05:15 PM Re: Advice on small, "realistic" car emergency kit [Re: albusgrammaticus]
Ren Offline

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 245
Warning triangles?
Cigarette lighter to USB?

The Wowtac A2 have one of them 18650s with micro USB charge port on them?

Edited by Ren (11/15/19 05:27 PM)

#294186 - 11/15/19 05:39 PM Re: Advice on small, "realistic" car emergency kit [Re: Ren]
albusgrammaticus Offline

Registered: 07/18/17
Posts: 66
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Ren
Warning triangles?

Forgot to mention it: a warning triangle is mandatory and a standard issue in every car where I live. Thanks!

Originally Posted By: Ren

The Wowtac A2 have one of them 18650s with micro USB charge port on them?

Yeah that's the one. Overall I found this flashlight very practical and of excellent quality compared to the price (standard non affiliation disclaimer etc. etc. ...)

Thanks also to Herman30 and Jeanette Isabelle for their suggestions.
Please keep on!

#294187 - 11/15/19 05:39 PM Re: Advice on small, "realistic" car emergency kit [Re: albusgrammaticus]
pforeman Offline

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 181
Loc: Iowa
I would toss in a multi tool of some kind - sometimes a screw needs to be tightened or (pliers) a clamp fixed? Also as most break downs seem to be at night an extra flash light couldn't hurt.

I will second Jeanette Isabelle and have a bottle of water along with some hard candy just because it helps pass the time waiting for the tow or help to arrive. Second also on the sleeping bag vs. the blanket but having both would be my go-to.

As we have a dog I've always got an extra leash in the glove box with a small dish for water so the pup can drink too and a few treats. Funny thing is I've used the extra leash several times when I found a stray that needed to be rounded up and taken home.

Paul -

#294188 - 11/15/19 05:56 PM Re: Advice on small, "realistic" car emergency kit [Re: pforeman]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7292
Loc: southern Cal
Agree with water and some sort of reasonably nutritious food, probably "wrapper food" like Clif Bars or similar, depending on her preferences. Also second the multitool (actually would be good EDC) plus a very basic tool kit for the good Samaritan assisting her.

Consider thirty feet or so of tow rope?
Geezer in Chief

#294189 - 11/16/19 12:46 AM Re: Advice on small, "realistic" car emergency kit [Re: albusgrammaticus]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1612
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
if she is open to accept the help of a Good Samaritan, a 4 lug tire wrench

I've had to use a 1A10BC dry chemical fire extinguisher on 3 occasions... it was the minimum to just get the fire out... if you deploy with others around, give a warning for them to hold their breath before you discharge

#294190 - 11/16/19 01:35 AM Re: Advice on small, "realistic" car emergency kit [Re: albusgrammaticus]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2884
Loc: Alberta, Canada
But what about zombies!! I kid. This is a completely practical exercise.

My thoughts:

1. Communications: A spare cell phone with a charger and 911-only capabilities (i.e., no SIM card). Cell phones die, get broken or stolen or left at home. Depending on the jurisdiction, a 911 operator can dispatch more than police/fire/EMS -- provided there is no immediate threat to life, they can direct a tow truck, or get a message to a family member who can respond.

2. Signalling: In the dark, red/amber colours get lost or dismissed by drivers. But nothing, absolutely nothing, cuts through the clutter like a bright white flashing LED light -- day or night. Many lights have this function (lost in the settings). Bright white LED bicycle lights (not button lights) are more foolproof. Practice with your SO how to mount on the vehicle and activate.

3. Agree: drinking water and a few snacks.

4. And more importantly: a pot to [censored] in. Women are incredibly reluctant to squat by the side of the road, especially if there's a line of vehicles. Tell her it's a "trucker's buddy" for you, and clearly mark it as such. Make sure it's smooth on top, wide-mouthed, and has a tight lid.

5. A few cheap, packaged fleece blankets. These are endlessly versatile and useful, to kneel on, sit on, wrap yourself in, etc. etc.. You can also pass them through a mostly-closed window to some panic-stricken or seemily agressive person who is just desperate because their kids are cold. It could potentially defuse an ugly situation.

Edited by dougwalkabout (11/16/19 01:41 AM)

#294192 - 11/16/19 11:55 AM Re: Advice on small, "realistic" car emergency kit [Re: albusgrammaticus]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3360
Loc: USA
I have a similar use case for Eldest Offspring. What I was putting together had to fit in a small cargo space underneath the deck of the trunk, in a bag for ease of transport on foot. Some differences:
  • Several in our family have had medical training for treating traumatic injuries, so I included a small kit for that even though Eldest has not been so trained
  • Included a small power bank, 12V to USB adapter and a spare charging cable
  • Included a bottle of water
  • Included a multitool with a bit kit
  • Included an upgraded lug wrench to make tire changing easier
  • Included a roll of self-fusing silicone tape
  • Included an assortment of automotive fuses

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