Car Survival Kit - What Should You Always Have in Your Boot?

Being stranded at the side of the road is a situation that you never want to be in; however, it is a situation that most of us have found ourselves in either as a driver or a passenger. Cars can have the habit of breaking down at inconvenient times such as heavy traffic or in inconvenient places, like in the middle of nowhere. A car survival kit is often one of those things that you don't think about until it's too late.

​As the Boy Scouts motto states, "Be Prepared", so that you are ready, willing and able to do what is necessary in any situation that comes along. Having breakdown cover or driving a newer model car under warranty - complete with roadside assistance - can often lull us into a false sense of security. This car survival kit covers the basics that any driver should carry, but also has suggestions for items that you may have overlooked.

Survival

  • ​​Water
  • Granola / Energy bars
  • Torch - one that doesn't need batteries is ideal. If your torch needs batteries, pack extras just in case
  • First Aid Kit
  • Maps
  • Waterproof jacket / rain poncho
  • Winter hat, gloves, scarf and extra socks
  • Blanket / Sleeping bag
  • Phone charger - a normal electric one that can be plugged into the car and a solar/hand-crank one
  • Whistle
  • Firestarters
  • Backpack - this can store a number of your items and be used if you have to go on foot
Bottles of water
Energy bars

Mechanical / Recovery

  • Jump leads
  • Flat tyre inflation canister (non-explosive)
  • Car jack
  • Spare tyre
  • Work gloves
  • Small tool kit (screwdrivers, pliers, tyre pressure gauge, adjustable wrench etc.)
  • Multi-purpose knife
  • Duct tape
  • Small, foldable shovel
  • Oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Washer fluid / Windscreen wiper wash
Jump starter kit

Sanitation

  • ​​Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Rubbish bags
  • Baby wipes
  • Feminine Hygeine (e.g. sanitary towels or tampons)
  • Plastic tablecloth - this can be used for a nappy change on a questionable surface
  • Zip-lock plastic bags
  • Packs of pocket tissues
Hand sanitiser

Sanity

  • Deck of cards
  • Books
  • Ear plugs
  • Pen and paper
  • Travel-sized board games
  • Colouring books with pens / pencils / crayons
  • iPod / Music player with headphones

  • Sports equipments (e.g. football, rubgy ball etc.)
Travel board games

Miscellaneous

  • Money
  • Emergency phone numbers on paper or laminated card
  • Fire extinguisher
  • ​​Umbrella
  • Emergency radio - this should be solar- and/or battery-powered
  • Tarpauline - this can be used to provide temporary shelter
  • Hand / Foot warmers
  • Sun cream
  • Walking shoes / Wellies
  • Bug repellant
  • Hazard triangle
  • High-visability vest / clothes
Travel fire extinguisher
Hazard triangle and high visibility vest

We may have missed some items that you might think are essential to a car survival kit. Contact us on our Facebook or Twitter pages with your suggestions.