A summer survival kit every driver should have
Responding early to situations is far better than responding suddenly because if you don’t…well…it doesn’t always turn out so well. I often discuss being prepared for a winter breakdowns and having a winter driving survival kit prepared, but what about having a summer driving survival kit prepared? Is there really a need for one?
When we think of a vehicle survival kit it’s often about being stuck in snow or having your vehicle broken down in bad weather, but there’s more to it than that. Having a few items in your vehicle can help you and your passengers survive, including in the best of weather situations. The first thing perhaps is having a roadside assistance membership. It can become a valuable asset.
Many drivers won’t think of having a vehicle breakdown or being stranded but it does happen. Sitting on the shoulder of the freeway/highway isn’t as safe as you may think. This explains HERE. Many decades ago when I was in my early 20’s while I was returning home from camping, my camper trailer got a flat tire. I didn’t have a spare for the trailer and nothing to help. I ended up leaving the trailer on the side of the highway, driving to the closest service area, getting another tire and returning to change it. All those lost hours would have been avoided if I was ready for it. I’m ready now, are you? Let’s get started.
Just like the winter kit, you need a place to put these items. A medium sized plastic bin with a lid or a good size duffle bag is a good place to start. It won’t take up a lot of room in your vehicle but it’s good to know it will be there if/when you need it. To start with, reflective triangles or flares come in handy if you need to communicate to other traffic to go around your disabled vehicle.
Besides those items, here’s a few things that can be placed in the bin or duffle bag; sunscreen, umbrella/rain jacket, up-to-date first-aid kit, flashlight with batteries outside of the flashlight (so they won’t leak into the flashlight causing the flashlight to be useless), booster cables, tire pressure gauge, tire pump, tire sealant (for those moments when you run over a nail and need to pump up the tire to get to a repair shop), small tool kit (pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches), duct tape, a couple of rags, jug of washer fluid, jug of water or engine coolant, blanket, hat with a brim, extra sunglasses, phone charger, fresh water bottle, snacks (granola bars, nuts, dried fruit) and bug spray.
When our windows are open the risk increases for insects to fly into the vehicle. This would include bees and wasps or anything else within your jurisdiction which may make it inside your vehicle. If you’re stung by a bee or a wasp and you’re allergic, ensure you have the proper medication prescribed to you with you. If you’re not allergic, you may need something to pull the stinger out. You can use a bank card or credit card. A cold compress should come next and apply it every 20 minutes. If it’s still painful you can take something for the pain, but ensure you’re fit to drive before you drive away again.
Preparing to drive in summer takes as much effort as it does to prepare to drive in winter. Our survival kits may look different, but they both serve the same purpose – to help us survive comfortably until help arrives. Oh yeah, one more important item to help us survive if you’re stranded during the summer – toilet paper…because even though you’re stranded, sometimes you still need to go.
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