22 Things I Keep In My Car (and what you really need)

I’ve always been someone who likes being prepared. I like to be the guy who pulls out whatever item someone happens to ask for. It’s no surprise that I keep a lot of stuff in my car.


In my right door I keep a Justin Case first aid kit and a pair of gloves for if I need to work on my car on the road.


In my gloves box I keep a tire pressure gauge, phone charger, zip ties, poncho, emergency blanket, and a basic Craftsman OBDII code reader.


On the side of the center console, right by my right leg, I put a car escape tool with a window breaker and seatbelt cutter.


A small fire extinguisher sits on the floor behind my seat. It comes with a mounting bracket, but my car is too small to have a space big enough to mount it.


In my trunk I have a trash bag, a tool set, and a roll of paper towels.


The tool set is a nice Craftsman set with a nice mix of metric and fractional sockets in all three drive sizes, plus a few wrenches, allen wrenches, and an interchangeable bit screwdriver. I added a pair of pliers, they can come in very handy.


Underneath the trunk floor, the spare tire well is very full. On top I have a small tarp, 6 gauge jumper cables, and a spool of parachute cord.


Under all that I have a package of flares, a warning triangle, a cheap flashlight, and a tow strap. My car may not be powerful enough to pull someone out of a ditch, but because I have the strap, any truck could pull me out.


Sitting in the spare tire I have a pair of kneepads and a roll of duct tape. Few things are worse than having to kneel on rough asphalt or gravel while fixing your car on the side of the road.

Obviously this is more stuff than most people would carry, but a few things I think everyone should have:

  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Phone charger
  • Escape tool
  • Small first aid kit
  • Jumper cables

You could get everything on that short list for around $30-$40, and some companies sell pre-assembled kits that contain many useful items like those I mentioned, all in a nice case to keep it all together.

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