Essentials To Keep in Your Car

Some of us keep absolutely nothing in our car trunks, while others have enough packed to live in their cars for weeks. Somewhere in between is this list of important things every car owner should think about always having on hand.

Spare tire (in good condition), along with a tire jack and tire iron, because without them or someone else to help you, the spare tire is useless. Also, if your wheels require a special security key, make sure that's always in your car too.

Tire inflater and sealer, like the Fix-a-Flat, which can plug a leak (and help you avoid using the above tools) just enough to get you to the auto shop.

Your car's manual, which should be in the glove compartment already.

Duct tape and WD-40

Car repair information. A business card for your auto repair shop, the number for AAA (if you're a member), and car insurance claim forms should also be stored in your glove compartment.

First aid kit


Matches or other fire starter (Bonus: a candle in a can for winter emergencies)

Energy bars or MREs (the instant food that heat up with just water)

Water bottles

Seat belt cutter and window breaker. Keep this in your glove compartment, not in your trunk, obviously.

Flares or reflective triangle, so you don't get hit at the side of the road in the dark.

Maps. Yes, the paper kind.

Ice scraper

Mylar space blanket to keep you warm during a blizzard.

Cardboard or carpet remnant you can place under tires for traction in the snow.