11 No-Brainer Items Every Driver Should Carry

You may think you have all the obvious items, but you should go down this checklist anyway before embarking on any trip.

You may be missing something essential. You never know what will happen on the road, and you won’t notice what you’re missing until you really need it. When disaster inevitably strikes and your car breaks down, it will not necessarily be in a well-populated area with nice weather. Here are eleven things you should always have in your car for worst case scenarios and also just to make your life easier.

  1. Cell Phone and Charger
  2. Water
  3. Blanket
  4. Shovel
  5. Jumper Cables
  6. Road Atlas
  7. First Aid Kit
  8. Sugar
  9. Multi-Tool or Swiss Army Knife
  10. Jerry Can
  11. Bottle of K-Seal

Below we go into further detail into why the above items are essential for any car journey that you might be planning in the future.

Cell Phone and Charger

In today’s age, this first item probably seems like the most obvious. Before you leave for a trip, your phone should always be fully charged. It’s best to keep a charger in your car at all times just in case. Provided you’re not in a reception dead zone, you’ll be able to call in emergencies, and you’ll spend a lot less time being lost.


Keeping hydrated on the road is crucial. You can end up driving for quite a distance until the next spot you can fill up. If you keep a stock of water bottles in your trunk, you’ll never have to worry about dehydration.


You never know when you’ll end up breaking down and having to sleep through a freezing cold night. Natural materials like wool are ideal for keeping warm. A space blanket is useful for emergencies if you have limited room. Extra clothing is always good to have in your trunk too.


You should always anticipate the worst winter weather possible. A shovel will help you dig your wheels out of the snow. An ice scraper is extremely helpful too for when you end up with frozen windows.

Jumper Cables

Jumper cables are something you should always have in your trunk. That way, if you forget to turn off your lights, it won’t be a disaster. Don’t count on someone else having them. Cables should be at least ten feet and coated in rubber. An emergency battery booster may also be necessary if there’s no one else around.

Road Atlas

If you’re relying on your phone’s GPS, you’ll be out of luck if your phone dies or you can’t get reception. Paper maps were universally used before the advent of smartphones, and there are still plenty of scenarios where they’re necessary. Besides, opening up a big map gives you a great view of all the roads and helps you visually plan your trip.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kid is a given, but many people don’t keep one. Basic items to include are Band-Aids, gauze and adhesive tape, over-the-counter painkillers, and antiseptic wipes and cream.


This is the most delicious item on this list. Sugar is good for keeping up your blood sugar and therefore giving you a spike in energy. However, after the initial spike, your blood sugar will drop again, so sugar is only a short-term fix. Energy bars are the most ideal snack to keep.

Multi-Tool or Swiss Army Knife

There are endless scenarios in which a Swiss Army knife will come in handy. Features you’re likely to need include scissors, a can opener, a screw driver, and a bottle opener. A knife can be used to cut a seatbelt in emergencies, and you also want to make sure you have a tool that can break a window.

Jerry Can

The Jerry can is a container for hauling fuel or water that was first developed by the German military during World War II. The original Jerry can was made of steel and is still used by the military, but the much lighter plastic version is used domestically. If it is legal to carry extra fuel in your state, a Jerry can full of gas can prevent you from ending up with an empty tank.

Bottle of K-Seal

You never want to be without a bottle of K-Seal in your car. It’s perfect for when you’re on the road and end up with a coolant leak. All you need to do is shake the bottle and pour. It’s a low-cost solution that enables you to avoid expensive repairs. K-Seal is ideal for any leaks in the head, head gasket, head matrix, block, radiator, water pump casing, and freeze plug.

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