Sh*t You Need in Your Auto Emergency Kit

prepared artIt happens on TV. Maybe sometimes it does happen in real life. And in Lifetime movies.

It’s you, maybe your kids, maybe your spouse. Somehow, someway, you take a wrong turn. You wind up on a dusty old country road, deep in the wilderness. And just when you think things couldn’t get worse: your car stalls.

If you’re a forward-thinking upper-middle-class American family, you’ll be fine.

You’ll be fine, because you’ve created prepared a preparedness kit.

That little savior backpack with saltine crackers and a flare gun. Maybe those little reflective triangles. If you’re stuck on the side of a road on a deserted island, you’re golden. The saltines will come in handy for the soup you packed.

Oh, there’s no soup in your preparedness kit? My bad.

photo credit: augieray via photopin cc
photo credit: augieray via photopin cc

Want the recommended ingredients for an auto emergency kit? Go for it, teacher’s pet.

Want to put together a packet of goodness and high life to turn around a bad day and faulty alternator? Ready on, sparky.

(Special thanks to Shelley from DIY Mama blog for the inspiration.)

# # #

Edmonds says: Four 15-minute roadside flares

Coach Daddy says: Megabanger Saturn Missile 250 shots

You can find these puppies just across the border. The South Carolina border, that is. Why pin your chances of rescue on flares when you can have 250 fireworks going off one by one? And with a finale, to boot?

#  # #

Edmonds says: Two quarts of oil

Coach Daddy says: Two quarts of cookie dough/salted caramel ice cream

What? It’s stay cool in my trunk. Listen, if the transmission has gone out, what will two quarts of oil do? If we’re stuck for the long haul, give us dessert.

# # #

Edmonds says: Gallon of antifreeze

Coach Daddy says: Gallon of Coke Zero

Hey, if dad has to be a hero … he’s gotta stay awake.

photo credit: Mat Honan via photopin cc
photo credit: Mat Honan via photopin cc

# # #

Edmonds says: First aid kit (including an assortment of bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, antiseptic cream, instant ice and heat compresses, scissors and aspirin)

Coach Daddy says: An insect collector’s kit

Who needs bandages and aspirin? Because what can move along a wait for rescue like hunting praying mantises?

#  # #

Edmonds says: Blanket

Coach Daddy says: Emergency Space Blanket

I have a mover’s van blanket. It’s good for spontaneous picnics and hiding food stains in the backseat of my car. But the space blanket makes you feel like you just ran in the Boston Marathon.

# # #

Edmonds says: Extra fuses

Coach Daddy says: Extra Coke Zero

photo credit: dbarronoss via photopin cc
photo credit: dbarronoss via photopin cc

I might need the kids to stay awake and keep watch for hungry coyotes, too.

# # #

Edmonds says: Flashlight and extra batteries

Coach Daddy says: Lightsaber and a few extra space blankets

The blankets serve as capes, and the lightsaber? Even a padawan like me could hunt dinner and cook it with one of these.

# # #

Edmonds says: Flat head screwdrivers

Coach Daddy says: Flat bread sandwiches

Man (and kid) cannot live on ice cream alone.

# # #

Edmonds says: Phillips head screwdrivers

Coach Daddy says: Firestarter

Not an angry child Drew Barrymore in a Stephen King flick. How about Ferrocium sparking rod that works even when wet? S’more ingredients implied.

# # #

photo credit: Elle Rae_ via photopin cc
photo credit: Elle Rae_ via photopin cc

Edmonds says: Pliers

Coach Daddy says: No stick ice cream scoop

What are we, savages?

# # #

Edmonds says: Vise Grips

Coach Daddy says: Golf discs

Who knows? We might find a course as we look for civilization. If not – we can wing it. Maybe the rescue helicopter can spot our bright orange distance drivers.

# # #

Edmonds says: Adjustable wrench

Coach Daddy says: Nerf guns

Not in the car, not in the face. Other than that … everything’s fair game.

# # #

Edmonds says: Tire inflator (such as a Fix-A-Flat)

Coach Daddy says: Silly string


Not in the car, not in the face. Other than that … everything’s fair game.

# # #

Edmonds says: Tire-pressure gauge

Coach Daddy says: Sonic screwdriver

Who needs a first-aid kit when you have a sonic screwdriver? We can track alien life, too. The man who has a lightsaber and a sonic screwdriver could kick Chuck Norris’ ass.

# # #

Edmonds says: Rags

Coach Daddy says: Riches

Money might not mean much, so maybe it would just a dude named Rich. It’s especially useful if he could fix your car with silly string and an ice cream scoop.

# # #

Edmonds says: Roll of paper towels

Coach Daddy says: Roll of toilet paper

What are we, savages? Plus, I can never remember how many leaves poison ivy has.

# # #

Edmonds says: Roll of duct tape

Coach Daddy says: Superman cape

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc
photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

I don’t know what the guy who wears Superman’s cap and holds each hand a lightsaber and sonic screwdriver is capable of. But I’m certain the Dos Equis man will pick up the tab.

# # #

Edmonds says: Spray bottle with washer fluid

Coach Daddy says: Caulk gun with cupcake frosting

The calories you cut out by skipping the actual cupcake.

# # #

Edmonds says: Pocketknife

Coach Daddy says: Elixir of life

Elixirs trump even the Swiss Army knife. We’d get the convenient fruit-chew variety.

# # #

Edmonds says: Ice scraper

Coach Daddy says: Origami paper

photo credit: rikomatic via photopin cc
photo credit: rikomatic via photopin cc

You know how many hours you can while away with a jumping paper frog? At least .75 of one.

# # #

Edmonds says: Pen and paper

Coach Daddy says: Colored pencils, pastels, charcoals and sketch paper

All the girls are artists. This’ll keep them quiet while I reload the Nerf gun.

# # #

Edmonds says: Help sign

Coach Daddy says: Pork rinds

Girls think they’re gross. But they have so few calories. Note: I’d sub out a bag of these for a sack of sunflower seeds in respect of our friend Bacon Thompson.

# # #

Edmonds says: Granola or energy bars

Coach Daddy says: Pita chips and energy drink powder

photo credit: joshbousel via photopin cc
photo credit: joshbousel via photopin cc

So pita chips aren’t exactly a face full of flax seeds. But they’re healthier than sour-cream-and-onion chips. The energy drink powder is because first thing in the morning is no time for Coke Zero.


# # #

Edmonds says: Bottled water

Coach Daddy says: Gatorade bucket

The girls can get their electrolytes – and dump the bucket on me when we’re rescued.

# # #

Edmonds says: 12-foot jumper cables

Coach Daddy says: Double-dutch jump ropes

You really should see Grace let it fly.

# # #

photo credit: pugetive via photopin cc
photo credit: pugetive via photopin cc

Edmonds says: A heavy-duty nylon bag to carry it all in.

Coach Daddy says: Pack mule to carry it.

Who needs this party in a sack weighing down the back of my Pontiac Grand-Am? I don’t often have to fight for survival … but when I do, I like to pack lightly.

What would go in YOUR preparedness kit?*

*-The absence of animal crackers, a Jennifer Lawrence pillow and bottle of rum? Noted.

Any of those items might or might not get stashed in this kit.

be prepared quote


52 thoughts on “Sh*t You Need in Your Auto Emergency Kit

  1. LOL as a fan of Dr Who, I’m all in favour of the Sonic Screwdriver. Oh, and a recharged K9 wouldn’t go astray either. I reckon a combination of yours and Edmonds suggestions would be just about right. 😀

    1. Just because you’re desolate, lost, stranded and in peril, doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun, right?

      Glad you liked it. If we had all that packed in the car, I think the girls would hope for us to get stranded. Dessert is essential – might take crankiness out of the equation.

      For the kids too.

    1. That’s the think, Cynthia. The dry ice is implied. No such thing as too practical – unless you’re one of those “saltines are all we need” kind of moms.

      Pork rinds are a dude thing, and we realize this. I think we’d worry if a woman ate our pork rinds.

  2. I like your preparedness kit a lot better than the “recommended” one. Nerf guns (and bullets) were actually in my car for a while… I had to remove them because Husband would shoot at me while I was driving when he got bored (which takes about two minutes).

  3. I was and am still a little disappointed on how little silly string you get for each can you buy. They need to sell them by the gross at Costco or something.

    Now, I would be happy to wait for Rich. Especially if he is also rich. Just need sunscreen for while I am waiting, don’t want to look like a lobster!

    1. Especially the dollar-store silly string. It’s not enough to even floss with.

      Not that I’ve tried.

      Rich would be a great name for a poor man in literature, wouldn’t it? Rich probably has a farmer’s tan, so I don’t think he’ll be put off a bit the lobster look.

    1. I wish Curious George was still the monkey around here – the 47 bothersome Disney Channel kids shows now make me wish for the days of Curious George.

      I’d trade them in an instant.

      We do have a portable DVD player that, with a quick stop at Red Box, gives at least 90 minutes of solitude.

  4. This was hysterical. It might not even be down a wrong turn. A friend of mine following his GPS ended up on a snowmobile path. In a mini van. Except he didn’t just stop when he realized there was no road, he kept going until the car was completely buried. When AAA got there the driver he was amazed my friend had made it so far in.

    1. Thanks Kerri! Intentional breakdowns would be warranted occasionally – you know, to test the kit’s readiness. I will also follow my GPS (affectionately known as Shelley) that way.

      Down the highway to Hell, if she tells me to take the turn.

      What I can learn from your comment is that I should check that default setting (or, uncheck) when it says “include snowmobile paths?”)

  5. HaHa – love your list!!
    And, I don’t have an emergency kit at all – I always hope if anything happens I have on a pair of running shoes (not likely unless I’m working out) and that my phone is fully charged!!!

  6. If I’m going to get stranded out there somewhere, I certainly hope my family is travelling in a caravan with yours. This is an awesome list and leagues better than any kit that may or may not (read: not) live in my trunk. What kind of mother am I with no emergency kit??? Clearly one who does not travel far from civilization and so we could pretty much walk to the closest Target or WalMart and be just fine.

    1. Just follow the crickety Pontiac Grand-Am, white by design, yet gray/brown by the grace of life. What IS in your trunk?

      Walking to Target for juice boxes and Rolos just isn’t the same, Lisa. You have to rough it.

      1. In my trunk right now:
        Four blankets. My Mother told me in an emergency, one should have a blanket in the trunk. Somehow, we have accumulated four. Most often, these have been used to cover Kidzilla in the backseat on particularly cold mornings or evenings in the car.
        An umbrella.
        The shopping cart seat cover we used for Kidzilla when she was small enough to need a shopping cart seat and I was hysterical enough about what germs might be on them to make sure it was covered when her precious tushy was in it.
        Some leftover sniglets of trash – a straw wrapper here, a dead leaf there.
        And the whole spare tire under the trunk thing.
        That’s kind of it. Shame, I know.

      2. It’s not too late to do something about this, Lisa. I got here just in time. Pick three things from Edmonds’ list, and three from mine, toss them in a laundry basket.

        (Careful if Rich is one of your choices).

        Put the basket in the trunk, and you’ll be so prepared you’ll WANT to get stranded.

  7. Baahahahaha!
    I know a person whose Coke Zero in the morning is what other people’s coffee is. I won’t say who, though.
    As long as you’ve got your Superman cape, you’ve got everything covered. If all else fails, you still have your phone (charged, of course, full signal bars, too) plus a AAA Membership?
    Love your fireworks, a little taste of 4th of July comes a long way in times of distress, right? I say, some hot dogs are in order as well. Campfire and all, you know?

    1. I used to put my Pepsi Max in a coffee cup and pretend. I even sipped.

      No to the AAA membership, and the phone’s less than half charged. Like me.

      I think that while the fam is distracted by the fireworks, maybe we can attract the attention of law enforcement. They’re illegal in North Carolina.

  8. So, where do I get me one of them light saber’s ? Sounds like a very essential item……

    But seriously from someone who lives in a semi desert / desert country I’d say the most essential is water. Also usefull when your car has overheated. Or you know…

    1. Water, yes, of course … I have to have something to mix my energy powder in, Serins.

      I think lightsabers are available at fine retailers such as Walgreen’s, Montgomery Ward and Hobby Lobby.

  9. Oh my gosh ….don’t even! I am THE girl scout dude. This is Canada – we got a LOT of wide open space. If you get lost, you get way frickin lost. So I got it ALL.
    Complete emergency kit. Candles. Glow sticks. Flashlight. Blankets (one for everyone!), folding shovel, antifreeze, oil, space food, a case of water, a suitcase that holds 2 changes of clothes for everyone, a bag of odd toys, books, colouring books and markers, a flint and steel, this thing that will punch out your window, and then of course in winter: all the winter accessories.
    Dude, I even got a spare change of shoes under my seat in case I happen to be wearing heels!
    I think I am just missing the short wave window…. and of course, a lightsaber because DUH! and I am prepared as I ever could be.

    1. Wow. This seems like it must be standard issue for Canadians. I mean, you have Vancouver, Thunder Bay, and Halifax, and very little in between, right?

      You’re thorough, though. A spare set of shoes? I’m not even sure where the underwear I will wear tomorrow are.

      You really should add a lightsaber. And a flatbread sandwich for each of the crew.

      1. You missed the Prairies… but then again, that’s not hard. there’s your flat.
        The boy has graciously accepted to keep his Darth Maul saber in the car in case of road side, and inter galactic, emergency. So I am ready…. times two. 🙂

    1. It’s more … colorful, at least. Ice cream probably could have helped to quell many labor battles, border tensions, and congressional gridlock, if we just scooped it.

      With a kit like this, it’s the only time a flat tire would be greeted by a round of applause.

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