Emergency Road Kit

Thoughts on Winter Travel

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It is very wise to keep a well-stocked kit in the trunk of your Bug for use in case of an emergency. After some research, we have prepared the following list of recommended items for an emergency road kit -

  • Always maintain at least 1/2 tank of gas.
  • Small first aid kit (with lots of Band-Aids! :-).
  • Fire extinguisher (Class ABC Ė medium size).
  • Spare tire (always filled to recommended pressure).
  • Jack -- standard Bilstein that came with the car. If you don't have the stock jack, we recommend a scissors jack and associated wood for protection of the heater channels.
  • Tool box (see separate list).
  • Jumper cables.
  • Two quarts motor oil (we recommend Castrol 10W50).
  • Funnel.
  • Rags.
  • Pair of coveralls.
  • Extra fuses.
  • Spray bottle with washer fluid.
  • Ice scraper/squeegee combo.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Spare fan belt (the proper size for your car).

Tools Ė In addition to those listed above Ė

  • A set of combination (box-end open-end) wrenches (spanners).
  • Screwdrivers Ė regular and Phillips, large and small.
  • Pliers Ė regular, needle-nose and side cutters.
  • Metric socket set, 3/8-inch drive, with 3-inch and 6-inch extensions.
  • Swing handle and deep set 13/16Ē socket (for wheel removal).
  • Vice grip, medium.
  • Crescent wrench, 10-inch.
  • Allen wrenches, Metric Ė 4 to 10mm.
  • Files - flat, half round and a rat tail.
  • Tire gauge.
  • Electrical and duct tape.
  • Wire brush, small.
  • Swiss Army knife.
  • WD-40

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Some Thoughts to Consider for Winter Travel

Summer has once again passed, and winter is on its way. As winter rolls on, each of us must make special preparations. For some itís tuning up those skis that have been in reserve for the past six months. For others itís putting snow tires on the car. For everyone it should mean preparing your car for whatever could happen on those scary winter roads. An auto 72-hour kit is crucial for winter blizzards and breakdowns. You never know what may happen in icy road conditions. It is always good to keep essential supplies in your car in case you get stranded for a few hours or even a few days.

What should I keep in my auto 72-hour kit? First, you want to make sure you have the basic essentials such as food, water, and warmth. After the basics are included, then you can add other necessities such as light, first aid items, tools and other accessories.

Food: If your car breaks down and you are many miles from any town or store, you will want to have food stored in your kit to make sure your body has enough energy. It is very difficult to keep food in your car because it is exposed to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, and the food is likely to spoil. The best thing to store in your car is high Calorie Food Bars. These bars come in packages of 2400 calories and 3600 calories. They can be exposed to extreme temperatures. They have a tasty shortbread taste that wonít leave you thirsty. The bar helps activate the salivary gland and reduce your demand on emergency water supplies. They also expand in your stomach so you feel full. Be careful that you donít over-consume them because they are so high in calories.

Water: Drinkable water is of utmost importance. Most people can actually survive days without food, but your body will dehydrate without water, leading to organ failure and death. We take the abundance of water for granted when things are normal, but in an emergency it becomes critical. Water is also useful for washing wounds and for sanitation. Water can also be helpful if your car overheats. Because of the limited space in automobiles, storing water must be in small packages. Water is available in small drink boxes (8.45 oz.) or also in pouches (4.2 oz.).

Warmth: You may have plenty of food and water, but if youíre cold youíll feel miserable. Especially in the winter, warmth is a must for an auto 72-hour kit. If you get stranded on a desolate road or stuck in a snowstorm, you will be glad you have a source of warmth in your car. There are several options: 6 or 18 hour warm packs, wool blankets, emergency bags, and emergency blankets. Also, for shelter from the rain, include a poncho or other rain gear.

  • Warm packs are nice for quick, concentrated heat. You can put them in your pockets, shoes and gloves to stay warm.
  • Wool is one of natureís warmest fibers. It provides warmth even when itís wet. It is best to get a wool blend blanket because when synthetic fibers are added to it they provide softness, washability and durability.
  • Emergency blankets and bags are lightweight and fold to pocket size. Theyíre made of a reflective material which reflects up to 90% of your radiant body heat to help keep you warm. Our company did an in-house test of the emergency bag. We sent a few employees and family members outside in an emergency bag. They got so warm they had to get out of the bag. A poncho is nice if you are in rain or other bad weather and need to go outside to change a tire or do other work on the car.

Light: Itís important to always keep a flashlight in your car. It comes in handy for all types of circumstances. Be sure to keep charged batteries in the flashlight so you arenít left in the dark. Other lights that could be useful in your car kit are lightsticks, liquid paraffin candles with a wide base and waterproof matches.

  • Lightsticks last for 12 hours and are safe for children. They are visible up to one mile away, and they are non-toxic and non-flammable.
  • Liquid paraffin candles are long-lasting, reusable, odorless and smokeless. A wide base adds stability which helps prevent accidental spills which is especially nice for the car. Also, be sure to keep waterproof matches in your kit so you can light it.

First Aid Items: If injury occurs, every second counts because help may be hours or days away. A first aid kit allows you to assist with injuries until help arrives. Keep items such as pain relievers, sterile pads, alcohol prep pads, bandages, soap, gauze pads, and micropore tape. You may also want to include tissues, toilet paper, safety pins and ace bandages. All of these items will come in handy when you are in need of first aid on the road.

Tools: Consider tools such as a multi-purpose knife or a collapsible shovel for your car. A shovel may come in handy if you are to get stuck in the snow or mud. A multi-purpose knife provides many different tools for you to work with in a time of need. A basic tool kit and a roll of duct tape are also good items to keep in your car.

Other Accessories: Road flares are a good thing to have in your auto kit, but they should only be used for a warning signal, and should NEVER be used for light. Once they have been lit, make sure you set it on a non-flammable surface because the by-product from the fire drips to the ground and may cause a fire if it lands on flammable material such as grass. Be careful because the fumes are extremely nauseous and must be used only in a well-ventilated area.

There are several kinds of pre-packaged road kits available on the market, or you can customize your own. Keep your kit in a compact case so it fits easily in your trunk or under a seat.

As you are preparing for the upcoming winter months, donít forget to prepare your car. When that snowstorm causes you to be stranded from home, or if you get a flat tire far from any town, you will be grateful you took the time to think ahead. The more conveniences you include, the better your situation will be.

 

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