The great part about making mistakes is that there’s always something useful to be learned from them! One of our favorite parts of sharing our travel stories and shenanigans with you is that not only do we get to learn from our missteps but so do you, and hopefully we can save you the same heartache and headaches that we had to go through in the process!
If you caught our last post and video then you know that our National Park road trip did not get off to a great start. If you didn’t catch it you might want to start here: The Worst Road Trip Ever Part 1
If you’re curious about how that amusing and yet exhausting saga ended you can catch part two of the chaos here:
Looking back on those two days, there’s a lot of things we did right, and an awful lot we didn’t. While technically speaking we had everything on hand that we needed to fix the problems we ran into, we didn’t exactly know where all those things were- meaning all those things that we had were basically useless to us.
The second thing we did after arriving at Yosemite National Park, (after cracking a beer of course) was to sit down revisit and reorganize our emergency roadside kit. A well-stocked and easily access emergency kit, cannot only save you time but could also potentially save your life and or someone elses’. You can’t plan on an emergency but you can be prepared for one.
After laying out our own gear, consulting with some experts and other full-time travelers we’ve restocked and updated our own roadside emergency kit, and have put together its full list of contents for you below. If there’s something you think we missed, drop us a line in the comments! We’re always open to new suggestions!
- Air Pump– If you saw part 1 of our catastrophe then you already know how badly we needed this, if you haven’t gotten to see that glorious bit of cinematic drama, you can catch the video here. Having or in our case knowing where our air pump was would not have only saved us time, but also money. Spending a little now could save you a lot later!
- Tire Plug Kit – This might seem like an obvious suggestion but not only should you always have one or more of these on hand at all times, but you should also be checking their dates, regularly. Another mistake we made along the way was having old, tire plugs, every time we tried to use them they broke off and in the long run was probably the reason we ended up having a second flat tire.
- Full-Size Spare Tires– This one is pretty self-explanatory… most cars and RV’s these days come with a full-sized spare, which can be a literal lifesaver when the moment arises. If your adventure mobile does not have one, look into adding it! Better to have and not need than to need and not have!
- Tire Iron / A Lug Wrench- This one goes without saying, if you have a spare tire, even if it’s not a full-sized spare, then you definitely are going to need a way to take it off and switch it out. Most cars come with one, along with the spare, so double check your kit before buying, but if you don’t have one, you’re going to want to add it!
- A Good MultiTool– Have you ever played that game, you know the one where your house is on fire and you can only grab three things, well for us this would probably be one of those three. Seriously. There is no world in which a multi-tool shouldn’t exist. Even the unhandiest of unhandy people can find a use for this baby! We love Gerber brand products but there are plenty of other great options out there as well!
- Tire Pressure Gauge- This one could get complicated. I know you’re probably thinking to yourself, “how complicated could a pressure gauge be” well the answer is VERY. There are all kinds of advanced tire pressure monitoring systems out there- like this one- that will talk to your phone and give you digital readings of exactly how much pressure is in each of your tires. A lot of people love them and are willing to pay the extremely high price tag that comes with the peace of mind they provide. We, however, are not those people. We’re old school, or maybe we’re just old but a classic basic pressure monitor seems to do the trick for us! Whatever you choose, as always it’s important to listen to your inner voice and choose what’s right for you! If you have a monitor already, we’d love to hear about your preferred brand in the comments!
- Road Flares- There’s a reason professional driver’s carry these; they save lives. Surprisingly the US, has lots of remote roadways where visibility isn’t always great, being able to signal other motorists that something isn’t quite right up ahead can not only save your life but possibly some else’s as well!
Pro Tip: Practice with these once or twice BEFORE you need to actually use them, and always check the expiration dates to avoid accidents!
- Hazard Triangles- If you’re not comfortable using road flares these are a great alternative way to signal to other motorists that you’re in distress, and to keep you and them safe in the process!
- Hazard Vest- Ok, ok, this looks goofy we know, like seriously ridiculously goofy but they could mean the difference between life and death. Did you know that one in ten police deaths are a result of strikes by cars while having someone pulled over to the side of the road? That’s crazy, and those are professionals. Personally, death by a rapidly moving car doesn’t sound all too pleasant. Buy a vest. Wear a vest.
- Gorilla Clear Tape- Want to know the best way to fix a huge crack in a windshield when you can’t get it fixed ASAP? Cove it with clear tape. Seriously. Cover those cracks and smashes with clear tape will keep dirt and grime out of the crack, and hopefully keep the crack from spreading more before it can get fixed.
- Window Fix Kit From RainX- We’ll admit we had our doubts about this little kit. Could patching your own windshield really be so simple and affordable? The answer is yes. It surprised us too. We’ve always carried windshield coverage on all our vehicles, however, we have found ourselves in plenty of situations where a quick fix by a pro just wasn’t possible and this little kit has saved us time and time again!
- Solar Cell Charger- So here’s the scenario, you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere and your car won’t turn over. Yep, that’s happened. You look down and see you have full bars but only 10% battery- in short, you’re screwed. Yep. Having a backup source of power ready and on the go can be a game-changer in situations like this one. We love our little portable solar charger, it has saved our butts more than once!
- Craftsman Tool Kit- A little bit of this and a little bit of that. A well-rounded tool kit is a necessary item for any long term road tripper or RVer. You never realize how much value on of these little kits have in a roadside emergency until you need it. We personally love Craftsman products for their lifetime warranty on everything they make- buy it once, buy it for life!
- Work Gloves- Hot surfaces, sharp surfaces, in the case of our roadside disaster, a combination of both. Having a sturdy pair of reliable work gloves will save you a lot of injuries to go with the insult of having a roadside emergency.
- Jumper Cables- Dead batteries are the worst. Even worse, is finding a kind soul who will give you a jump only to realize that neither of you have a set of jumper cables. Bummer. Don’t let that be you, add a shiny new pair of jumper cables to your roadside emergency kit and then hope you never have to use them!
- Basic First Aid Kit- This is a roadtrip and RV essentail. No way around it. Accidents happen when no one expects them too, that’s why they’re called accidents. Be prepared with a basic first aid kit, and a bit of knowledge on how to use them. The American Red Cross offers fanstic lifesaving classes and first aid basics, you can find out more here.
- Roadside Assistance Program With Phone Numbers– Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Or does it? Does anyone write anything down anymore? We don’t, but we’ve learned to. After having more than one instance without cell coverage or access to our phones in moments when we could really use it the most, we have learned to write down the important stuff and stash it our glove box, so in a pinch, we at least have access to the numbers we need.
- Extra Cash- Want to know something crazy? We used to never carry cash. Ever. Carrying cash and bothering to actually go out to get it always seemed like an extra chore, but it’s an extra chore worth doing. Having a secret stash of a small amount of money tucked away in your vehicle in the case of an emergency can come in handy in lots of ways. We have a nice little hidden spot we keep it in, that we both have access to. You should too! PS: now that we’ve told you we carry our millions with us ( totally kidding) please don’t rob us if you run into us on the road!