Monday, April 11, 2022

Items in My Emergency Car Kit

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Several months ago on Instagram, I mentioned that I keep a bunch of items in our vehicle just in case, and I had a lot of requests from you readers to share the items.  My editorial calendar was completely full then because of the holidays, so I wasn’t able to share a post then, but now that summer travel is on the horizon, I thought it was the perfect time.  

Doing this post also gave me a good excuse to clean out my vehicle, add a few things to my kit, and reorganize it all.  Now we’re ready for all the summer road trips!

I drive a Kia Telluride, and I love it because it has soooo many handy little compartments, and there’s no wasted space in there.  Because of this, I have a couple of really nice spots to store all of our items… I have a large center console next to the driver’s seat where I store the items that we use frequently, and then the rest of the items are stored in the trunk area.   

While gathering and cleaning out all of our items, I snapped this picture of most everything that I keep in the car, but there are a few items not pictured here.  Ready to see details for everything that’s in there?  

Front Console

As I said before, I store all of the items that we use frequently in the center console for easy access, and here’s what I keep in there…

Hand Sanitizer – I always have hand sanitizer on hand.  When the kids get in the car after school, they grab the hand sanitizer.  If we’re on the road and they want a snack, hand sanitizer first!  I’ve been a germaphobe for years, so we’ve been using the hand sanitizer long before the pandemic started.

Hand Wipes – These are for the same reasons above, but I get the kids to use this if their hands are particularly dirty… that way, they can actually clean their hands and not just rub the dirt around with the hand sanitizer. 

Barf Bags – Both of our kiddos have had instances where they’ve gotten motion sick on long trips, so I bought this set of barf bags to keep in the car.  These are awesome because the rings make it easy for the kids to hold and aim properly (ew) and when you’re done, you just twist them up, and pull the twisted part through one of the slits to keep it sealed.  When the kids had the flu back in December, I was verrrry grateful that we had these in the car, because we actually had to use one.  Sigh.

Disposable Face Masks – Because Covid. 

Tissues – I keep a full box of tissues in the center console because they can be used for anything… for runny noses, to spit out gum, to hold snacks, to wipe up spills…

Feminine Products – I don’t think we need to elaborate on this one…

Extra Phone Cable – I keep a cable plugged in at all times to charge my phone, and I have an extra one that I store in the center console for when B and I are both in the car together.  We love these nylon braided ones!

Peppermints – These are kept on hand to aid with any motion sickness issues.  They really seem to help the kids when they get nauseated from riding in the car too long.  We love these soft ones because they’re not quite as potent as the hard ones, and they’re chewable.

Small Trash Bags – These are kept on hand for emergency situations (like when ice cream is dripping everywhere and napkins aren’t cutting it), and they also come in handy when I want to randomly clean all of the trash out of the car.  I tend to do that while waiting in the parking lot at Olivia’s dance studio, so it’s nice to have the bags on hand. 

First Aid Kit – This little kit contains all of the basic things we may need… mostly Band-Aids.

And that’s it for the front console.  Next up, is the back!

One of my most favorite parts about the Telluride is the storage in the trunk area… just pull the handle, and the entire “floor” of the trunk area comes out to reveal a huge compartment where you can store tons of stuff.  That compartment is where I keep the majority of our items (the ones we don’t use often), and then I store our most used items on top of that compartment. 

Here’s what the hidden compartment looks like when it’s closed...

And here’s what it looks like when it’s open... look how big it is!

Now, let’s see what I keep in there…

Trunk Area, Inside the Compartment

Items that aren’t used frequently are tucked away inside the compartment so they’re not in the way.  These are the items that I store in there…

Tools / Jumper Cables – That Panasonic kit on the left has all of the tools needed to change a tire or jump the car off if you have a dead battery.  We have free roadside assistance included with our insurance, though, so I doubt I’d ever use it.  I’ll be calling Roadside Assistance before trying to do either of those things myself.  Haha.  It’s good to know that we have it on hand, though.

Air Pressure Gauge – B bought this to keep in my car to check the air in my tires in my old vehicle.  My current vehicle now has a fancy display that tells you the air pressure, so we probably don’t really need this anymore. 

Bungee Cords – Because you never know when you’ll need to tie something down!  Brian is the king of bungee cords, and he uses them frequently.

Towel – I keep this on hand in case there’s ever a large spill or if someone gets really soaked for whatever reason.  You just never know when you may need to clean something up or dry someone off when you have kids.

Reusable Shopping Bags – I like to keep them on hand for hauling things into the kids’ school when I’m volunteering, and for plenty of other things.  Eventually I plan to get a bigger set so I can start using them for all of our groceries. 

Outdoor Blanket – This handy little blanket is made of acrylic so it’s waterproof, and it’s the perfect thing to lay down on the grass for a picnic, outdoor concert, pool day, or beach day.  It folds up into itself like a bag and it has a handle for convenience.

Lantern – I always keep a lantern on hand in case of emergency, too.  I love the one we have because it has different settings, and it has a pull-out hook on the bottom in case we’re ever in a situation where we’d need to hang it. 

Flip Flops – I’ve always kept a cheap, comfy pair of flip flops in my car just in case I’m ever in a situation where I’m wearing heels or other uncomfortable shoes and my feet get tired.

Toilet Paper – I keep a roll of toilet paper in the car just in case.  Thankfully, we’ve never had to use that, but you just never know…

Extra Barf Bags – To replace the ones up front if they get used.  That way, we’re never without one.

Paper Towels – I keep a roll of paper towels on hand for spills. 

Extra Umbrellas – I keep an umbrella in each front door pocket so we always have them at our fingertips, and then I store extras in the back because you just never know when you may need another one…

Disposable Ponchos – I also keep ponchos in there, too, just in case. 

Trunk Area, On Top of the Compartment

Items that are used frequently but don’t need to be used inside the car are stored in the trunk on top of the compartment.  That way they’re not taking up passenger space, but they’re super easy to access when needed.

Folding Chairs – We use these for all of Jacob’s baseball games, and for other events, too, so they’re always in my car!

Large Fuzzy Blanket – We also keep a fuzzy blanket in there to have on hand in case the temperature unexpectedly drops during one of Jacob’s baseball games.

Large Bogg Bag – The Bogg bag serves two purposes.  Most importantly, it holds all of the items that need to be dropped off somewhere (Amazon returns that need to be taken to UPS, items that need to be returned to Target/Walmart/etc., books that need to be returned to the library, Tupperware that needs to be returned to my mom or mother-in-law from leftovers, clothes that need to be taken to the seamstress, etc.).  Having all of those things right there in the Bogg Bag makes it easy for me to see all of the errands I need to run, and it frees up counterspace in the house by the garage door where I used to stack it all.  The Bogg Bag is also stored in the car because it can be emptied easily if we ever need to use it to carry stuff.  As a parent, there’s always so. much. stuff. to carry everywhere we go.  Haha.  Bogg Bags also have little clear pouches that hang inside of them, and I keep extra sunglasses (for everyone), extra hand sanitizer, and a hair brush in the clear pouch just in case. 

And that’s everything that I keep in our car!  There are several other items that I’ve considered storing in there as well, and those are listed below…

Other Items to Keep in Your Vehicle

Changes of Clothes – Always good to have on hand if you have kids, especially if you have small kids who aren’t yet potty trained.

Sea Bands – I’ve heard amazing things about these for motion sickness, but we’ve never tried them.

Sunscreen – I would love to keep this in the car, but we live in the south, and it gets HOT in the car during the summer.  I always worry about the aerosol cans exploding if they get too hot.  Not sure if that can even happen but who knows?!

Snacks – I’ve also considered storing snacks in the car, but I just don’t think anything would keep well in the southern summer heat.

Bottled Water – Always good to have on hand, but again, I don’t keep it in my vehicle because it’s just too hot the majority of the year.

Is there anything I’m forgetting?


  1. You are so prepared and this is such a great post! I have a few of these things that I need to put everything together in one kit. I love this post.

  2. This post is so helpful! We have zip lock bags in our car for possible car sickness, but that's it! I do end up keeping sunscreen in the car in the summer at times, but I know it's not too smart!

  3. Of course I knew you would be super organized in the car as well! We have slowly started to build up our emergency kit in the car!!

  4. Great post! I need to update my essentials now that I went back to an Expedition.
    I love keeping my Bogg Bag in the trunk for that same reason!

  5. Oh my stars, Lindsay!!! Okay, so I'm adding this to the list of things I need to do in my life! Great post!

  6. This is definitely a good list and something I need to do for my car.

  7. Our front consoles sound very similar (thought I no longer need feminine products after my surgery and I keep my hand sanitizer on my keychain so we even have it out hiking). Oh and my disposable masks are in the trunk since we hardly ever need them though I do keep some cloth ones wrapped around my shifter just in case as I rarely think to grab them for dentist/doctor visits. In my trunk space I keep a large first aid kit, paper towels, extra oil for the car, a few blankets, and my ice/snow scraper. I do have another basket in the trunk for reusable bags and in the winter I keep extra hat/gloves/ coat and then update it for this time of year when I have a raincoat and hiking/hunting vests so we're well seen even when we hike where hunting is allowed as well as sunscreen and bug/tick spray.

    1. So many good things! It hasn't ever occurred to me to keep extra oil in the car. That's super smart!

  8. You are so organized! I swear, I need to get some barf bags for my car for just anytime, because there has been those times... even with them older now! LOL!



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