What stuff should go in my car?

I'm getting a new car soon!  Or, well, not really a new car.  A car that I will soon be the sole primary driver of. There are a few reasons to be nervous about this:  Paying for gas, getting used to a new car, having to drive again...  (I don't like driving.)  But on the bright side, this gives me a new opportunity to re-think what supplies should be in my car.

Generally, there's a loose collection of things I like to have in my car in case of emergencies.  A good metal shovel (for digging myself out of snowbanks), blankets and pillows (for if and when I need to sleep in my car), an umbrella, a cane, at least two extra coats, and some food that's safe to store in a car.

But I actually want to put some more clear thought into it, this time.  So I'm going to go through some articles, and compile a list.


This list seems pretty douchey, but it contains some good ideas.  Things I intend to get on their list, that I hadn't already thought of:

  • Backup oil
  • Flashlight
  • First-aid kit

The Art of Manliness:[*]

  • Fully charged disposable cell phone for emergency 911 calls
  • LED flares or reflective triangles (The mention of LED flares seems sarcastic in the post, but it sounds a lot safer than traditional flares.)
  • MREs
  • Water
  • A tow strap
  • Folding shovel (as opposed to my usual big, heavy metal shovel.  Maybe.)

Lemondrop: 10 Things Every Woman Should Have In Her Car

  • Emergency mylar blankets (like the folding shovel, this one is a variant, and a maybe.)
  •  Solar panel charger (mentioned in #7)
  • Reusable shopping bags
  • Dog treats
  • Emergency snacks to stop me eating the real-emergency food when I'm just hungry.  (Extrapolated from #4)
  • Money
  • Spare books

24/7 Moms: Favorite 7 - Things To Keep In Your Car

  • Wet Wipes/Hand Sanitizer
  • Activity Box (Mine will probably contain dice, cards, bananagrams, and some small notepads and pens)

orgjunkie.com - Vehicle Supplies

  • Sunblock
  • Bug spray
  • A collapsible chair
  • garbage bags
  • tissues
  • Sunglasses
  • Paper towels
  • Various general-use pills that can be stored safely in a glove compartment
  • Lip balm

VanillaJoy - Car Emergency Kit

  •  Crayons
  • Mirror
  • Screwdriver
  • Matches
  • Poncho

Budgets are Sexy - 5 Things to Always Keep In Your Car (this whole list, basically)

  • $1 bills and quarters
  • Anything I need to return or donate
  • Coupons
  • An emergency change of clothes, deodorant, toothbrush, socks
  • A power CD

And my own selections:

  • An umbrella
  • A cane
  • Stain remover (occurred to me when thinking of situations in which I might need that emergency change of clothes)
  • car battery to USB and standard outlet converter, as well as useful cords for devices that might need recharging
  • Several spare notebooks and writing utensils, of different varieties
  • A really, really good ice scraper
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Tape -- duct, painter's, scotch

If there's anything you think should be on this list, or anything you think I should remove, please comment below.  Also:  what sort of things do you keep in your car?