I spend a lot of time on the road. As I write this, I’m visiting my parents, which is about a seven-hour drive from my home in Florida. And, I don’t usually mind traveling … except for that jaunt around Atlanta (let’s not discuss that). Traveling isn’t just as simple as jumping in the car and going; there are car maintenance issues to consider, podcasts to download, and preparations to make in case of an emergency because you can never be too careful.
It isn’t just when you’re in your car that you need to be prepared for every eventuality; it doesn’t hurt to be prepared at home either. With both the homefront and the open road accounted for, I’ve put together a list of 37 essential kits and supplies that anyone would be wise to have on hand. I’m talking about things like trunk organizers, solar lights and lanterns, and things like No. 30, which is so outrageous you’ll just have to scroll down to learn more. Take it on the road (or not) with the three dozen travel, car and survival kits below!
We hope you find these products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: We are a participant in the Amazon affiliate program, and Brainjolt may receive a share of sales from links on this page. Prices on Amazon fluctuate so anything mentioned below might change as soon we publish it!
Manage The Junk In Your Trunk
Whoever coined the phrase, “junk in the trunk,” I don’t think they were referring to the literal junk in your literal trunk. Nevertheless, I know it’s there and you know it’s there so it’s time to do something about it. This super-capacity trunk organizer attaches to the back of your backseat, providing great organization for your cargo area. Stash your jumper cables, first aid, and more in this oversized organizer.
I’m A Creep(er)
I’m not calling you a creeper here, but this is most definitely a creeper seat, which converts from a sit-on stool to a lie-on rolling bed to solve all manner of automotive issues. Thick padded cushions make this a comfortable option for maintenance and swivel casters keep it easily maneuverable. A retractable pin transitions this from a seat to a bench that supports up to 300 pounds.
Ugly, foggy, hazy headlights are the worst. This headlight restoration kit promises to remove scratches, yellowing, oxidation, and haze to make your headlights look good as new. It’ll also save you a ton of money by simply doing it yourself — $17 versus whatever a local garage might take you for. On the road, you’ll have increased brightness and improved visibility, which is worth every penny.
If you’re as intrigued by the idea of a fire blanket as I am, keep reading. What you’re buying here is a fiberglass blanket that works to suppress fires in your home. This would come in particularly handy in the kitchen where these types of things occasionally pop up. Fire extinguishers make quite a mess (though a life-saving one) so this makes for a quick, mess-free option.
Go, Wherever You Go
When you gotta go … you gotta go, regardless of whether you’re camping far away from a bathroom or sitting in traffic with no hope of making it to one in time. These disposable urinal bags work in all types of scenarios for men, women, and children to collect all the usual suspects like urine or, ahem, vomit. As someone who suffers from motion sickness on the regular, I can definitely see the benefit of keeping these handy.
The Most Comprehensive Survival Kit
Usually, emergency survival kits have two or three helpful things in them and loads of stuff that isn’t. Helpful, that is. This 200-piece emergency kit is packed full of the good stuff, though, like medical supplies, fishing gear, a compass, firestarter, and tactical defense whistle. It also comes with a first aid kit with bandages, wound and alcohol pads, and a whole lot more.
You probably wouldn’t consider cleaning the interior of your car unless you’re A. My mom or B. Having a major mess-making episode. This cleaning gel is still good to have on hand in your travel kit because it picks up things other cleaning products leave behind like dust and small particles. You can even get into cracks, crevices, and air vents with ease.
A Complete Cover-Up
These car seat covers won’t help you much in case of an emergency, but they will help you hide the potential consequences of one. (Think sick kids, puppy problems, spills, stray markers … you get the idea.) Available as a full set for both front and back seats in a variety of color options, Amazon will even confirm these fit your specific vehicle when you enter that information on the page.
You’ll Wheel-y Like This
While you’re preparing for any number of emergency situations, why not upgrade your steering wheel with this universal microfiber steering wheel cover? This can hide a steering wheel that’s already suffering from cracking or peeling or protect it before that starts. It comes in black and an assortment of colorful options that are easy to install and comfortable to the touch.
Take A Seat
We’ve already talked about one creeper seat for the garage, but this one offered added functionality that might be right up your alley. This padded mechanic’s seat offers a handy tool tray to keep your most essential tools at your fingertips. Swivel casters that rotate 360 degrees mean you can move smoothly around your work area and the thick padding is great for sitting for prolonged periods.
Hit The Deck
What would you do in the event of a disaster? Keep calm and call 911? Panic? This set of emergency survival cards, dubbed the Disaster Deck, tells you everything you’d need to know in case of a winter storm, heat wave, or more significant events like a landslide or hurricane. Small enough to fit in your pocket or bag, you’ll be calm, controlled, and ready to problem solve no matter what’s in your way.
Crack The Code
Don’t pay big bucks to have the dealership diagnose your car troubles. This OBD2 code scanner works just like the ones they have (and the ones that auto parts stores have) in the comfort of your own garage. Determine the cause of your engine light, decipher codes or check vehicle stats in the palm of your hand. You’ll get more than your money’s worth on this one.
Spray It Away
I do a great job remembering to wash my car. I even do a pretty adequate job of keeping the interior neat and orderly. What I often fail to do is something simple: Wiping down my dashboard and center console. This interior cleaner and protectant from Chemical Guys is safe for all types of car interiors and helps protect against UV damage and discoloration. It’s an Amazon bestseller for a reason.
Put Your Purse On A Pedestal
What do you do about the things you want to have close at hand in the car that always seems to be in the way? This storage solution for your handbag offers you a place to stash it between the seats. The purse holder not only gives you an out-of-the-way but-within-reach option but serves an added function as a barrier to keep kids and pets in the backseat where you put them.
You never want to think about getting stranded on the side of the road; nevertheless, it happens. This roadside emergency kit will keep you safe from other vehicles and the elements while you diagnose the problem with your ride. the whole thing weighs less than four pounds and includes important things like a high-visibility vest, jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, and more.
I don’t care how many knockoffs people come up with for the Yeti Rambler, I’ll always go back to the original. Coming in at 20 ounces, this vacuum-insulated stainless steel tumbler is the OG for a reason. It keeps things cold — or warm — for hours, the exterior won’t sweat and it comes with a MagSlider lid. No worries about fitting into your cup holders either.
A Straw For The Environment
You never know where life is going to take you. One of those places might be outdoors where potable drinking water is not always readily available. This LifeStraw is a portable option for giving you clean drinking water wherever you are. Equipped with a microfiltration membrane, remove nearly 100 percent of bacteria and parasites instantaneously. One filter works for 1,000 gallons of water.
I never want anything more badly than basic lights and air conditioning when the power goes out. You can get at least one of those things back, even if the power hasn’t been restored, with these LED power failure lights. Use it as a nightlight in an outlet and it’ll be powered and ready to go as an emergency power source to give you up to seven hours of light when you need it most.
Try A Travel Towel
Towels occupy a lot of space, don’t they? Take a look in your bathroom linen closet or your gym bag if you doubt me. This travel towel is absorbent, soft, and ultra-portable thanks to its small size and included travel size. Made from high-quality soft microfiber, these are perfect to stash in your bag or trunk or with your camping gear. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes from extra small to XXL.
Make A Mess
One of my favorite memories from childhood was camping at a local lake with my parents and eating breakfast the next morning. We didn’t have a cool camping cookware mess kit like this one, but if we had, we might’ve camped a whole lot more. This set includes nonstick pots and pans, two folding bowls, and dishware for two people. The set weighs a total of two pounds and is made from stainless steel.
Keep The Heat
Have you ever seen first responders wrap someone in a metalized plastic sheet to keep them warm? It doesn’t seem like it would work, does it? But, it does and I’m not here to get into the science of it. I’m not Bill Nye. I am here to show you how you can get your own in the form of these hybrid emergency blanket rain ponchos. You get the warming capabilities of an emergency blanket with a reflective exterior to keep you safe and seen.
A Flare For The Dramatic
It can almost be more dangerous to have to pull over than to keep driving with an automobile problem, especially if it’s dark. This set of LED road flares will give you 360-degree, one-mile visibility with nine flash modes that you can put around your car in the event of an emergency. When you’re finished with them, simply tuck them in the included pouch and toss them in your trunk.
You’ll Get A Charge Out Of These
Portable phone batteries should win an award for the most valuable tech accessory. These emergency phone chargers aren’t reusable like portal chargers, but they do provide up to four hours of talk and text in the event your battery is drained and you need desperately to communicate with someone. Buy them in a three-, six- or 10-pack for a shot of juice on the go.
Say No To Dental Drama
Dental emergencies only work in two ways — at the most inconvenient time in the most inconvenient place. This first aid kit is focused solely on your teeth and dental emergencies. It contains pain relievers as well as dental supplies such as floss, cotton rolls, a temporary cavity filling mixture, and a dental wax temporary filling. It won’t fix everything, but it will hold you over until you can get in to see your dentist.
When you’re planning for emergencies, you can’t forget your furry friends. This pet travel kit was designed with them in mind. Equipped with more than 100 pieces of first-aid gear plus an emergency pet thermometer, emergency collar, and tick remover in a reusable mini pouch, reviewers have given this kit five stars and said things like: “This has all the essentials you would need to provide proper pet first aid and CPR in order to help get them to a vet for treatment.”
If you don’t think a wardrobe malfunction is an emergency situation, you apparently didn’t watch the halftime show of Super Bowl 38. (Seriously, go look it up on YouTube.) A sewing kit with over 130 pieces of sewing supplies can handle everything from sewing a button back on to creating a quick hem. You’ll get loads of colored thread, measuring tape, needles, and more in this grab-and-go kit.
Get It On Tape
Duct tape solves everything — just ask any man in a four-block radius. This pocket-sized duct tape is folded flat for easy transport and comes in three colors; this one is black, orange, and silver. Use it for camping, hiking, fishing, school, cycling, travel, emergencies, auto, crafts, and anything else you can dream up. Strong and durable, the whole kit weighs less than two ounces.
In the age of smartphones, a multifunctional weather radio may seem obsolete … until your phone has lost its charge and you’re sitting in the dark. (Maybe literally.) Tenergy’s NOAA weather radio is a must-have tool during disasters such as power outages, hurricanes, or earthquakes with built-in tools such as an LED flashlight, SOS siren, USB power bank, and AM/FM/WM radio frequencies.
Harness the power of the sun to prepare for lights-out emergency situations using this lightweight, inflatable, collapsible, waterproof, shatterproof, and dustproof solar lantern. Charge it outside in approximately 10 hours or plug it in with the included micro USB for a complete charge in up to two hours. Once fully charged, you’ll get up to 24 hours of light in a package that works at home or away.
Always Wear Clean Underwear
Did your mom constantly remind you to “wear clean underwear” as a child and teenager? Mine did. Little could she have known then that I could buy a 20-pack of disposable underwear to carry with me so my underwear is always clean. (Ha! Gotcha, mom.) Available for men or women, these individually rolled undies are great for emergencies or to pack when traveling.
Ice Cream That’s Out Of This World
I can plainly remember trying astronaut ice cream when I was in elementary school so of course, you can now buy it on Amazon. This freeze-dried dessert pack is actually a lot of fun, but could also come in handy in dire situations. You’ll get six in flavors like strawberry, banana, and Neopolitan. These come ready to eat with no refrigeration or rehydration necessary.
Snag A Survival Shovel
I hate it when I have to help bury a body and I don’t have a shovel handy. Wait, scratch that, I’m only joking. There are scenarios I could see, however, when a portable shovel would be super convenient. This folding survival shovel functions as a pick, scoop, saw ax, bottle opener, rescue whistle, magnesia rod, fish knife, hammer, and wrench in one highly portable, convenient package.
Pitch An (Emergency) Tent
If you can’t imagine a scenario where you might have to pitch an emergency tent, I recommend that you stay indoors or as close to civilization as possible at all times. This emergency shelter keeps you dry and alive in a waterproof, windproof design that can accommodate two people. It’s made from heavy-duty material that won’t tear or rip and won’t weigh down the rest of your gear at just a hair under nine ounces.
A Life Insurance Policy In Your Pocket
I mean, who doesn’t want to carry a life insurance policy in their pocket? I know I do. That’s what they bill this tiny survival guide as and it makes perfect sense. Equipped with information on everything from an active shooter situation to wilderness mishaps, this is the perfect choice for studying before an emergency presents itself to get your mind right.
Flashlights are great, but sometimes you need light and the use of both of your hands. These LED headlamps are the ideal option. They feature removable, washable, and adjustable headbands that work for adults or kids and bright lights with seven modes, and a 45-degree adjustable head. Weather-resistant and shockproof, you can safely use these indoors or out.
Just A Spark
Don’t take this as me encouraging your inner fire starter here, but this magnesium fire starter could be your new best friend if you spend any time camping or hiking. Not only will it help you get heat and flames going ASAP, but it also has an included compass and whistle. Use this fire starter for up to 15,000 strikes, which is a great deal for less than eight bucks.
Your Own Ladder Company
No one wants to think about a fire escape ladder until it’s too late. Don’t be that person. For right around $32, you can invest in this anti-slip rope ladder that attaches easily to the most common windows and can support weight up to 1,000 pounds. This one is great for a two-story home and comes in a tangle-free design that you won’t have to worry about if the moment to use it ever happens.