Assembling Your Emergency Breakdown Kit
Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. With such certainty about the outcome, it seems bizarre that so few drivers are prepared for the inevitability of car failure! Today, we are going to give you our thoughts on the must-haves when it comes to kitting your car out with an emergency break down kit. ‘Always be prepared’ is the motto of the Boy Scouts of America, and most of those guys aren’t even old enough to drive. What’s your excuse!?
Item number 1: First Aid Kit.
Now this doesn’t haven’t to include everything from a scalpel to a defibrillator (but if you happen to have one lying around then why not?). A standard store-bought first aid kit should have all the basic stuff included and may prove invaluable in an emergency situation. Even having some plasters and disinfectant ready to hand in the event that you nick yourself while doing basic repairs is a good thing.
Item number 2: Tool kit/Multi-Tool
Ideally, a small tool kit including things like screwdrivers, car jacks and tire irons would be top of the dream wish list. However, if that seems like a little too much, a good multi-tool should cover most bases. If even that seems like a bridge too far, then shame on you! But at the very least, chuck in a Swiss Army knife as a substitute.
Item number 3: Torch
A solid and dependable torch is a must-have when trying to do some rushed repairs at night-time. Many modern smartphones have a torch included, but we don’t recommend relying on them too much as they are not as easy to handle, don’t take too kindly to rain and will probably set you back a bit more than the torch if you happen to drop them mid-job.
Item number 4: Jump leads
You’ve already flagged down a good Samaritan and they’ve agreed to lend you some of their time and battery energy. Do you really want to be the guy who then asks to borrow a set of jumper leads. ‘Cos nobody likes that guy. Nobody.
Item number 5: An emergency triangle
Roadside stoppages come with a number of risks. You can offset one of the main ones by ensuring you have an emergency triangle ready to deploy to let any fellow road users know in advance that you are taking up space on the side of the road.
Item number 6: Rain gear
Might seem obvious but we are constantly surprised by how often car owners neglect it. Nothing causes an almost movie-esque feeling of despair like having to change a tire or jump start a battery in the rain when you have nothing between you and the elements but your favourite silk shirt. Even some black plastic bags tucked into the boot can go a long way to alleviating the stress involved here. These are also doubly useful if you need to get down on your knees to look under the car.
Item number 7: Supplies and comforts
This one is a little broad but you should take some time to consider the comfort needs of you and your passengers. Water and non-perishable snacks should be top of the list, but if you are travelling with kids or even a baby, you should adapt you list of necessities accordingly.