Okay…You KNOW I had to make a Dec 21, 2012 post.  Hopefully you’re all around to read it ;)

Instead of talking about The End though, how about something practical — like emergency car kits?

My sister-in-law called the other day to find out what she should put in a car kit, so I thought I’d sketch out some of the details here in case you guys haven’t put one in the car yet.  Modify this for your area (e.g., if you’re not prone to snow, etc)

Since my brother drives 35 miles of winding canyon road in a ski town, we planned for severe winter driving, and the possibility that he’d slide off the road and get stranded.

In a summertime camping cooler (because it’s empty and unused right now) she put:

  • Waterproof matches
  • A soup can for starting fires
  • An emergency blanket (the silver one)
  • One of their extra warm down sleeping bags (also unused from the camping season)
  • High calorie food bars
  • A water bottle — either empty to fill with snow and melt, or full
  • A collapsible shovel
  • A whistle
  • A compass and old-school paper map of the area (never know where you’re going to get stranded…nice to know if a subdivision is right over that hill, or if you’re 10 miles away from the nearest house.  Print a satellite view of google maps in a pinch.)
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries — in an ziploc for extra waterproofing
  • Extra clothes — especially extra boots and several pair of warm socks
  • First aid kit

Because of the sheer amount of snow and the absolute likelihood that he’ll have at least one incident, I also recommended that he keep their Mr. Heater and a propane bottle in the Jeep as well (Yes, he’s driving a jeep–see why I’m certain??).  Since they have all this super camping equipment, and he has the space, why not store it where he has quick access to it, and it just might save his life?

Now, if you’re chauffering the same crew I am, space is at a premium in your car.  98% of all my driving is in the city, so the likelihood that I’ll get stranded for very long is minimal, so I’ve only packed what we’ll need for a few hours.  If we’re traveling, I adjust.

I have an old coffee can (the plastic one) with:

  • Power bars (ones I know the boys eat)
  • Water bottles
  • Emergency blankets
  • Matches
  • Soup can
  • Small first aid kit
  • Coloring books and crayons!

We travel with at least two blankets, extra shoes, and coats in the car all the time, so I’m planning on having those with me.

One thing I’ve had to add though, is an extra pair of shoes for me.  Last year, hubs bought me these bad ass Sorrell boots, but they’re usually in the garage.  Since I live in my barefeet, I rarely have shoes on in the car…something that might be an issue if we get stranded.  So, instead of storing the boots in the garage, I’m now storing them in the car…in the garage.

Remember to account for all the people you’re likely to have in the car.  Think about what your kids will need to have in an emergency (e.g., extra stuffed animals or woobies).  Rotate your water and food bars every couple of months–they’ll be fine, just taste funny.

What do you have in your car now?  If you got stranded tonight, how long would you survive for?  Did I forget anything important?

Stay safe, and happy 12-21-12

FYI, I put all the items on a wishlist if you want to add any of them to your own car kit.