So, you’ve spent a long winter, holed-up at home because of the winter weather, but also because travel and gathering restrictions have been in place for seemingly ages due to COVID. But now, we have sprung forward and the days are getting longer, sunnier and the weather is warming. Typically, that has people screaming one thing: “Rooooad trrriip!” Of course this year, the enthusiasm maybe tempered a little bit, but until we’re told we can’t leave our homes for any reason, the call of the wild will always be there.
So, as we look forward to a spring and summer with hopefully a few miles under our wheels, there are a few important tools we should ensure we bring along before we hit the roads this spring and summer.
Reflective safety triangle
This may not seem like much, but a bright, reflective triangle is an inexpensive piece of on-board gear that every motorist should have. Though the days are longer, there are still plenty of opportunities to find one’ self on an unlit road at night with the need to pull over. Attaching one of these either to the underside of your trunk or keeping a freestanding one on-board is crucial for road safety. They don’t take up that much room and they aren’t that expensive (often coming as part of larger safety kits with flares and more), but they can do a world of good for passers-by. If you really want to be seen, pack a high-visibility safety vest for good measure as well.
While the triangle is more of a nighttime thing, a working jack is a tool that will come in handy at all hours of the day. An on-board jack is crucial for emergency situations such as flat tires that inevitably will occur on spring and summer drives, especially when driving off the beaten track. Be sure you have a properly inflated spare tire while you’re at it as well.
Tire trouble is one thing, but powertrain trouble is a bit of a different animal. Luckily, the tried, tested and true jumper cable is still a workhorse in today’s modern autos. They can get you out of many binds, and are simple to use especially if you happen to be driving in convoy and have another vehicle you can easily hook up to.
Device charge cable
While this is almost second nature by now, a device charging cable should probably have a home in your car. Yes, onboard wireless chargers are becoming more and more prevalent in new cars, but they tend not to charge your device quite as quickly. Of course, a dead car battery means no device charging as well, so you would be wise to bring along a portable charger as well.
First aid kit
Remember the old Nissan Xterra SUV, the one with a bump on its tailgate? That wasn’t there just for looks (which would have been strange, because it looks rather weird), it was there to house a first-aid kit because Nissan understood how important these were to have, especially on an off-roader whose owners might find themselves regularly in the wild and far away from any clinic. A first-aid kit with gauze, tweezers, scissors, nonlatex gloves, bandages and some medical tape (as well as some pain medication) is a must.
Non-perishable food items
Energy bars, bottled water, dried fruit, and nuts – these are all necessities to have on trips. Heck, even if you’re not on a trip, they’re great to have on-board if you’re late for work and need to skip breakfast. So make sure to pack a few with you when you are planning to go on the road.