What should I bring?
Emergencies (I've had a few)
Emergencies with the car or with your health
will happen on your trip. I have been broken down in the strangest spots and
wish I would have brought some of these items. I also have injured myself
while traveling... like the time at Neys Provincial Park when I nearly split
my head open goofing around on some wet rocks. I was probably fifty to one
hundred miles from the next hospital. Note that some atlases and maps list
local hospitals. This is a good thing to look for when purchasing a map. To
find the nearest repairman, you should probably ask the locals. Check out my
I always use my Grundig Yacht Boy on long trips. It
is important to have a connection with the outside world, especially
when the weather gets bad or when in a traffic jam with no gas. Tune
your car radio to 1610 AM for local information if available. The major
AM stations usually list weather emergencies.
|Toilet paper I
keep it under my driver's seat because you never know how or when it
comes in handy.
It gets cold at night, even in
sunny New Mexico (he said from experience), so pack a blanket and a
sweater to keep you warm if you are in big trouble. Avoid getting this
stuff wet or you might literally die.
You will barely notice the tiny cans while packing,
but if there is no food around, tuna will provide you with a lot of good
energy in tight spots. I hate eating tuna personally, but you gotta do
what you gotta do.
Bring a first aid kit, but keep
it small. You are not qualified to do major surgeries anyway. Pack some
pain relievers, aloe, maybe itch relief, bandages, tape, and other items
you might need for your comfort and to stop bleeding.
sure there are matches in the car. The car lighters do not work like
that. (I tried once in Canada.) You may need to burn paper, wood, or
even the padding in your seats to cook or keep warm.
|Towels You need
this to keep your brow dry when you are stressed and to wipe off your
hands while doing repairs. They can also stop bleeding. So many uses and
it takes up so little space.
bring water and containers to collect water along your way. This is used
for roadside washing, drinking, and car repair if needed. I always bring
a container to use as emergency coolant and have once in a while had to
collect water from streams and odd and end spigots to keep the car
running. If possible keep this in the trunk, but if it is cold out you
should keep it in the cab.
|For the car
You need to
bring pre-diluted coolant, a bit of oil, a funnel, a filter (depending
on the area being traversed), bungee cords and cinches, a jack kit, a
spare tire, and a set of essential tools like wrenches, a hammer, a
blade, duct tape, and screwdriver. If it seems like it is taking up
space, know that it is a list of things I wish I had with me in various
situations that have arisen on the roads. I should probably join AAA.