The Ultimate Car Survival Kit

Survival Kit

If you have not found yourself stranded on the side of the road this winter, consider yourself lucky. Unfortunately, we are only half way through the cold months and a winter-related breakdown is still a very real possibility. Prepare yourself by creating the ultimate car survival kit for your trunk. Here are some things to include:

Items To Include In Your Car Survival Kit


Hand Crank Flash lite

Freeplay Kito is one of the more durable flashlights on the market.

Not only can a flashlight come in handy to assess a problem under the hood when stranded on the side of the road, but it can also be used to flag passing motorists in the event of an emergency. Consider purchasing a flashlight that can be charged using the 12V cigarette lighter socket, or a hand crank model. Don’t bother with batteries. Your car goes through extreme temperature throughout the year and that wreaks havoc on batteries.

Tire Repair Tools

Don’t let a flat stop you in your tracks. Everybody talks about tire repair inflators such as Fix A Flat as the best solution but in reality they don’t work that well. Consider a tire repair plug kit. Also if you plan to use this kit make sure to include a milt-tool with pliers to help you pull out the screw or nail that you ran over. These kits are not good for sidewall punctures. In that case the spare is your best option. Make sure the kit you buy includes a T-handle. You’ll need your knife in the multi-tool to trim the plug. The material used to plug the hole are nylon covered in a rubber tar. Y our kit will also come with a reamer to condition the hole and a needle to insert the plug. You also have rubber cement to seal the plug as well. This method will take longer but it will fix your tire permanently. Fix A Flat as a single solution is not smart. It ruins the inside of your tires. After fixing the flat with your tire repair kit. you’ll need to reinflate the tire. We suggest a low cost 12 volt compressor that runs off your cigarette lighter.

Winter Blankets and Gloves

Every year, storms such as the one that hit in November in Buffalo, NY trap hundreds of people in their vehicles. Keeping an extra blanket or a winter hat and gloves in your survival kit will help you conserve precious fuel and stay safe during a crippling storm. Gloves are also hugely important. Ever have to change your tire in 10 degree weather? I can tell you from experience that is not fun. Gloves are a life saver.

Cat Litter

Kitty litter

Visit Costco to get a 42lb bag for under $13 bucks..

Cat litter can be used to clean up spills or provide much needed traction if your wheels are slipping on ice or snow. A 40 pound bag of cat litter is inexpensive and will even provide a bit of weight to your trunk which can prevent the chance of spinning out or fishtailing on slick roads. The next time you visit the dollar store pick up a bag or two. It’ll be the cheap brand but it will be the real stuff which is bentonite clay. Bentonite clay provides the absorbency that you looking for.

Phone Contacts

While cell phones have revolutionized the way we communicate, they have also made the need to memorize phone numbers a long-forgotten skill. Keep a list of important phone numbers – relatives, auto repair shops, etc. – in your vehicle in case you find yourself with a dead phone battery. Make sure to add Paul Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center to your list – 302-777-7170!

Road Flares

orion-road-flareIn the event of a breakdown, try to move your vehicle off the road or away from areas that could cause a collision with other vehicles. Unfortunately, sometimes this is simply not possible. In cases like these, road flares can signal to passing vehicles that you are an obstruction that needs to be avoided. Consider the longer 30 minute flares they a just a big longer in length and won’t take up much more space in the trunk.

When and if a breakdown happens, it’s best to be prepared. These items in your car survival kit will make you safe and comfortable during a breakdown. If you get stuck in Wilmington DE we can help with towing. We can also help get car up and running again. Contact us to learn about our complete auto care services. Both of our auto repair shops in Wilmington are ready to put you first.

What Items Work For Your Personal Car Survival Kit?

What items do you stash in your car for emergencies? Share your items with us. We wan to know. Reply below and let us know what works for your car survival kit.


Paul Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Wilmington Location (302) 777-7170, Pike Creek Location (302) 998-2234, Hockessin Location (302) 239-2512, Kennett Square Location (610) 990-4400, Swarthmore Location (610) 328-7884 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.