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DIY Car Kit Ideas: List of Items

A DIY car kit is not the same thing as an emergency kit - they serve different purposes.

A true Emergency Kit should go in the back of the trunk, including items such as band-aids, Neosporin, and other trauma or survival aids. On the contrary, DIY Car Kits have non-emergency items ---but used for your own personal "emergencies," such as spilling ketchup on your shirt or a sudden headache when on the go.

**A DIY Car Kit should be in a small to medium sized container, with a zipping or buckling component to ensure the items stay inside. It can be a flimsy material bag, or a sturdy plastic container. But make sure it is small enough that it will not take up a lot of space in your back seat. The ideal size would be able to fit underneath the seat or on the floorboard.

See the items below to configure your own Car Kit according to what YOU think you'll need "in case of emergency!"

  • Altoids (or other mint that will not be affected by temperature)
    • Gum is usually not a good "Car Kit" item because it will either lose elasticity (meaning it will dissolve quickly) after being in a hot car, or it will be hard as a rock if left in a freezing cold car. 
    • The only gum that could work is the type they call "pellets" or "pillows." Orbit and Eclipse have this type of gum and it comes in a plastic container (instead of a packet).
  • Mini pack of Kleenex
  • Small stack of napkins (in case the drive-thru didn't give you any)
  • Tide-To-Go pen
  • Tylenol and allergy medicine
    • Put both medications in a single pill bottle or ziplock bag, unless they look very similar. This will save space. Plus you only need a small amount because a car kit is meant for "emergency" situations, not everyday use. 
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Floss / toothpicks
  • Pepper spray
  • Swiss Army Knife (for self defense or practical uses, such as small scissors)
  • Beer and/or wine bottle opener
  • Lighter
  • $20 cash
    • Some places you go unexpectedly only take cash, or you lost your wallet and your gas tank is on empty, or whatever the case may be...always have a little cash on you for emergency situations. Not any more than $50 would be my advice. 
    • If you use any of the money, be sure to replenish it as soon as possible.
  • Stack of quarters
    • Mainly for tollways, but you never know when you might need some change.
  • Hand lotion
  • Ball point pen
  • Mini bottle of perfume / cologne
  • Car freshener spray 
  • Wet wipes
  • Tampons / Pads (for women)
  • Gas-X / Tums
  • Pancho
  • Old I.D. / Driver's License
    • You're not supposed to have two I.Ds in your wallet, but just in case something happened and you lost your wallet / purse, you'll want to have an extra I.D. for security and safety reasons...especially if you have to drive somewhere and need some kind of identification in case you get pulled over. 
  • Small LED flash light
  • Pony tails and bobby pins (for women)
  • Car game or Book
    • For when you are parked and waiting on someone to pick up, or the kids are getting antsy on a long drive.
  • Mini lint roller
  • Car phone charger
  • Pair of gloves (winter)
  • Hand warmers (winter)
  • Window breaker / seatbelt cutter (for a real emergency):
    • You don't want this in the trunk of the car because it's purpose is to get you out of the car in a bad car wreck or dangerous situation that you are unable to get out of immediately.
    • Put this in your console or glove box.
  • Apron or adult "bib"
    • I don't keep one in my car kit, but there been countless times where I am eating on the go or drinking coffee and spill it on my outfit.... sometimes right before a meeting! 

Last but not least.......

After you use something in your car kit, don't forget to restock when you get home!

Disclaimer: The image I used for this blog was from the site:


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