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What Should I Keep in My Roadside Emergency Kit?

As drivers in South Dakota, we all know it's wise to prepare your vehicle for the winter, but having a roadside emergency kit for summer travel is just as important. High temperatures will most likely follow you wherever your summer travel plans take you and those 95 degree days can lead to an overheated vehicle. If you're miles from home and your vehicle breaks down a summer car emergency kit can help make the best of a bad situation. Let Vern Eide Motorcars help you prepare for your summer vacation with a roadside emergency kit checklist.

Summer Car Emergency Kit

Routine vehicle maintenance like an oil change and tire rotation is always a good idea before a summer road trip, but what should you keep in your roadside emergency kit? Your summer travel plans should include everything on this list:

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1. Water and Food

Best practice is one gallon of water plus an additional bottle of water for everyone in the vehicle. What food should you pack for an emergency kit? While items such as granola and crackers work great, dehydrated foods like beef jerky and dried fruits are also long-lasting options when sealed properly.

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2. Phone Charger

Depending on the situation you may need to call a tow truck or emergency roadside assistance. Keep an additional phone charger in your car emergency kit because a dead smartphone battery isn't an option if your vehicle breaks down in the unforgiving summer heat.

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3. First Aid Kit

You should always have a First Aid Kit in your car for unexpected injuries and ailments. Hopefully you will never have to use it, but things like bandages, gauze pads, tape, scissors, and ointments could prove very useful during a vehicle breakdown.

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4. Reflective Blanket

Also known as a space blanket or Mylar blanket, these lightweight blankets are made of thin, heat-reflective plastic sheeting and can provide some much needed shade from the hot summer sun. (A regular blanket will also work if you don't have a reflective one.)

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5. Tool Kit

For minor vehicle issues, a small tool kit or a multitool could get you back on the road quicker. Pack commonly used tools like pliers, a couple of different screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, and duct tape for small fixes.

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6. Spare Tire

Before you hit the open road this summer make sure your spare tire is properly inflated and the jack and lug wrench are also in the car. A tire sealant can also come in handy if you have the space.

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7. Jumper Cables

A roadside emergency kit with jumper cables can quickly get you back on the road if you have a dead car battery.

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8. Visibility Equipment

Not only do orange cones or reflective warning triangles help your visibility to other drivers during a vehicle breakdown, but this type of equipment will also keep you safer while you tend to your car problem.

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9. Tactical Flashlight

A vehicle breakdown never sounds fun, but car issues at night are extra challenging. Don't get left in the dark! Although any type of flashlight is better than none at all, a tactical flashlight is generally smaller (saving space in your emergency kit), brighter, and more durable than a typical flashlight.

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10. Cleaning Supplies

Screwing and unscrewing caps, changing tires, checking hoses, and securing connections can be dirty, not to mention very hot. Keep a pair of gloves and a few rags in your roadside emergency kit for cleanup.

Prepare for Summer Travel

No one wants to think about potential car problems during a summer vacation, but packing a roadside emergency kit will keep you and your passengers safe in the event of a vehicle breakdown and give you some added peace of mind on those scorching hot summer days.