Car survival kit: 10 items you should always have

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 KEEP IN TOUCH: Make sure your cell phone has enough battery life when you are on the road in case you need to call someone in an emergency and that someone knows your location or where you're headed.Image: ~ Shutterstock

Driving in your car is supposed to be stress free (besides the peak-hour traffic and those taxis), but what do you do when you’re stuck or in an accident? The first reaction is to grab your cell phone, but what if your battery has died? Or help isn’t that close by?

We often don’t think or worry about these situations, but they can happen when you least expect it. Here are 10 items you should always have in your car in case of emergencies. They might just save your life.

1. Flashlight
It’s cold and dark outside, the last thing you want to do is rely on your cell phone light to illuminate the darkness. Using a flashlight is essential in emergencies, especially when your hands are occupied with the car trouble, which is why a portable battery powered one is vital for any car.

motoring, wheels for women, light, car

Get it at Spree for R229 (with pocket knife), or get a headlight at TakeALot for R225.

2. Basic First Aid Kit
A basic first aid kit could save a life if you are in a crash or wounded during an incident. You’ll feel much safer travelling on the road with this stashed away in your boot or cubbyhole.

motoring, wheels for women, light, car

Get it at Woolworths for R170.

3. Maps
We shouldn’t completely rely on our GPS or Google Maps, because there will sometimes be signal, data and battery power problems. Having a fold-up map is great, when you’re stuck with no technological devices to see you through.

map, CNA, south africa, explore

Get it at CNA for R119.90

4. Food or beverages
This will always come in handy if you are stuck for a few hours, so make sure you have a flask of water or some snack bars in the car (just make sure you stock up every month).

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Get it at Mr. Price Home for R149.99

5. USB Mobile Charger (or extra phone)
This is very important, especially if you are dependent on your phone. Having a mobile charger in your car could come in handy if your phone dies at an inconvenient time. You can also have an extra phone, those old Nokias (or 'blockias') will finally come in handy again, in case your phone loses its power and you need to make a quick phone call.

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Get it at TakeALot for R249.

6. Keep a second purse
Having extra cash in a purse or a wallet will be invaluable whenever you’re short of money. Try and have a maximum of R200 in your wallet with a certified copy of your driver’s license or ID, in case you’re stuck in a sticky situation.  

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Get it at Mr. Price for R59.99

7. Booster jumper cables
Car batteries run out of power for various reasons and you will need booster cables to get back on the road. Hopefully, a good Samaritan stops to help you out, or you can phone-a-friend and they manage to make it out to you if you can't wait for road assistance.

booster cables, car survival kit

Get it at Makro for R249.00

8. Emergency Triangle/Road flares
These become invaluable at night, or when you’re in any crisis, so that other drivers can spot your parked car on the side of the road. It's also illegal not to have a set in your car in case of emergencies.

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Get it at Makro for R99.00

9. Flat Tyre Kit
Having a flat tyre is the worst. If you ever need to change it, you’ll need the tools to fix it. Here's a easy and simple kit if you're you don't see chance to getting to grips with a wheel spanner. Don’t know how to do it? Read this.

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Get it at TakeALot for R469.

10. Tow Rope
Your car is stuck and the only way to get it moving is by towing it. A strong and steady tow rope should be in every car to get you off the road and back to safety.

tow strap, makro, car survival kit

Get it at Makro for R149.

Still not sure how to get that survival kit together? Check this out:

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