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We almost have TWO teen drivers in our house now. My oldest got a (new to him) car this weekend after saving for quite a while. The first car he got will be handed down to his brother who will be driving in a few weeks. As we were switching cars, we talked about everything you should keep in your car for emergencies, unexpected issues, and any issues that might come up someday. It’s easier to be ready now for unforeseen circumstances then wait for them to happen and hope you are in a safe place to easily remedy the situation!

As you may know, we love a good road trip and always make sure we’re more than prepared for a range of situations. When the boys started driving we took it as an opportunity to talk about normal things that can happen when you’re driving regularly (flat tire, dead battery, etc.) as well as why it’s important to be prepared no matter what. Here are some things we make sure each of their cars has AND that they know how to use all of them.

  • Cobra Jump Starter – obviously you’ll want jumper cables in the car, but we love the versatility of the Cobra JumPack CPP15000 Portable Jump Starter. It can not only jump-start just about any vehicle (or boat) up to 8 cylinders or diesel but it can do so the “traditional” way OR through the 12V Accessory port! It’s small, can be kept anywhere in your car, and is useful even when you don’t need to jump-start your car because it can also charge your phone or laptop and is a flashlight when you need it. SUPER useful and easy to teach the teens how to use it. This is perfect to keep in all of your cars, but especially for your teen drivers for peace of mind.
  • Glass breaker & seatbelt cutter.
  • Emergency Kit – you can buy a full kit or put together your own. Things like first aid, emergency blanket, reflectors, etc. We’ve pulled together our own over the years because we love to road trip so much.
  • Spare tire/jack/lug wrench AND the ability to use it to change a tire.
  • Air pressure gauge (along with the knowledge of how to use it and fill the tires).
  • Water
  • Emergency food (just in case) – this is great to put in your kit if not already in there. Dehydrated food packs work great.
  • Duct tape to fix any weird issues that might come up, plus it fixes everything right?!
  • Paper towels/toilet paper
  • Small absorbent towels
  • Spare clothes
  • Flashlight but if you have the Cobra Jump Starter we have it has a flashlight built in!
  • Extra phone chargers but again, the Cobra CPP15000 can charge 2 devices at a time and quickly – super useful!

We keep everything in a box ready to go when needed (except the glass breaker, that’s up front within easy reach in case of emergency). Our truck is stocked with even more since we use it for camping/overlanding and longer trips.

For anything that needs to be charged (like the Cobra Jump Starter) I just set reminders on my phone to check the charge of anything in the car and/or check them all before a road trip! Will you need most of these things on a regular basis? No, but you’ll be SO happy you had them if you do need them. We actually end up using things to help other people more than ourselves which is enough reason to make sure you’re fully prepared.



Allison Waken is the founder, writer, photographer, and content creator of All for the Memories and All for the Boys.

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