Keep These 10 Items in Your Car At All Times

This junk in your trunk just might save your sanity, if not your life.

10 things you must keep in your car trunk

You know you need to keep a donut in your car trunk at all times. (No, not the sugar-coated concoction you crave when you’re PMS, but nice try.) Maybe you learned the hard way that you also need a jack and a tire iron. But that’s not all, ladies. Here are 10 other essentials you might not have thought about stashing in your vehicle. But you absolutely should.

(P.S. We don’t have to tell you to always keep your car manual in the glove compartment…right?)

1. A good-quality flashlight. The HybridLight 160Y is solar-powered via any light source (with battery backup) and doubles as a charger. $40 at

2. Steel widow punch. If you find yourself trapped in your vehicle, the CommuteMate Universal Emergency Hammer Window Punch and Seat Belt Cutter comes to your rescue by cutting through seatbelts and breaking glass. $25 for a w0-pack at

3. A jumper. Fueled by a lithium-ion battery, a fully charged PowerAll Deluxe can jump-start your vehicle 20 times. $140 at Or, go old school and use a pair of jumper cables.

4. Cell-phone juice. In the event that your phone’s battery conks out, you can always rely on a solar charger. Just face the panel of the Fuse 6W Solar Charger toward the sun, then plug in your phone (or any USB device) and you’re good to go. $130 at voltaic

5. Sneakers and socks. Sometimes those stilettos just won’t do. If you suddenly break down on your way back from work (or the club),  you’ll have the right gear for walking or changing a tire. You know where to buy these. Now do it.

6. A list of emergency phone numbers. If your cell dies, do you remember anyone’s number, including your own? We thought so. You might want to laminate this one.

7. Nourishment. Stash a few snack bars in the glove compartment, in case you find yourself stranded. More important, keep some H2O in the trunk to avoid dehydration; carton containers make storage a snap. $16 for an eight-pack of half-liter cartons at

8. Garden gloves. If you are indeed faced with changing a tire or engaging in some equally heavy-duty (and dirty) lifting, do your hands a favor and protect them with some safety or garden gloves, like these by HandMaster, $7 on

9. First aid kit. Whether you’re contending with minor boo-boos or something more ominous, make sure you’ve got the equipment to heal and protect you and your loved ones while you’re on (or off) the road. A good bet is this AAA 121-piece compact case available from

10. Emergency flares. For those times you might encounter car trouble after sunset, glow-in-the dark warning triangles or flares make pulling over to the side of the road less dangerous. These weather-resistent LED emergency beacon flares from First Alert are a wise investment. $25 at

For more on what you need to know about your vehicle and how to fix it, check out our story “10 Things You Should Know About Your Car.”

Safe driving!