18 Canadian Road Trip Essentials: What to Keep in Your Trunk

Canada has a population density of about 4.2 people per square kilometre. But that’s just the average across a vast country—the actual figure in specific locations varies immensely. Toronto, for instance, has a population density of 4,427.8 people per square kilometre, while in other places, you can drive for hours without meeting a single person. That’s why packing certain road trip essentials is critical to both enjoying and surviving a road trip in Canada.

18 canadian road trip essentials - 18 articles essentiels a emporter pour un long voyage au canada

6 Car Maintenance and Repair Necessities to Bring on a Road Trip

Keep these items in your car all year round to help you get out of common problems as quickly as possible:

  • A tire repair kit. Ensure you have the right one for your current tires (e., change it when you switch out your tires). Don’t forget to bring a tire inflator as well.
  • Jumper cables or a jump starter. If your battery dies, these can help jump-start it so you can drive to the nearest service station.

Tire Repair Kit

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Boosting Cables

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  • A car jack. If your car has a spare tire (not all do these days), keep a jack on hand so you can lift your car to change the tire. (Keep a printed copy of the instructions with the jack, too.)
  • A tire iron. Also required to change a spare tire.


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Tire Iron

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  • A tire gauge. Useful for any kind of tire repair.
  • Basic tool kit. You don’t need the entire contents of your garage. Just pack basic items like a screwdriver with interchangeable heads, duct tape, a set of Allen keys, and a small hammer.

Tire Gauge

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6 Personal Safety Necessities to Bring on a Road Trip

Your personal safety on your road trip, as well as the safety of those with you, is of utmost importance. Be prepared to hang out with your vehicle for 24 hours. Pack, at a minimum, these six items:

  • Fully charged battery backups for your devices.
  • A CB radio. This is necessary if you expect to regularly travel through dead zones. Know how to use it before you leave.
  • An ABC-class dry chemical fire extinguisher. When you’re in the middle of nowhere, which in Canada can easily mean hectares of forest, you’ll want a fire extinguisher on hand to put out the flames fast.
  • A first-aid kit. Ideally, purchase a pre-packaged kit so it has everything you need, and then some.
  • An emergency contact list. Have one for every person with you in the vehicle, on paper. That way, if an emergency happens and someone has to be taken to a hospital, emergency crews will know whom to call.
  • Cash and credit cards. Not everywhere will accept a credit card, and you may run out of cash. Have both on hand.

Fire Extinguisher

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First Aid Kit

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6 Cold Weather Necessities for Road Trips in the Canadian Winter

Your packing list must include these items if you’re packing for a winter road trip in Canada:

  • If your car can’t drive, the engine won’t heat up fully to keep the interior warm. You’ll need blankets to help everyone stay comfortable until help arrives.
  • A bag of sand, salt, or cat litter or traction mats. These can give you traction if you get stuck.
  • A sYou can use it to dig yourself out of all manner of trouble. You can now buy foldable shovels that don’t take up too much space.
  • Hand and feet warmers. These will help keep your extremities warm.
  • Extra boots, mitts, hats, and jackets. Also important for keeping you warm. Depending on where you’re driving, temperatures can plummet overnight.
  • Windshield washer fluid. Ensure you buy the right kind for winter weather, as summer fluid is formulated differently.

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Windshield Washer Fluid

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Customize Your Road Trip Essentials for Your Canadian Road Trip

Canada is a vast country where highly developed urban centres can be found alongside deserts, the Canadian Shield, tundra, rainforest, boreal forest, lakes, and more. It’s a beautiful country to discover. Be sure to customize the items you bring on your road trip so that you can stay safe, worry less, and enjoy your road trip even more. Happy driving!

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