Emergency Travel Kit

It’s difficult to predict what will happen on the road. Whether you travel mostly in the city, commute an hour each way to work, or love taking road trips, you need to be prepared for emergencies. In this post, we’ll go over some basic survival items and tools you should keep in your car for just that reason. You can adjust your emergency travel kit depending on how far and on what kind of terrain you’ll be travelling.

emergency travel kit - trousse d'urgence de voyage

Repairs On the Fly

Sometimes, you may need to make a roadside stop if something’s wrong with your vehicle. If the issue is minor, you may be able to repair it with items like these:

All three can easily be stored in your trunk. Just be sure to inspect them when you do your spring cleaning.

DeWalt 16-in-1 Multi-Tool

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Tire Repair Kit

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First Aid and Safety

If there’s been a more serious accident and/or someone is injured, having items like these in your emergency kit can be crucial while you wait for help to arrive:

  • First-aid kit
  • ABC-class dry chemical fire extinguisher
  • Road flares
  • Tow rope
  • Flashlight or headlamp

Keep the fire extinguisher manual in a safe place and make note of when the device should be inspected by professionals. The other items on this list should also be routinely inspected: make sure all batteries are charged, top up your bandage and disinfectant supply, etc.

Emergency Kit

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If you use a smartphone to access digital maps, you probably don’t feel the need to carry other navigational tools. In an emergency, however, you may be unable to charge your device or access cellular service to load your directions. In these situations, you’ll be glad to have packed one or more of the following:

  • Road maps
  • GPS that connects directly to a satellite
  • Compass

Food and Water

If you drive almost exclusively in the city, you’ll likely only ever need to keep a few snacks in the car. However, if you’re planning a road trip into Canada’s wilderness, you should pack enough supplies to keep yourself fed and hydrated for 24 hours. In some cases, it may take that long for help to get to you.

Pick non-perishable food items and switch them out during your spring and winter cleanings. Here are a few ideas:

  • Granola bars
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Crackers

Shelf-stable beverages like water or sports drinks are also important. Those packaged in plastic are ideal since the containers won’t crack in extreme temperatures. However, plastic can leech chemicals into liquids if it gets really hot, so don’t leave plastic containers in hot vehicles for too long.


If you’re travelling during the winter, you should pack items that will keep you warm. Remember: cars are not well insulated. In addition, if your car stalls, you won’t be able to leave the motor running to stay warm. Pack items such as these to be prepared:

  • Sweaters
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Blankets
  • Heat packets


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Other Items

There are a few other items that are useful to keep in your trunk, especially if you’re going to be travelling a long distance and/or in winter weather. These include:

  • Jumper cables
  • Antifreeze
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Small shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Spare batteries
  • Matches

You can find these items, as well as pre-assembled emergency kits, in most hardware stores or online. Pre-assembled kits are a great place to start, but it’s wise to customize your own kit to make sure you have everything you could need based on where you’re planning to travel.

Booster Cables

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NAPA 50/50 Coolant

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Be Prepared

Canadian weather is unpredictable. In addition, the vast distances between cities and towns mean that roads aren’t always in the best condition and that help isn’t always immediately available. To avoid being caught off guard, always have an emergency travel kit in your vehicle and keep it stocked with basic survival goods and tools adapted to your travel needs.

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