Daughter's car kit recommendation...

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by ROCK6, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. ROCK6


    Feb 8, 2004
    Alright, our 16 year old daughter finally took her driver’s test and has her license. We’ve had a small four-dour Saturn that’s she’s been driving with her permit since this summer; but now, she can drive on her own (although we do have some parental restrictions). Her biological father lives about 40 minutes away…the route goes though some nice rural areas most of the way, however he lives in a pretty urban area (my biggest concern). Well, her car didn’t come with a spare tire and after looking, they just don’t make them and we couldn’t locate one in a junk yard. We ended up ordering a whole new rim and tire. The good news is she has a full size tire; bad news is that it takes up most of her trunk space.

    Anyways, my wife wanted to buy her an emergency car kit/bag, but I pretty much have most of what she’ll need and it would be cheaper buying the things we need separately.

    For a pack/bag, I think I have an older Medium Alice.

    Tow strap (need to purchase)
    Jumper cables
    Quart of oil
    Water bottle (Nalgene)
    LED Flashlight and extra (lithium) batteries
    Small first aid kit (I have a few pre-stocked)
    Fix-a-flat (need to purchase)
    Warning triangles (need to purchase)
    Ice scraper
    Wool blanket or poncho liner
    Simple Wal-Mart tarp (blue 6x8 foot tarp)
    Duct tape
    Role of bailing wire
    550 cord
    Multitool and/or SAK
    Road flares (2-3)
    An older (but functional) rain jacket
    Older work/hiking boots and extra socks (girls always wear those flimsy flats!)
    A few rubber bungees
    Maybe an extra set of clothes?

    Separately added items (not in the pack)

    Small jug of windshield fluid (winter/seasonal, need to purchase)
    A small (2.5 gallon) container of water (not in the pack)
    A small (empty?) container of gas (not in the pack)
    A case of water (not in the pack, and it gets rotated)

    I’m reluctant to put much in the way of tools in her car as she most likely wouldn’t use them and me or her father would fix something if needed anyways since she’s restricted at driving only between our place and his. I was thinking about just adding a pair of vice grips, adjustable pliers and assorted screwdrivers. If somebody else stopped to help, at least the tools would be there to remove a battery or tighten a loose hose…??? I was also thinking of getting one of those rechargeable jumpers/compressors?

    From a self-defense perspective, she’s not old enough to legally carry a pistol in her car (she needs to be 18) and outside of a cheap shotgun, I’m reluctant to consider one at this time. However, Pepper spray is in her stocking, and I was thinking something along the lines of a small hiking staff. Of course she has a knife she carries (except at school). She ALWAYS has her mobile phone with her, yet my biggest concern is her car breaking down during bad weather. I really don’t expect anything major, but just in case, we want her to be prepared for the most likely scenarios.

    Alright guys/gals, what am I missing?

  2. PDE


    Nov 7, 2010
    Well, all this of this is good, but does she know how to use everything? You need to go through everything and make sure that she does know. In addition, go through the car with her and teach her how to plug a tire, change the oil, and basic, but very important skills to maintain and fix the car. A GPS might be extremely helpful and a bluetooth device that plugs into the stereo for handsfree talking. Good luck and I hope this helps!

    (by the way, the gas can should be empty because you do not want a gallon of gas inside a car for obvious reasons.)
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  3. 6shooter


    Sep 12, 2009
    I'd put some sort of ready to eat food in the pack. Granola bars, trail mix, etc.

    Perhaps a quart of coolant. I'd store all the vehicle fluids out of the pack though, and maybe even in an entirely separate container, so if they leak, they won't ruin everything else.

    I dunno what weather is like where you are, but tire chains? I also keep a couple of small containers of that granular ice melter stuff in my trunk.

    Fire extinguisher in the drivers compartment might not be a bad idea, but I don't have one yet, so I'm a hypocrite for mentioning it.

    Also, on top of the flashlight in the pack, keep one in the glove box. Handy for looking for things inside the car and stuff.

    Some warm clothes. I saw the extra clothes and rain jacket, if she gets stranded and isn't dressed for the weather, a warm jacket/sweater and some thick pants would be good. Especially if she has to walk anywhere for help.

    Other stuff that's just handy to have in the car, like a bottle of sunscreen, an extra pair of sunglasses, just daily use stuff that might get forgotten.
  4. Foilist


    Dec 20, 2004

    My favorite pack with my emergency stuff got soaked wringing wet with oil when a 5 quart jug of 10W/30 burst open.:(
  5. stealthchaser13


    May 22, 2010
    might I make one suggestion? instead of jumper cables, buy her a small battery pack, rather than giving her jumper cables. a battery pack is easier to use, and unlike jumper cables does not require a second vehicle. you could go with something like this...[​IMG]

    or something like this...[​IMG]

    also, what good is a spare tire without a jack, and tire iron?
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  6. Pritch


    May 3, 2006
    AAA card.
  7. texasred66


    Mar 7, 2008
    Good kit-+1 on bailing wire-I use the jumper pack rather than jumper cables.
    Best of luck to the new driver.
  8. ROCK6


    Feb 8, 2004
    Good point. She’s not the most mechanically inclined, but she can change a tire (plugging is a little too much…hence the fix-a-flat for a quick fix in a bad location); she understands the gauges enough to know if it’s water or oil that is low and how to fill them.

    Forgot about the GPS…she does have a Tom-Tom which is very useful. My wife already told her NO on any communication device, but a hands-free could be useful if we can keep her to emergencies only and not the social chatting most teenage girls are so good at. Excellent feedback, thanks!

    Snacks are a good idea…if anything, just to keep her focused.

    Temperatures are pretty mild down in GA (near Augusta). Keeping fluids separate was my plan...a fire extinguisher is a good idea (for all the vehicles)!:thumbup: The extra flashlight is a good thing...she has a nice AAA LED in her stocking:D The extra clothes is what I was considering...mostly something more "reasonable" if she does have to walk any distance. Sunscreen and sunglasses are a great idea for the hotter months of the year (well, sunglasses are good year round!). Thanks!

    Yeah, another reason I plan to get some type of rubberized container to contain any fluids that my leak…

    Great suggestions and those were what I was considering...thanks:thumbup: She does have a good jack and tire-iron; my wife already made her rotate her tires:eek: Something her father made her do when she was a teen with her first car:D

    Any issues with the battery packs? I know a couple also had a mini-compressor built in. Not sure how long they're good for, but a simple rotation plan on the battery charger would work.

    Well, not AAA, but our USAA insurance does have a good emergency roadside addition…good idea to make sure she knows the numbers outside of the insurance numbers.

    Thanks for the feedback guys:thumbup:

  9. MrPan


    Feb 6, 2010
    Get one of those packs of to go toilet seat covers. Most women hate using public rest rooms and these covers are great to keep in the car. Also, add some TP in there as well.

    As far as fluids, tools and all that crap, I doubt any 16 year old girl will be working on a car to fix it on the side of the road. They just get on the cell and call you for help. It's best to have a box of all these things at home that you can load up and go fix it yourself.

    I myself would not want my daughter driving a vehicle that was just pulled out of the ditch. I would want to be the first to look at it and drive it to make sure there's no damage and it is road worthy and safe to drive. That's just me but to each there own.

    I would be teaching her some good PMCS habits that she does before the vehicle leaves the house. I would also teach her how to use the owners manual for the car and how to look things up in it as far as troubleshooting and vehicle maintance goes.
  10. ROCK6


    Feb 8, 2004
    TP is a good "emergency" recommendation! I'll look into the toilet seat covers...good suggestion.

    Yeah, I don't expect my daughter to do much work on the car...just not something she's not too interested in. I have taught her how to fill with oil and water and to how to jump her car if needed. That' why I'm a little leary to just add tools to a kit that won't really be needed and more likely stolen.

    Basic PMSC is a must and is how we found out her battery was bad and needed to be replaced after cleaning the terminals. Also, just checking the tires and at least the gauges before speeding off. She'll mostly be in/around our small town, so the cell phone is the most essential part of the kit:D

  11. MrPan


    Feb 6, 2010
    I would just like to say that while a fire extinguisher is a great idea in theory, there is NO WAY my daughter is going to put out a fire in any damn car. It's just a car let it burn. We can replace it and I do not want her in any way near it if it's on fire. Get out and get away and call the FD and let them do their job.

    If it's a fire that's large enough to need a fire extinguisher, then it is WAY TO BIG for MY DAUGHTER to even think of screwing with, but again, that's just me and to each their own.

    That being said, a good seat belt cutter dummy corded near the drivers seat is a something to consider.
  12. Les Snyder

    Les Snyder

    Jul 6, 2010
    fire extinguisher
    window breaking tool
    cell phone charger
    when water pump/ alternator belts are replaced, save those taken off
    same with upper and lower radiator hoses and pressure cap
    couple of stainless hose clamps
    sheet metal screws to insure battery to clamp contact
    assortment of fuses and puller
    4 way lug wrench
    cheap straight/phillips screwdriver, vise grip,adjustable wrench
  13. VictGerbSogCamill


    Feb 19, 2010
    Well, all this of this is good, but does she know how to use everything? ditto. I seen you already addressed this Rock6. I just want to add this, the flares are great but make sure she can use them, be comfortable using them. I was trying to show my 16 year old step son how to use them, he was very uncomfortable with it, like it was dynamite or something.

    The kit is great but make sure she understands basics. I assumed after my step sons driving school put on by Leo's that he had everything coved. It was a great school, they teach a lot more than most. Anyway he blew his tire out one night and called us for help. We get to his location, a dark, busy road. He is sitting in his car, engine shut off no lights on what so ever. I asked him why he did not have his hazards on, he said he was told to turn the engine off in a crash, yeah so why arent they on? He thought the engine had to be on for his hazards to run.:confused: Don't assume they know.
  14. jca21


    Apr 12, 2006
    rather than a tow strap i'd throw in a snatch strap. might be a bit overkill

    also, if the fix-a-flat stuff you plan on buying comes in a can and is called "slime" (or some other non sensical name) dont bother. a pair of pliers, rubber cement and tubes is a much better idea IMO

    something like this:


    is a much better idea.

    also a decent pair of work gloves would be a good
  15. RickJ


    Mar 2, 2003

    I would just purchase the items you said you needed to and leave it at that. When I was at Fort Drum we always had a Mainstay kit that had the emergency food, water, candles and a bucket of some salt/sand mix incase we got stuck on some ice. We also had a sleeping bag. A windup charger to recharge her cell phone also.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  16. Atama

    Atama Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Also, since she ALWAYS has that darned cell phone thingy with her....Make sure you have her signed up for Mr. Rescue. It costs like 3 bucks a month from Verizon. Cheap insurance to make sure she isn't stranded. I wouldn't want that to happen to my little girl.
  17. crackerjax


    Feb 29, 2008
    Get a good tow strap with no steel on it just loops on both ends you can get the yellow flat strap on an amsteel type tow strap. Get one rated 2 to 3 times the cars fully loaded weight
  18. Stormstaff


    Dec 14, 2007
  19. Tuxdad


    Feb 15, 2008
    It's nice to have a full size spare, but can yur daughter lift it ?? I'm asking this because my daughter(bless her heart) struggles with lifting just 20 pounds:eek:!! When she had a flat a few summers ago, the girl was struggling just to get the "donut" spare out of her car, and I do mean struggling in the strongest sense of the word.. Not saying your daughter is in the same category but I would agree that you should show how use everything in the kit, and if need be build up some strength..

    My step daughter has yet to build up the strength to change a tire.. She says she'll have to rely on me when it comes to that, but she's already had a rude awakening when it came to that...

    Best of luck with teaching your daughter Brother...:thumbup:
  20. Alvaro Candanedo

    Alvaro Candanedo

    Feb 6, 2009
    You know, people, you just reminded me that in about two weeks my daugther is leaving for Panamá City, Panamá, to start college. To me, the most importan item, is the cell phone, with the numbers of several people to call, in case of need (her brother, aunts, friends, etc.). The thing is that I live about 6 hours away (by road), in the other end of the country. Besides, she is about 110 lbs., soaking wet, so I don't think she is going to be able to change a flat tire and I'm not comfortable with the idea of her calling a tow truck (call her brother, and if necessary, leave the car). For self defense, a pepper spray and as soon she is a legal adult, a gun (her mother is not very keen on this).
    I'd like to hear some oher opinions.

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