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Be Prepared – The Summer and Winter Car Contents Checklist 

If you take long journeys in your car, you should, for your own health and safety have a few essential items in the boot in case of a breakdown or being stuck in traffic.

The items contained in your car will differ from summer to winter and so we’ve created a summer and winter checklist to ensure you’re well prepared with every journey you take. This checklist can actually last all year, so if you forget to update it, or to change the items, you’ll find you’re prepared whatever the weather.

Your Summer and Winter Emergency Kit Checklist

Being stuck in a car in summer can be dangerous, especially for children. That’s why it’s important that you pack an emergency kit should accidents happen or you become stuck in traffic. Here’s what you need: 


Never underestimate the amount of water you may need, especially if you have pets or children on the journey. When we feel thirsty we’re actually already dehydrated and so it’s crucial that you always carry enough fluid to ensure you can keep the car occupants hydrated for several hours.

A Shovel

A shovel is a great tool for helping to dig you out of the snow in the winter but it’s also ideal in case you become stuck in mud. With our rainy British summers and winding country roads, this happens a lot more than you’d imagine in the summer months.

A Blanket

A blanket will of course, keep the chills at bay during winter but you may wonder why you’d need one in the summer months. During summer it can be used as a picnic blanket, to cover seats from spills from children, or to keep the chill off when night falls.

The Hazard Triangle

Having one of these ensures you can inform other motorists easily if your car breaks down.

A First Aid Kit

A general first aid kit can be useful for any minor injuries or signs of temporary illness. For example, on a hot day, children may feel dehydrated which will lead to headaches, while on a cold day, they could have quite the sniffly nose with the cold.

The usual suspects should be included such as an electrolyte solution (diarolyte), Calpol or paracetamol, Piriton (for allergies), ibuprofen (which helps with swelling), and Vicks vapour rub. It can also be a good idea to include some instant head pads too as these can be great hand warmers along with treating topical pain. Cooling packs can also be a good idea, as although they’re used to lower a fever, they can provide relief to children and adults on a hot day.

Lavender oil is a good antiseptic, analgesic and relaxant and can be easily added to a first aid kit. It may help with stress should you be stuck in traffic.


Hopefully you won’t be stuck in traffic during the night, but if you are you’ll find this extremely handy. It’s also an essential item should you break down.


Are there any other products you don’t leave home without when taking a long car journey? Please do let us know on our Facebook page or on Twitter.