Be summer safe on your next road trip

July 26th, 2019  |  Travel

’Tis the season to hit the road.

Summer road trips offer everyone a chance to get out and explore. Often, to places you haven’t been before. Once you’ve decided on your destination and told family or friends where you’re headed, there’s a few other things to do before you leave. First, it’s a good idea to have your car checked out – including the oil and tires – which may help avoid any unnecessary surprises down the road. Second, look to see what needs to be restocked seasonally in your emergency kit. If you don’t have one, here are some tips on what to include for the hot weather.

1) First Aid kit-This should be a year-round staple in your car. If you don’t have one or aren’t sure what to include, check out the Canadian Red Cross Emergency Kit recommendations. Remember to keep allergy medication on hand for any unexpected reactions.

2) Seasonal protection – Have items that can protect yourself from the summer sun such as a ball cap or wide-brimmed hat, sun protection of SPF 30 or higher and bug spray.

3) Rain gear: It’s a good idea to pack a raincoat, compact umbrella. If you don’t have one, inexpensive rain ponchos can be purchased.

4) Flashlight– This should be in your kit year-round if you find yourself stopped on the side of a dark road. But, remember pack extra batteries so you can keep the light shining.

5) Visibility items– If you’re stranded, you want to be seen. Pack reflective triangles to alert other motorists, stock up on flares and think about packing a reflective vest in your glove box.

6) Water/Food– There should be a minimum of one bottle of water for each person in the car. Non-perishable food items, like granola bars or trail mix should also be kept on hand.

7) Phone charger – When you hit the road, make sure your phone is fully charged and keep a charger and/or a battery pack in the car. Make sure you have emergency numbers – such as CAA or roadside assistance stored in your phone and written down in your glove box.

8) Jumper cables – Keep these in your car year-round. The cables should be at least 10-feet in length so they can be used to help another motorist or if you need a boost.

9) Tool kit: Always have a compact multi-tool kit in your car. Things to have on hand include a multi-tip screwdriver, pliers, various wrench sizes and a few feet of rope.

10) Flat Tire Repair Kit– Having a repair kit as well as a tire pressure gauge will help keep you rolling. Ensure your jack and tire iron are in your car and check the condition of your spare tire seasonally.

RELATED READING: How to change a tire

11) Maps/Compass: While most of us rely on our smartphones these days, it’s always a good idea to have a back-up. What if you’re in a place where cell service is weak? You never know where you may end up!

Finally, pack up all this gear in a plastic container. Even better if it’s water-tight. It may seem like you are using valuable cargo space, but this way you’ll be prepared. Happy trails!

RELATED READING: Backroad Ontario maps

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