For a good safe road trip, it is not just necessary that your vehicle be in a good condition, but also that you are prepared for all possible emergencies and issues that could arise during a road trip. The importance of being prepared for a road trip increases drastically when you have family/females/kids/elders traveling with you, and the roads are desolate and stretch long between cities. Here are some tools, gear that one should carry with them in their vehicle to ensure that their trip is safe and as uneventful as possible. Starting with equipment for Cars - Disclaimer - All images have been taken from the internet and are not owned by me in any manner, these are indicative only. 1) Tyre repair kit - Most cars today have tubeless tyres. However most villages in India still do not have the provision to fix tubeless tyre leaks or punctures. Even if they do, what I have faced is that most of them do not have the sealant to fix the puncture. This costs barely 100-120 Rs, and will save you a lot of headache and hassle. 2) Portable Air Compressor - For owners of SUVs and vehicles with tyres above 13-14 inches, a portable compressor makes much more sense. It will reduce the effort, though will take longer to charge your tyre. Also If you have tubeless tyres, and a slow leak, sometimes it would make more sense to simply charge your tyre with air for a short period, and drive on. The benefit of having tubeless tyres. The object causing the puncture, itself acts as a sealant, and reduces the amount of air escaping. This will allow you to drive to a safer location/city to get your punctured tyre fixed. Around 600-1200 depending on which Chinese item you buy. I have the one that states it charges upto 100-150 PSI, but I'll be glad if it can do 45. Ill overcharge my tyre in the event of a puncture ( so that I can drive longer ), and reach a place that allows me easy repair of my tyre. Now that we've covered the most anticipated form of breakdown, here's preparation for others. 3) Fuses - Always carry at least 3-5 spare fuses. Note down the ratings of all the fuse required in your car. Manufacturers generally provide 1-2 spare fuse for each rating. However over long distances, and prolonged load on the battery/electricals, the chances of more than one fuse going increase. Especially if you have auxiliary equipment like fog lights, power horns, Sound System with amplifier and what not installed. Generally carry 5 of each rating. And if something goes wrong in the middle of the Road, don't panic, Check the fuse box first! If you find the fuse at fault, replace it with a similarly rated fuse (10A ~ 10 A not 15 A). If the fuse still goes, and you are in a risky situation or in a unsafe area, go up 5 Amps on the rating and install a higher fuse. But don't let the car run with that. This is just to get you out of there. Understand that there is a reason why the fuse of the correct rating is blowing its top. A lot of mechanics simply increase the rating to prevent this. However this results in more electrical load on the system, alternator, wiring etc. This could cause a much bigger issue/incident than the one at hand. Always get it checked at the first available instance. 4) Jumper Cables - Will come handy in the event if you accidentally leave your headlights or parking lights on, or some electrical equipment like Fog lights drain your battery. A Push Start will help, however if your battery is way to weak to provide the sparking current even, then a Jump Start is the only option. Note - Be aware of Jump Starting procedures, before blindly buying Jumper cables. The amount of current that these cables carry can be as much as 100-150 Amps DC, which is enough to kill a person. To be safer, invest in insulated gloves as well. Also buy good quality Jumper cables. Remember, current flows on the surface only. So a multi stranded Jumper cable will allow higher current to flow thru. Also, higher the gauge, better will be the current transfer. If your Jumper cables develop cracks or breaks, best to discard and buy new ones rather than attempting to repair them. 5) Tow Cable - The next essential item after loss of Drive in your vehicle. Loss of drive could happen due to any reason, Mechanical (Engine, clutch, gearbox, drive shaft, differential), Electrical(Battery, alternator, ignition system, ECU, Fuel Pump), or Physical (Accident, damage). Towing a vehicle with another vehicle will work only in the following cases and should be avoided in all other circumstances. - All 4 wheels of the vehicle are intact - Steering is functioning normally, with or without power - The brakes can be applied and are functioning normally, without any leaks - There is no leakage from the vehicle that could cause loss of traction on the road (Engine oil, gear oil). - The vehicle will roll freely down a hill i.e. the brakes are not grabbing or arresting the vehicle. How to tow, is a talent/ability that needs a discussion of it's own, but in the event of an emergency, I'm pretty sure we'll all come up with something. Invest in a Tow Cable that comes rated for a vehicle higher than yours. However the hooks should be small enough to fit the tow points on your car. Avoid lesser known/untested cables. Someone would have been foolish enough to buy em online before you, follow the reviews and order your cable. In some cases, people do find it comfortable to get their own tow cables made. It is easier than it sounds. All you need is 2 hooks, A good strong length of metal wire (The kind used on lifting cranes), a couple of butterflys (not the living kind, but the kind used to create a stopper with wire). And a good iron smith. 6) Tow Hooks - As frequent as breakage of a tow Cable, Tow hooks are also prone to breakage. If you do not wish to damage the under body or front member of your vehicle, looking for a suitable towing point, it's always wise to have a few spare Tow Hooks handy. Note - Spare hooks would be more applicable on vehicles weighing 1700 kgs and above. So if you have a breakdown prone Tata or Mahindra, then this is something you should consider investing in! 7) Multi-Tool - From opening beer bottles to Stripping a wire to make a make-shift fuse. To open a stuck cap, or to simply tighten something that's gone loose, a multi-tool is one handy piece of hardware everyone should carry. It's portable, compact, easy to carry (most have a belt Holster) and provide a variety of tools and options for use. From cutting wood, to a metal file to a bone saw, most tools have nearly everything thought of and provisioned. These are two of my favorites, the LeatherMan Wave and the Stanley Multi Tool - Note - Multi-Tools make for a quickly accessible tool for a quick job. I swear by these now, especially how handy my Leatherman came during my bike ride to Leh. Just holster it, and you are good to go. However, remember that these allow for limited application of force. Using them in any unnatural manner will damage them, and render them useless. So use them wisely. And do not compare with the cheap Chinese soft metal kinds that are readily available in the market for 500 Rs. A good Multi-Tool can cost you around 1800 for the Stanley, to 4000 Rs for the Leatherman, and like the one owned by the missus, around 8000 Rs for the Victorinox Multi-Tool. A Generic Tool Kit - In addition to the spanner for the wheel nuts provided by the Manufacturer, one should have a bare minimum of the following tools that would allow for a multitude of repairs on your own - - Pliers (Electrical) - Screwdriver set (1-2-3), both Flat (-) and Philips (+) - Yes its called a Philips Screwdriver not the 'Plus wala' - Spare spanner for wheel nuts ( in case the default spanner breaks ) - Spanners for opening battery terminal nuts (Check and purchase) - Spare wire (for makeshift fuses and other repairs, handy in holding items in place as well) - M-Seal, Aralite, Fevi Quik - Spare bulbs - Electrical Tape, Loads of Electrical tape - Broad plastic tape - To cover a broken light or window, or windscreen even. - Rags for cleaning hands and tools - Hammer - only in the most dire situation. - Cutter - For seat belts and other obstructions. A tool available online does solve this purpose. Well these are some of the items I would put in my tool kit. An other item that I carry is a portable tyre gauge, coz mostly wherever you stop in rural India, you are simply going to get a compressor and a filling nozzle, with someone insistent on filling the air in your tyre to over 45 and 50 PSI. Note - Most are made in China, well actually all of em are made in China. So their calibration can be really off the hook. Best bet? Get air filled at a station with a digital gauge, and correspond the readings with your gauge. If the gauge at the pump reads 30 and your newly bought portable gauge reads 28, you know that you would have to follow a plus 2 readout on your portable gauge. 9) Torch - With spare batteries. Not only do these act as a deterrent (if you buy the expensive bright ones), but also come handy as a cudgel for self-defense. Having used Maglite extensively when at the Airport for aircraft inspection and other minute work requiring a steady, even spread of light, I would recommend investing in one or two of these excellent devices. Long life on AA cells, and durable, robust construction. These come with a belt Holster, so carrying them is easy, and they come handy at any time of the day! More items to follow in the next post. Please feel free to add any that you feel should be carried along on a trip. Items to come. - Engine oil, Brake oil, Communication equipment etc.