8 Essential Items You Must Have In Your Car At All Times

by Marc and Sandy

When planning for your Big Lap, your 4WD adventure or any trip away, your first thought is to prioritise packing food, sleeping bags, clothes and camping equipment. That’s all you need, right?

There are actually some incredibly essential items that every outdoor explorer should have in their car, no matter where your adventure is taking you. Here are 8 items you absolutely must have in your car at all times for all camping, 4WD and outdoor getaways!

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1. PLB/ SPOT/ Sat Phone

When it goes pear-shaped, it’s good to be able to let someone know you need help. One option is a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), an “all or nothing” approach which sends your exact location to emergency services and gets them on the way. The advantage of this is that it’s a one-off cost; however, there is no option to ask for help that’s not life-threatening – i.e really bogged or broken down.

SPOT has the advantage over the PLB in that it can send 2 pre-programmed messages which you can program yourself so you are able to let someone know that you need help that’s not life-threatening, you just can’t necessarily tell them what the problem is specifically.

The other alternative is a satellite phone. You can call or text to let someone know where you are and what the problem is. However, these are expensive to purchase and also normally need a subscription which can be costly if travelling for an extended period of time.






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2. First Aid Kit

Pretty obvious why this is on the list – just remember to replace any parts you use so it’s there if you need it again! (And do a first aid course so you know how to use it).






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3. Air Compressor

One of the things that a lot of people that are new to 4WDing don’t understand is tyre pressure. Letting the tyres down can not only make your ride a lot more comfortable and put less stress on your car and gear, but it can also give you significantly more traction and can quite often be the difference between getting stuck or carrying on. Once you have let the air out of the tyres though, you need to be able to reinflate them and this is where the air compressor comes into play (also handy for blowing up floaty toys in rivers and lakes!).






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4. Recovery Gear

In the event that you do get stuck, having recovery gear will help get you out. A long-handled shovel will go a long way in helping to remove mud or sand from around the tyres which may be enough to get you out. Even if you need another car to help get you out, they will appreciate not having to get their own gear dirty to help you out. Also, make sure that you have rated recovery points on your 4WD – vehicle tie-down points and the towball are not rated and can cause serious injury or death in the event of them being used in a recovery.






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5. UHF

Phones don’t always work, so a UHF is a convenient way to communicate with other vehicles travelling, especially in the event of an emergency.






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6. Jerry Cans

You’ll want a jerry can full of water and one full of fuel too! Australia is a vast country with some long distances between towns and supplies. If you’re going remote, spare fuel and water are essential!






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7. Tyre Repair Kit

This little beauty fits quite easily under the seat and can really come in handy. Learn how to use it (it’s quite simple once you know what to do) and if you get a puncture in your tyre you will be able to fix it yourself and leave the spare alone. These kits cost less than the cost of a puncture getting repaired at a tyre place and have enough in them for multiple punctures (which hopefully won’t be necessary).






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8. Torch

If something happens and it’s dark outside, you will be very thankful for some extra lighting!






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