What Should I Keep in My Pickup Truck? Ask The Drive

Beyond a few tools and maybe a first-aid kit, your list may be intensely personal.

Q:   My truck’s cab is now overflowing with stuff. I know I should keep a flashlight, an air pressure gauge, some change for tolls and an ice scraper. But what else should I keep in my vehicle at all times?–Sanderson S. Anderson, Altoona, PA

A:   Sure a first-aid kit is a good idea and one of those reflective triangle doohickeys in case you break down on the side of the road. But that’s obvious, boring, save-your-life-in-case-of-disaster type stuff. I’m going to share five things you should always have with you to make every day better:

1.  Huy Fong Sriracha sauce (9 oz. bottle)–At some point you’re going to eat in your vehicle. And it’s likely that whatever it is that you’re consuming–Taco Bell breakfast burrito, some sort of Burger King Croissan’Wich, week old Sara Lee Bagel–is going to be bland and barely edible. But Sriracha pepper-garlic sauce turns practically anything into a flavor fiesta that knocks your day into gear. Add some Sriracha to an Egg McMuffin and suddenly McDonald’s seems like a gourmand superstore. Yeah, you can also carry some Tabasco, Tapatio or even A1 sauce if your palette so desires. But your palette is wrong–Sriracha is the new Emperor Penguin King of condiments. And it’s a vital part of 21st century road culture.

2.  Flents Wipe’N Clear Biodegradable Lens Wipes–These individually wrapped lens cleaners do a fantastic job of keep my glasses clear. But beyond that, they clean smartphone, tablet and computer screens, will knock the dust off of radio faceplates, clean up the muck on rearview mirrors and knock the soapy schmutz that accumulates on your pedicure after a shower. I buy a couple big boxes of them at Costco and then stuff as many as I can into the otherwise unused ashtray in my old Toyota Tundra. Lens wiping is only the start of the glory these things will reveal in your life.

3.  Dog Poop Bags–My two huskies Duke and Alabama have taught me to always be prepared to pick up some steaming piles. But beyond their biodegradable usefulness in managing dog detritus, these bags can double as trash bags, leftover food storage and when certain passengers grow discomforted, barf receptacles. A vital part of any motorist’s real world tool kit.

4.  Scott Shop Towel Rolls–There’s simply nothing worse than facing a need to wipe up some mess and having nothing on hand to do the duty. Scott Shop Towels are more robust and absorbent than kitchen paper towels and well, more manly too. They’re optimized for wiping off dipsticks and cleaning windshields, but also work great for drying hands after using a bathroom that doesn’t have towels or quick cleaning your upholstery after a vicious toddler ice cream attack. Or worse. The roll can be bulky to haul around, but when you need it, it’s a lifesaver.

5.  Cottonelle Flushable Cleaning Wipes–Obsessed as I am with hygiene, I’m constantly finding new uses for these premium, pre-moistened butt wipes. They’re superb for degreasing hands after changing a tire, great as a first attempt at cleaning any plastic surface and even good at cleaning up dried blood after you’ve buried a body. Not that I would know anything about that. Plus life is too short to deny yourself the indulgence of a premium ass wipe.