10 Items You Must Take On Your Next Road Trip

Drive smart. Drive prepared.

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A long adventure—through vast, open highways and idyllic, secluded back roads—is an amazing experience. Well, until you realize that you’re grossly underprepared. Instead of taking a blind stab at a packing list on a beer-soaked cocktail napkin, let The Drive help you get this process going.

The joys of the open road can come to a screeching halt when your battery dies. Fortunately, the compact Weego Pocket Charger can quickly bring your chariot back to life, charge your phone and light up the night ski, all while fitting in your glove box. Video

Every good road needs awesome food. Too bad most coolers are big, boxy and pretty terrible at, well, keeping things cold. The folks over at Yeti Coolers have come out with a soft, nigh-indestructible cooler, dubbed the Hopper. Don’t worry about changing the ice, this puppy is an insulated godsend. Video

Hotel? Nope. Consider purchasing a roof top tent by Treeline Outdoors for your rig. It’ll set you back a few bones, but you’ll come out in the black at the end. Video

Depending on where your next adventure takes place, you might need to cook your own food. Sure, a full-size grill is ideal, but when space is limited it may not work. Instead, pick up the extremely compact G2 Folding Firebox Stove and get cooking. Video

Welcome to the Facebook Age: If you didn’t get it on video, it didn’t happen. Share the wanderlust with friends and family—or, well, a good lawyer. Document your drive with the GoPro Hero 4.

Mixing in some off-road is a solid move. If you’re blasting dunes on the Cape, blazing new trails at an off-road park, or traversing snowcapped mountains, you might get stuck. Instead of waving the white flag and calling a tow truck, lay down some Max Trax and drive right out. Although these guys may be one of the largest items on your trip, they’ll be the most valuable if things get hairy.

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Translation: a good first aid kit is essential. Luckily, the outdoorsmen over at Best Made Co. made you a tin, waterproof kit to ensure you get patched up in a pinch. (Pro tip, from your author, an EMT: Create a contact in your phone under “ICE” with all pertinent medical info and an emergency contact for first responders to access).

You should always have an emergency multi-tool in your center console, especially important when driving through unpopulated areas. The Leatherman Z-REX is up for the job. It’s a single piece of solid metal with the two most important things: a seatbelt cutter and a window punch.

 Of course, we also recommend bringing an assortment of tools you use most frequently or purchasing a mid-range mechanics tool set. Even the best mechanic in the world is nothing without a wrench.

Rather than spending time out of the car at a less-than-sanity rest stop, spend it overlooking rolling hills or tall pine trees. Although that may not be exactly what the folks at Pendleton thought when they designed the waxed canvas blanket, it sure works well for those quick-and-dirty roadside breaks.