May 3rd 2013 |
We are fortunate, in this country, that you are never more than a few miles from civilisation, a nice cup of tea and a comfy sofa. But venture abroad, and you could find yourself one wrong turn away from hundreds of miles of featureless desert or frozen tundra.
However, with our weather becoming increasingly unpredictable, preparing your car for the very worst could one day pay dividends.
I remember one such time, stranded for several hours with a flat battery and nothing but the mournful wails of my companion for company, and I was glad for my emergency supplies and warm equipment, even though it was a rainy Thursday evening on the inner ring road in Reading.
So, what should the well-prepared gent keep in the trunk of his automobile?
1. Tool kit – On top of your jack and tyre wrench, don’t forget a basic tool kit including a socket set, a screwdriver, and a great big hammer. Especially the great big hammer
2. First aid kit – We’ve actually had use of our in-car first aid kit. Bit my fingernails down too far listening to the football on the radio, utter bloodbath
3. Phone – Seriously, in this day and age, you’d be bonkers to go on a journey without a means of contact. Back in the seventies, my mum always sent me out with 2p for a public phone box, which I blew on Dial-a-Disc
4. Blankets – Even in the British summer, you could need blankets if you break down at night. Also, handy for a picnic
5. Emergency food – No need for a banquet. Just a few high energy bars just in case you’re far from home, and a tin of sucky sweets in case you pick up an elderly hitch hiker
6. Tow rope – More useful then you think, we were recently shanghaied into a formation skipping team and this little beauty bribed our way out
7. Shovel – I am writing this in May. Now is the ideal time to get a snow shovel, because they have them in stock at hugely reduced prices. Also, buy a Christmas tree in January. Top tip, there.
8. Water – both for the car and for yourself. If your motor overheats, you’ve got a supply. If you overheat, you’re not going to die. Simple.
9. Warning Triangle – Not an absolute necessary, but it pays to be safe if your car breaks down at night. (Note: A warning triangle is not necessary if entertaining a gentlewoman in a layby)
10. Packet of tissues – Because picking your nose at the traffic lights is neither big nor clever
Three Things The Gentleman Should Not Have In His Car
1. Stick-on eyelashes
2. “Powered by fairy-dust” sticker
3. Nodding novelty meerkat
No, really. Don’t