Ambassador Tom Kyrk: Oddball items for every trucker’s emergency travel kit


As a road warrior, over the years I have come to collect a rather odd assortment of things in and on my truck. To someone who may not spend as much time on the road as some of my fellow drivers and I do, these may seem like strange items. Yet these things can be life- and time-savers in a pinch.

Many people who travel on the road carry a first aid kit. Many drivers carry a few “extra special” items; you never know when you may need them. Tampons and Maxi-Pads: these may seem like strange items to carry, but in an emergency they can be valuable. Both are sterile items, and in a pinch a tampon can be inserted into a puncture wound to slow or stop bleeding until help arrives. If it is a longer slice or wound, a Maxi-Pad and duct tape can cover a larger injury and help slow or stop bleeding.

For your vehicle, a first aid kit that also includes pantyhose and a scarf can be a huge help. A pair of pantyhose can be used as a makeshift seat belt if the one on your vehicle breaks. A scarf can be wrapped around a leaking hose and with some duct tape may help slow or stop the leak long enough to get you to safety.

A bar of soap can be used to help plug a leak in your diesel tank by pressing the bar of soap into the hole. Soap is the only thing, as far as I’m aware, that can stop a leak in your tank — unless you carry a Heli-Arc Welder in your back pocket and know how to weld aluminum fast.

I also suggest carrying lens tape in red and amber. If one of the lights on your vehicle cracks, this is a way to do a short term fix till you can get a proper repair or replacement done. While we’re on the subject of tape, no car emergency kit is complete without a roll of duct tape. The uses of duct tape are only limited by your imagination.

Cat litter can be used for several purposes, as well. In winter, it can be used to provide traction on ice. Also, if you come across a fuel, gas, or oil spill, it can be used to help soak up the spill. If you do not want to carry a bag of it in your truck, use a clean laundry detergent container that has been rinsed and dried to make a handy storage container and easy dispenser all in one.

Last but not least, we have all heard of people freezing to death when running out of fuel. You should carry a metal pie plate with some sand and large pack of Crayola crayons. You can take the crayon, peel the paper off and place it in the pie pan with sand. The crayon will burn like a candle for about 15-20 minutes to stay warm in an emergency. Please burn all of the pinky, salmon shades first, alongside the ugly green ones. Plus, if you get bored waiting, you can color a picture. Remember, if you’re going to burn anything for warmth, lower a window an inch or so to allow for fresh air.

These are just a few of the oddball emergency items that my fellow drivers and I carry in our trucks for emergencies. What is the craziest item you keep handy in case of an emergency? Leave a comment or share with us on Facebook and Twitter!