How much time do you spend in your vehicle? For most of us, it’s a lot less time than we normally spent in our vehicles last year. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t days that I feel like I live in my car.
Since I spend more time in my vehicle than any other single location except my home, I take pains to keep things in my vehicle to make life easier. Well, last week in this article, I had started talking about a Prepared vehicle. I discussed what a prepared vehicle was and why we should prepare our vehicles. That being said, recently, I’ve started thinking of my house and my vehicle in terms of systems (like I mentioned here). Which systems do I need to have in place in my vehicle to make my life easier? Well asking one question can help narrow that down a bit.
Well, what problems do I regularly encounter?
Do any of these sound familiar?
Sometimes, we get to talking with our piano teacher after lessons, and our conversation (or just the lesson) goes a little long. Having snacks in the car makes a big difference in my children’s outlook on life at that particular moment. So perhaps a food system should be one of the systems that we have in place.
Let’s say that we swing by the drive-through because it is late and I don’t have lunch prepared at home. Inevitably what happens in our car is that someone makes a mess or gets ketchup all over their hands. Even if we have the ability to clean it up, where do we put the trash? So it’s possible that we should consider putting a sanitation system in place.
“Mom, I’m bleeding! Can I have a bandaid?” Bandaids to the rescue! Having a first aid kit handy is a must!
Sometimes we get stuck in traffic. With ALL the road construction that’s going on around our house right now, this isn’t far-fetched at all. Having something to pass the time on hand would go a HUGE way to making life easier.
A couple of years ago, when my family was caravaning home in two vehicles in the dark after a weekly Bible study, we ran over a tire in the middle of the lane just as we were merging onto the highway. BOTH cars got flat tires. One got multiple flats. I was so thankful for a way to change the tires. However, as a funny aside that does tie into the article, I had been traveling without a spare tire (it doesn’t fit UNDER our van, and my attitude had been that it takes up too much of my valuable trunk space! Ha! I got my comeuppance!) I realized the need to have basic car maintenance and repair equipment in the van.
So let’s briefly talk about these potential systems and one more that I haven’t yet mentioned.
1.) Food System
Included in this would be food, liquid, cooking, and eating. It isn’t just enough to have snacks in a vehicle. My children get thirsty almost as much (if not more) than they get hungry. Eating food may require utensils, implements, or containers. Gotta have those on hand. And cooking – okay, I’ll admit, this is probably a stretch, but I like to keep something in the van that I could use to heat water or cook if I’d have to. Hasn’t happened yet, but it’s there just in case.
2.) Sanitation System
This encompasses so much from baby wipes to toilet paper, from zippered bags to a trash receptacle. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve been thankful to have certain of these items in hand!
3.) First Aid System
We have handled everything from allergies and upset stomachs to fairly deep cuts and bug bites, to headaches and vomiting (back to sanitation too), and even contusions and burns with our first aid kit. You can’t leave home without it.
4.) Car-Specific Tools System
Having a way to jump a car that isn’t dependent on someone ELSE having jumper cables is always a plus. Being able to change a tire because you have a SPARE is incredibly helpful. Having a headlamp would make life so much easier if you get stuck with car problems after dark. There are so many other things that fit into this category that will help with life’s unexpected twists and turns.
5.) Comfort System
We keep a book in the van so that even if I’m driving one of the other children can read it out loud if we need to. We stash several card games in the van. If we ever go somewhere where there are no kid-appropriate activities (which doesn’t happen often, but it has happened) we have games that the kids enjoy playing at our fingertips. These things all fall under the category of comfort.
6.) Shelter System
I keep a couple of tarps and cordage in our vehicle. I’ve NEVER had to use them for shelter, but if something would happen to us like it did this family who got slid off the road and got stuck in a Nevada winter. Thinking ahead to these types of potential emergencies will make life so much easier if we ever do need to face them.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to tackle each of these subjects in more depth. I’m going to take you through a virtual tour of our vehicle including the items we have, how we stow them and discuss how we use some of the more unique items. Stay tuned!
What about you?
Do you have items in your car for which you have been SO THANKFUL that you’ve had there, but you never thought you might use them? What items have you wished that you did have in your vehicle when an emergency (either major or minor) hit? I’d love to hear your answers in the comment section below.
You’ve got this, Mama!